Know Thy Kryptonite

I spoke last night at Freeport (ME) High School.  It was the first in a series of five talks I will be giving this spring at Greater Portland high schools on behalf of Casco Bay Can, an organization of parents committed to curbing substance abuse among teenagers.  (Upcoming dates will include Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Greely, and Yarmouth.)

My focus was on the message of my book College Success Guaranteed – 5 Rules to Make it Happen.  Not only was it a lot of fun, I had the chance to share the stage with Lee Anne Dodge, a substance abuse counsellor at the University of Southern Maine.

During Lee Anne’s remarks, I was taken by comments she made reqarding the break-down of substance use (i.e., alcohol and drugs) on college campuses.  She noted that three groups have emerged:

– 20% do not drink or drug at all;
– 60% are occasional imbibers;
– 20% are frequent (i.e., too much or “binge”) users.

As these groups inevitably interact over time, it stands to reason that the non-using 20% will tend to decrease over time as its members are barraged by pro-use messages of party vibe from the remaining 80%.  Also, I would bet heavy money that the 20% “bingers” pull more of the 60-percenters over to their side than vice-versa.

All the more reason to know who/what you are and surround yourself with folks who will support your personal best.  As I ask in the book, Do you know what your kryptonite is?

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld