Alcohol Abuse, Illegal Drugs and Our Community

November 18, 2014

Dear Members of the MIT Community,

The choices we make as individuals about the abuse of alcohol or the use of illegal drugs can jeopardize our physical and mental health, our relationships, our work and our safety. Those choices can also have a damaging impact on those around us and on the well-being of our community. The recent results of our student survey on sexual assault offered stark evidence of this, and I hope that in the coming months, we can begin to make progress on these intertwined problems.

MIT is clearly not alone in facing these issues. In fact, the federal government requires all comparable institutions to have a comprehensive program to prevent alcohol abuse and the use of illegal drugs, to review that program for effectiveness every two years and to make sure the community knows about it; I urge you to read our statement on a drug-free campus and work place, and to learn about the risks related to drug and alcohol use.

Above all, I want to make sure that every member of our community -- student, faculty member, post-doc or staff -- understands where to turn for help. If alcohol or illegal drugs are an issue for you or anyone in your life, you are not alone -- and MIT offers a range of practical resources. For example:

  • For confidential on-campus support and recovery groups:
    MIT Alcohol Support Group -- 617.253.2916
    AA – Alcoholics Anonymous (Campus support meeting) -- 617.253.2916

Alcohol abuse and the use of illegal drugs pose real risks to our well-being, as individuals and as a community.

If you have suggestions for how we could make our resources and programs in these areas more relevant, accessible or effective, I hope you will let me know.

Cynthia Barnhart

Ford Professor of Engineering
MIT, Room 10-200, 77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
617 253-3815