2017-2018 Student Handbook

Dangerous Effects of Alcohol and Drugs

  1. Alcohol dangers include:
    • loss of concentration and judgment leading to dangerous or problem behavior;
    • loss of work time or lateness, increasing the workload and stress on others; and
    • inability to deal realistically with problems, often hiding them until they are almost impossible to solve.
  2. Drug dangers include:
    • making you feel able to handle tasks that are too much for you, or making you careless and likely to forget important safety steps you need to take;
    • throwing off your sense of time, space and distance; causing lateness and absenteeism, increasing the workload of others;
    • causing crime, including theft of your personal belongings or College property, to finance someone else's drug habit; and
    • causing major errors in work, risking harm to others along the way.
  3. Dangers of specific drugs:
    • Marijuana (grass, pot, weed) slows your physical reflexes, cuts your mental powers, makes you forgetful, throws off space and judgment. Personal dangers include damage to lungs, reproductive organs, and brain functions.
    • Cocaine (coke, crack, freebase, rock, snow) causes a temporary feeling of almost superhuman power, impairing judgment and decision-making ability; it causes emotional problems, mood swings and lack of dependability. It is expensive and often the cause of crime. Personal dangers include damage to the respiratory and immune systems, malnutrition, seizures, and loss of brain function. Lower-cost forms such as crack are especially addictive, making all other effects worse.
    • Heroin (H, horse, junk) causes total disinterest in safety, or in anything else except drugs, making a person dangerous and a weak link in any team; high cost of addiction leads to crime; dirty needles and other paraphernalia spread disease. Personal dangers include damage to personal productivity and relationships, overdose-caused coma and death. Heroin is addictive, even in small amounts, and withdrawal is painful and difficult.
    • Hallucinogens (designer drugs, ecstasy [MDMA], LSD, PCP) vastly distort what is seen and heard, so that dangerous situations are caused or overlooked; bring about sudden, bizarre changes in behavior that can include attacks on others. Rebound effects such as loss of concentration and memory or behavior problems can occur even when the dose has worn off. Personal danger due to frequent use can be the permanent loss of mental function.
  4. Legal drugs, dangerous if abused:
    • Amphetamines (speed, uppers) can make you rush around wildly and carelessly, pushing yourself beyond your physical capacity.
    • Sedatives (downers) slow your mental processes and reflexes and are very dangerous in any position requiring alertness. Personal dangers of abusing these "legal" substances, including alcohol, range from disrupting family relationships to serious health problems, including liver and kidney damage.