How Drugs and Alcohol Can Affect Students:
Some students may be using drugs or alcohol to try and relieve some of the stress and pressure of college life. These students may not realize that drugs and alcohol will not actually relieve stress in the long run. Drugs and alcohol don’t solve problems, they tend to create problems or making coping with them more difficult. Drugs and alcohol can interfere with the student’s physical and mental ability. The student can be negatively affected by the use or overuse of drugs and alcohol. Substance use can have lasting effects on the brain and body. Judgment and physical abilities can be impaired, causing the student to struggle in academics, athletic performance, relationships, and responsible decision-making.
Be Safe, if you do choose to drink, be responsible
If you make the choice to drink, the best way to stay safe is to drink in moderation. The following tips are things you can do to stay safer if you decide to consume alcohol:
• Eat food before going out. Continue to snack throughout the night.
• Keep track of your drinks, know your limits and stick to them!
• Sip your drinks, rather than chugging them.
• Pace yourself to one serving per hour.
• Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
• Keep hydrated; drink water throughout the night.
• Avoid drinking games and avoid shots, this can lead to dangerous levels of intoxication.
• Keep an eye on your drink- do not leave it unattended.
• Give yourself time. The only thing that will sober you up is time- not a cold shower or coffee
Know the facts about Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning is serious and it can be fatal. To make sure you are being safe, it is important to recognize the signs of an alcohol emergency:
• Vomiting or vomiting while passed out
• Slow, shallow or irregular breathing
• Unresponsiveness or difficulty communicating
• Violent or threatening behaviors
• Cold, clammy or blue skin
• Loss of bodily control
• Difficulty standing or walking
*The above signs of an emergency are not a check list. If your friend experiences any of these symptoms after drinking alcohol, it is important that you call for help! 724-805-2911 or 911
Call for help! You will not get in trouble
Students should never hesitate to seek help for their peers’ personal welfare in drug, alcohol or other emergencies. Pennsylvania law gives an underage person a defense to prosecution for the summary offense of consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs if: The person calls 911 or alerts campus safety, police or emergency services in the good faith belief that another individual needs immediate medical help to prevent death or serious injury.
Recognizing Alcohol/Drug Problems:
Assessing a potential substance abuse problem can be difficult. Some possible signs include drastic change in behavior or appearance, frequent accidents and minor injuries, reports from other students, change in interest or energy level during practice, missing practice or workouts, or deteriorating performance.
There is help available at the Wellness Center:
Confidential counseling is available on campus. The Wellness Center does not disclose information about students unless the student has given written authorization. The only exception is in situations involving risk of imminent harm to the student or specifically identified others. The Wellness Center will discuss confidentiality with each student in more depth. The appointment is an opportunity for them to discuss their use of drugs or alcohol and get recommendations for making healthy changes in a non-confrontational setting.
Please contact the Wellness Center if you have questions or would like to consult with a counselor at 724-805-2115
There are many services available for counseling, treatment or rehabilitation for students. Students concerned about their own or another person's alcohol or other drug use are encouraged to contact the College's Wellness Center in Carey Center for confidential advice and referral.
Local Drug and alcohol treatment is available through:
- Gateway Outpatient Treatment 724-853-7300
- Strive Health of Greensburg 412-513-9891
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) 724-836-1404
- Greater Pittsburgh Al-Anon 800-628-8920
- SPHS Behavioral Health 724-532-1700
Further information on treatment programs and support groups is available from the Wellness Center 724-805-2115 and the Prevention Projects Program. Conscientious efforts to seek help for a drug or alcohol abuse problem will not jeopardize any student's record.