Alcohol and Drug Use

The use and/or abuse of illegal drugs, tobacco, and alcohol carries possible health risks to the individual user as well as the campus community and community at large. Substance use risk reduction strategies are an important way to keep our campus healthy and safe. Please do not hesitate to seek help if you are a victim of a crime, even if you have violated the University’s Alcohol and/or Drug Policies. You will be treated with dignity and care throughout the reporting process, regardless of the circumstances of the assault. 

Report a Concern

Request access to Everfi’s Alcohol Edu or Everfi’s Mental Health Wellbeing 

Alcohol and Risk Reduction

What to know

Do the math:

  • one drink = 12 oz. of regular beer
  • one drink = 4 to 5 oz. of wine
  • one drink = 1.5 oz. of hard alcohol
  • Binge or problem-drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks on one occasion
  • Any amount of alcohol can impair judgment—more so under certain conditions
  • Our body metabolizes approximately one alcoholic drink per hour—there is no way of speeding it up
  • Drinking while engaging in sexual behavior can increase risk for sexual assault, transmitting STIs and unplanned pregnancies
  • Alcohol is a drug—it is an addictive substance that changes our brain chemistry and can cause chemical dependency

How to be safe

  • When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together. Make sure at least one member of the group to remain sober and look out for others.
  • If you choose to drink, know your limits and stick to them. Have one drink with alcohol and the next one without alcohol.
  • If someone has passed out, do not leave them alone. Turn them on their side and call 911, do not assume they will “just sleep it off”.
  • Trust your instincts about uncomfortable situations. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Don't allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don't know or trust.
  • State your limits clearly. Don’t be afraid to say “No” and/or walk away if you are feeling pressured or coerced, or even just uncomfortable.
  • Educate yourself about Date Rape Drugs. Don't leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container. Don’t drink anything with an unusual taste or appearance. If someone acts extremely drunk after only one or two drinks, they may have been drugged. Call 911 or take them to the hospital.

Plan ahead

  • Eat before you drink anything
  • Ask a friend to keep an eye on you
  • Set a limit on how many drinks you’re going to have
  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Prepare to say no if you’re offered drinks by others

If you are an abusive relationship, drugs and alcohol can make an unhealthy situation worse. Abusive partners may get a person drunk or high to increase their vulnerability. Emotions may be stronger or change quickly and a bad situation may escalate more quickly. It may be harder to take action to escape a bad situation (because you/your ride are unable to drive, it’s difficult to remember your safety plan, etc.).

Further, abusive partners frequently do not accept responsibility for their actions and blame drugs or alcohol for their unhealthy behavior. Drugs and alcohol do affect a person’s judgment and behavior, but they are not a reason for violent behavior.

Watch out for these common excuses:

  • “I didn’t mean what I said. I was drunk.”
  • “I would never hit you sober.”
  • “Drinking turns me into a different person. That’s not who I really am.”

It’s important to remember that when a person is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, their actions still reflect their personality. If someone is violent when they are drunk or high, it’s probably just a matter of time until they are abusive when they’re sober.

Credited: Love is Respect. 

Addiction is another very serious health risk associated with the use of alcohol or other substances. Addiction is a primary, progressive, chronic and potentially fatal disease. Some people think addiction is about a lack of willpower — that someone with a drug or alcohol problem simply doesn’t want to get better and could easily quit if they really tried. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Addiction is far more complex and less forgiving than many people realize.

Signs and symptoms of addiction may include:

  • Drinking or using substances for the relief of withdrawal symptoms
  • Increased tolerance or reverse tolerance (drug sensitization)
  • Feeling guilt, shame or remorse (as a result of behavior while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs)
  • Anxiety, depression, or other mental health diagnosis
  • Concern from family and/or friends about drinking or drug use
  • Decline in work performance or loss of interest in hobbies and daily activities
  • Inability to remember what happened when drinking (blackouts)
  • Financial difficulties including making sacrifices for the purchase of drugs
  • Having problems with the law through increasingly risky behaviors and impaired judgment
  • Denial or not being aware that a problem exists
  • Much time dedicated to the use of a substance (obsession)
  • Use that continues despite known health problems that have developed from use

Credited: Start Your Recovery.