Alcohol and other drugs
Alcohol Accordion Open
If you are under 21, we encourage you to obey the law and not drink. If you are over 21 and choose to drink, we encourage you to take some steps to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Keep in mind, not all college students choose to drink and most who do drink, tend to do so in moderation. Learn more about college drinking.
Standard drink sizes:
One standard drink is equal to any of the following: 12 oz beer OR 5 oz wine OR 1.5 oz of hard liquor
Consuming five or more standard drinks in one occasion, or about two hours, is considered binge drinking for males.
Consuming four or more standard drinks in one occasion, or about two hours, is considered binge-drinking for females.
71%of students didn’t binge drink in the past two weeks (n=515).
Alcohol & sleep
Some students may think that drinking alcohol can help them sleep. In reality, alcohol can help a person fall asleep but, depending on how much alcohol is consumed, can lead to waking up in the night and can even prevent Rapid Eye Movement (REM). When this happens, attention, memory, mood and energy levels can all be affected.
Alcohol & academics
Alcohol consumption has been shown to have an impact on academic performance. The more frequently students engage in high risk drinking, the lower their GPA tends to be.
Risk reduction strategies
Find out more about specific steps you can take to maximize the fun and minimize the risk if you or your friends choose to consume alcohol.
Marijuana Accordion Closed
Marijuana is also known as pot, weed, cannabis, ganja or Mary Jane. It can produce either a sense of euphoria and relaxation or feelings of anxiety, fear, distrust and panic.
Remember: marijuana use (recreational and medicinal) is not allowed on campus under the Student Code of Conduct, nor is recreational use legal in the state of Arizona.
77%of NAU students have not used marijuana in the last 30 days (ACHA NCHA 2017 n=515).
Marijuana & sleep
Similar to alcohol, marijuana can interfere with REM sleep and ultimately impact students’ ability to concentrate and retain information.
Marijuana & academics
Frequent marijuana use is associated with discontinuous college enrollment and has been shown to negatively impact the long-term ability to learn.
Marijuana & mental health
People with a strong family history of mental health issues, especially schizophrenia, have a higher risk of experiencing mental health issues themselves due to frequent marijuana use.
59%of NAU students have never used marijuana (n=515).
Risk reduction strategies
Marijuana is not legal on any college campus due to federal regulations. Recreation marijuana use is illegal in the state of Arizona. The best risk reduction strategy for someone who chooses to use medical marijuana would be to do so off campus.
New research continues to emerge around marijuana use, leaving public health professionals behind in their ability to provide risk reduction strategies. In general, the following guidelines could be helpful for people who use marijuana for medical purposes:
- Avoid driving after using marijuana. If you have to drive, wait at least 5-6 hours before getting behind the wheel.
- Avoid mixing marijuana with other drugs, including alcohol.
- Be careful and take it slow with edibles, which tend to take much longer to create the desired effect. The delayed effect can lead to over-consumption and negative experiences, including overdose.
- Avoid marijuana use if you have a family history of mental illness, especially schizophrenia.
- Talk with a mental health professional before attempting to use marijuana to treat anxiety or sleep disorders. Marijuana could actually exacerbate these conditions.
Other drugs Accordion Closed
Prescription drug misuse is defined as using prescribed medications in a way that is not intended. This could mean taking someone else’s prescription or using your own prescription in a way that is different from the way in which it was prescribed. It is very important to take medications as they are written and to not mix medications with other drugs, including alcohol, in order to adverse potentially negative consequences, including possible dependence. Abusing prescription drugs is actually fairly uncommon among NAU students, but does pose some potential risks. Be sure to talk with your medical provider if you have questions about your prescription drugs.
Learn more about campus drug prevention.
There are plenty of ways to keep yourself and your prescriptions safe:
- Only use prescription medications as directed by your healthcare professional.
- Never share your prescription medications with others or use someone else’s prescription medications.
- Always store your medications securely to prevent others from taking them, and properly dispose of medications that you no longer need.
- Research has found that using unprescribed drugs does not improve academic performance or GPA. There are many safe and healthy ways to do better in your classes: study groups, tutoring, relaxation techniques, getting enough sleep, time management, and more!
- Many people don’t know that using prescription drugs without a prescription can be unsafe – be a good example to those around you by modeling these safe medication-taking practices.