The Campus Office of Substance Abuse Prevention, which seeks to educate students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, has started a new program called Diary of a Lady Lobo, aimed at curbing risky drinking in female students at UNM, John Steiner, COSAP Program Manager said.

The aptly named D.O.L.L.S, rolls out its first big event Nov. 13 with tables offering useful information and plenty of goodies, Steiner said, including free cosmetics and massages.



“The idea being, if you need to blow off steam, if you’re feeling anxiety that school always seems to bring,” he said. “There’s other ways of blowing it off and working through it other than just going out and getting hammered all the time.”

COSAP also seeks to increase enrollment in Designated Lobo, a program in its second year aimed at reducing the incidents of drunk driving by UNM students, Steiner said.

Students can volunteer to be a designated driver for their friends by signing up at the COSAP office, he said, in return they are given up to five free movie passes for each occasion and are further entered into a drawing at the end of each year.

The organization is launching a social media campaign on Facebook to try and encourage students to join in, he said.

First prize for the drawing is a $1,000 travel voucher, other prizes include an Apple iPad and LoboCash, Steiner said.

Tiffany Martinez, a health educator with COSAP, said it has a lot to offer in addition to programs and assistance.

Along with activities on campus, she said COSAP is distributing their third edition of “Fun in the 505,” a guidebook on local things to do for students outside of drinking, Martinez said.

The guidebook is offered at their Mesa Vista Hall office, and copies are given to all student residents in their “Welcome Back” pamphlet, she said.

This year the book offers discounts for students and weekly specials not normally advertised by UNM-area businesses.

“We just want to make sure that they are in college, having fun, getting that experience but being safe about it and getting to graduation,” Martinez said. “I don’t think students realize what alcohol can do, not only to your college career but your career after college.”

Steiner said the organization has grown considerably in size and scope since their early years in the 1990s. Functioning as a prevention, education and public health promotion office, COSAP aims to provide students the resources necessary to successfully navigate their college experience, he said.

“Our mission is to create an environment at the University that is as free as it can be from the negative effects of drugs and alcohol, and their misuse,” Steiner said. “We don’t lecture the students, ‘don’t drink, don’t do this and don’t do that.’ Those are their decisions to make, we’re just trying to say ‘look before you leap. Keep that balance between work and play, as best you can.’”

Data on substance abuse at UNM is collected by Steiner and his associates annually to further inform them. These statistics assist in planning the future of COSAP along with adding to programs they already have in existence, he said.

Steiner said COSAP’s efforts have been paying off over the past few years and they have the numbers to back that claim.

“I feel very positive about what we’ve achieved in the past in terms of both tamping down on excessive drinking and other drug abuse,” he said. “I think we’ve done that, I think our data shows that. I think over the past five years or so we’ve also made COSAP much more accessible to students.”

Steiner said possible future projects include better assistance for students who come to UNM already in recovery and more training for ways in which they can better enjoy their experience through a common hangout area and perhaps one day, even living quarters.

Matt Reisen is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. He can be reached at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @DailyLobo