Alcohol and Other Drugs

The use of alcohol and other substances is often enjoyable in moderation, however, many substances can become addictive or habit-forming, and if use becomes chronic and/or excessive if may begin to affect your academics, relationships, and mental and physical health.  If you have questions or concerns about whether your own level of use is healthy, consider visiting Joshua Ellow, Alcohol and Other-Drugs Counselor & Educator at Worth Health Center or the Counseling Center for a confidential assessment or taking an anonymous online alcohol self-screening.  While there is no specific measurement to determine when substance use crosses the line from social and fun to unhealthy, the following signs may indicate that a problem exists.  The greater the number of signs on the list, the greater the concern.

Recognize

  • Difficulty controlling drinking/substance use
  • Unable to respect reasonable limits
  • Friends, family members or others expressing concerns about alcohol/substance use
  • Going to class or work under the influence
  • Being injured or causing injury to someone else as a result of substance use
  • Having legal or disciplinary problems as a result of substance use
  • Experiencing blackouts or brownouts (memory lapses) as a result of substance use
  • Substance use affecting daily functioning, e.g. class or work attendance or performance, relationships, attention, or memory
  • Doing regrettable things under the influence
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors such as drinking and driving, having unprotected sex, binge drinking, etc.
  • Often thinking about using alcohol/drugs
  • Feeling reliant on alcohol or drugs, e.g. drink in the morning, can’t go without smoking for a day, feel you need to drink or get high in certain situations

Respond

  • Treat the situation as serious
  • Use “I statements”
  • Make specific observations about the behaviors you’re concerned about, e.g. “I noticed _____ and I’m concerned because _____”
  • Encourage the student to seek help
  • Involve the student in assessing their use of alcohol or drugs. Ask them how they view their alcohol/drug use and then listen respectfully.
  • Recognize that denial is a powerful aspect of substance problems and that the student may not be ready to acknowledge that there is anything wrong.

Resources

  • CAPS (x8059)
  • CAPS On Call (24/365) (610-328-7768)

  • Joshua Ellow, Alcohol Counselor (x6152)
  • Student Health and Wellness (x8058)
  • Off Campus Resources