Alcohol and Drug Use

Drug and alcohol use, misuse, and abuse are complex behaviors with many outcomes at both the cultural and the individual levels. Awareness of the dangerous effects of drug/alcohol use is imperative for an individual's well-being or survival. Negative consequences of drug/alcohol may be exhibited through: physical dependence (the body's learned requirement of a drug for functioning) or psychological dependence (the experiencing of persistent craving for the drug and/or a feeling the drug/alcohol is a requirement for functioning).

Abuse of any drug/alcohol whether licit or illicit may result in marginal to marked, temporary to permanent physical and/or psychological damage, even death. Since many of the illicit drugs are manufactured and sold illegally, their content varies and may contain especially harmful ingredients or amounts. Regardless of the types of drug/alcohol utilized, a perceived need for the continued use is likely to ensue, resulting in dependence. Dependence on drugs and/or alcohol alters the user's psychological functioning. The acquisition of drugs and alcohol becomes the primary focus of the drug dependent individual and often results in reduced job performance and jeopardized family and other interpersonal relationships. Criminal behavior is frequently the means for financing a drug habit. Behavior patterns often include violence and assault as the individual becomes increasingly drug/alcohol dependent. Social and psychological alienation and medical problems increase as the abuser becomes entrapped in drug/alcohol dependence. For more information on drug/alcohol counseling and referrals, please contact the Counseling Office at your campus.