Alcohol and Marijuana: Making Informed Choices

Regardless of what choices you make about your health and substance use, understanding the outcomes and consequences of substance use may help you make decisions. Heavy use of alcohol or marijuana can result in a wide range of negative outcomes, ranging from health problems and injuries to impacting your academic or social life. Aside from that, alcohol and drug violations at SPU can lead to legal consequences or disciplinary action. According to the Student Handbook, disciplinary actions can include:

  • A warning
  • Written Reprimand
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Suspension
  • Dismissal

Students can make a wide range of choices about using alcohol or marijuana. Some completely abstain from use, some choose to use in moderation or only occasionally, and others use alcohol and marijuana heavily. For those who choose to use alcohol or marijuana, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of negative consequences or getting into risky situations:

  • Take steps to be safe while drinking or using marijuana:
    • Make a plan before you go out
    • Make sure you know what you are drinking or using, and don’t accept it if you don’t know what’s in it
    • Stay away from drinks that mix alcohol and energy drinks
    • Know how to count you drinks accurately – Count standard drinks instead of the number of containers
    • Find a safe ride home – a designated driver, public transit, or a ridesharing service

  • Know the signs of intoxication:
    • Alcohol: glassy or bloodshot eyes, loss of coordination or balance, slurred speech, lower inhibitions, and changes in mood, including irritability or euphoria
    • Marijuana: dry mouth, red eyes, impaired perception and motor skills, decreased short term memory, sleepiness or euphoria, and paranoia
  • Know the signs of alcohol poisoning and call for help when needed:
    • Mental confusion or unresponsiveness
    • Vomiting
    • Seizures
    • Slow or Irregular breathing
    • Low body temperature, bluish skin color, paleness
    • Do not wait for all of these symptoms to be present, call 911 or campus safety for help (206-281-2911)

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