Student Handbook


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol affects every organ in the drinker's body. Intoxication can impair brain function and motor skills; heavy use can increase risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver and heart diseases. Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a diagnosable disease characterized by a strong craving for alcohol, and/or continued use despite harm or personal injury. Alcohol abuse, which can lead to alcoholism, is a pattern of drinking that result in harm to one's health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work. Additional health risks of alcohol include increased risk of injuries, violence, fetal damage (in pregnant women), depression, neurologic deficits, hypertension, and fatal overdose.

Also according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, varieties of significant health risks are associated with the use of illicit drugs. Some of these health risks are as follows:

Marijuana: frequent respiratory infections, possible mental health decline, and addiction.

Opioids (such as heroin and opium): constipation, endocarditis, hepatitis, HIV, addiction, and fatal overdose.

Stimulants (such as cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine): weight loss, insomnia, cardiac or cardiovascular complications, stroke, seizures, and addiction.

Club drugs (such as methylenedioxy- methamphetamine/ecstasy, flunitrazepam/roofies, GHB): sleep disturbances, depression, impaired memory, hyperthermia, unconsciousness, seizures, coma, and addiction.

Depressants (such as barbiturates, sleep medications, Xanax and Valium): lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing, tolerance, withdrawal, addiction, increased risk of respiratory distress and death when combined with alcohol, irritability, and life-threatening withdrawal in chronic users.

Anabolic steroids: hypertension, blood clotting and cholesterol changes, liver cysts, hostility and aggression, acne, in adolescents - premature stoppage of growth, in males - prostate cancer, reduced sperm production, shrunken testicles, breast enlargement, in females - menstrual irregularities, development of beard and other masculine characteristics.

Inhalants: cramps, muscle weakness, depression, memory impairment, damage to cardiovascular and nervous systems, unconsciousness, and sudden death.