Off-campus drug activity affects drug activity on campus

Joshua Farmer

Appalachian State University students contribute to the drug culture in Boone, and if the university were not in Boone, there would not be as many drugs, said Boone Police Chief Dana Crawford.

Students contribute to local prescription drug usage, Crawford said. There are scenarios, such as a student getting a job, and “selling [prescription] drugs from one population to the other.”

Captain Andy LeBeau said that having a large population of students who are “in that age bracket where a lot of experimentation goes on” is a factor that contributes to the drug activity level in Boone.

There is a “bit of a distinction” between drug activity in student populations and non-student populations, LeBeau said.

People in Boone who have been involved with methamphetamines are a part of “the ingrained local drug culture” and “generally don’t intermingle with the college crowd on a regular basis,” LeBeau said.

“There are certain drugs – like methamphetamine and heroin – that if a college student gets involved in that kind of stuff, they won’t be a college student for long,” LeBeau said.  “You can’t maintain school and your life and that type of drug habit.”

ASU Police Chief Gunther Doerr said he agrees with LeBeau.

“Drug activity off campus does affect drug activity on campus,” he said.

This is because a lot of students live, party and participate in activities off campus, which contributes to off-campus drug activity, Doerr said.

“Students are as much on campus as they are off campus, and so certainly those drugs and those involvements have an impact on the campus in one way or another,” Doerr said.

However, the source of the drugs is not only from the area.

Doerr said he thinks there are some drugs students purchase from the area and some drugs students bring from their hometown.

“We aren’t seeing a lot of activity where people from Watauga County are showing up on campus and trying to sell drugs to students,” Doerr said.

Story: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter