The Alcohol & Other Drug Committee

Health Risks

Health risks associated with alcohol and drugs are more than likely widely known among the majority of traditional-aged college students. However, given the evolving nature of research concerning health risks and the emergence of synthetic drugs and stronger versions of well established drugs, the health risks below should be reviewed and understood as general, non-specific risks that are intended to promote further education and discussion.

  • Decrease in judgment, motor coordination and balance
  • Decrease in the ability to learn and store information due to inadequate REM stage sleep
  • Increased likelihood of physical assault and unwanted/unprotected sexual activity
  • Increased likelihood to miss class after a night of drinking compared to someone who is not drinking
  • Increased rates of depression and anxiety for habitual users
  • Increased rates dehydration and the suppression of the body's immune system
  • Increased risk of liver, lung, and heart related illnesses and cancers

While long-term physical and physiological effects of alcohol and drug use on the body is generally consistent, the affects of alcohol and drug use on academic and personal life vary widely from student to student. Along with external resources, the AOD Committee is committed to providing resources to students who need help assessing their own alcohol and drug usage and to students who need help with an ongoing alcohol or drug addiction.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a bevy of fact sheets about the proven risks associated with alcohol use among college-aged students. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) offers a wide array of science-based information about the effects of the use of various drugs can have on health and academic life, as well as a recent (March, 2013) study on the lasting effects of marijuana on the brain. The NIDA website also includes information on other drugs, including prescription drugs, synthetic drugs, steroids and tobacco, all of which are commonly abused by traditional-aged college students.

If you or a friend needs help for alcohol- or drug-related issues, please contact the College's Wellness Center's Counseling Services or at (630) 617-3565.

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