Alcohol and other drugs
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: Accordion Closed
One standard drink is equal to any of the following:
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.
77.3%of students didn’t binge drink in the past two weeks (ACHA-NCHA II 2019, n=529).
Alcohol & sleep Accordion Closed
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 Accordion Closed
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 Accordion Closed
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.
Cannabis can produce either a sense of euphoria and relaxation or feelings of anxiety, fear, distrust and panic.
Remember: Although medical and adult cannabis use are legal in the state of Arizona, cannabis is not allowed to be used or stored on campus per the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act.
80%of NAU students have not used marijuana in the last 30 days (ACHA-NCHA II 2019, n=529).
Cannabis & sleep Accordion Closed
Similar to alcohol, cannabis can interfere with REM sleep and ultimately impact students’ ability to concentrate and retain information.
Cannabis & academics Accordion Closed
Frequent cannabis use is associated with discontinuous college enrollment and has been shown to negatively impact the long-term ability to learn.
Cannabis & mental health Accordion Closed
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.
58%of NAU students have never used marijuana (ACHA-NCHA II 2019, n=529).
Risk reduction strategies Accordion Closed
- Consider delaying use until you are at least 21 – the legal age for use in Arizona.
- Plan to store and use your cannabis off-campus.
- Wait at least 6 hours to drive after use. You may need to wait up to 12 hours after using edibles.
- Avoid mixing cannabis with other substances, including alcohol and prescription drugs.
- Avoid daily and heavy use.
- Be cautious and take it slow with edibles (the onset of effects is delayed 30 – 90 minutes) and concentrates (these typically have very high amounts of THC, which is the chemical that produces the “high”).
- Avoid self-medicating sleep and/or mental health concerns with cannabis. Consult a professional healthcare provider if you are concerned about your health.
- Avoid cannabis use if you have a family history of substance use disorder or mental illness, especially schizophrenia.
- Regularly check in on your motivations to use and how your use may be impacting your life. ScreenU is a free, online tool to help you do that.
Prescription 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.