Substance Abuse (Drugs)

Overview of Substance Abuse (Drugs)

Students give many different reasons why they may use drugs, including liking the sensations obtained, peer pressure and to be apart of a group. Sometimes drugs are used to avoid difficult situations that may arise at school, work, family and friends. Others use drugs to avoid uncomfortable feelings, like anxiety or sadness. A serious problem can develop quickly, especially among college students.

Here are some common drug-related problems that students may experience:

  • Diminished academic performance
  • Conflict in intimate relationships
  • Depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • Unwanted sex, sexual coercion, or sexual difficulties
  • Indifference to appearance and behavior
  • Legal or judicial entanglements
  • Health issues, such as chronic colds or infections
  • Alienation of friends or family members
  • Financial concerns
  • Loss of interest in former hobbies or pastimes
  • Lack of pleasure from normal, positive things in life


What Can Be Done

Be Educated About the Effects of Drugs

Depending on the frequency and type of use, drugs can have severe and long-lasting effects on the body. Some drugs will cause damage after just one use, while others will hurt the body and mind more slowly. Here are some examples of possible effects different drugs can have:

  • Nicotine: diminished sense of smell and taste, smoker's cough, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, cancer, frequent colds, and chronic bronchitis.
  • Cocaine and Crack: heart attacks, strokes, respiratory failure, seizures, and reduction of the body's ability to resist infection.
  • Steroids: liver tumors, high blood pressure, hair loss, severe acne, testicular shrinking, stunted growth, and an irregular menstrual cycle.
  • Marijuana: sleeplessness, reduced concentration, paranoia, hallucinations, intense anxiety, cancer, and increased risk of infertility.
  • Inhalants: severe mood swings, suffocation, loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, liver, lung and kidney impairment, and brain damage.
  • Caffeine: sleeplessness, reduced concentration, intense anxiety, and restlessness.


How We Can Help

SHCS provides acute care, drop-in services, brief individual therapy, group therapy, and referrals for on-going therapy.  

You can schedule an intake with a counselor at North Hall by calling (530) 752-2349Acute Care drop-in services are available on the first floor of the Student Health and Wellness Center.