Alcohol and Other Drugs
Here at The Well, we want you to be informed and educated about substances so that you can make the safest and healthiest choices around your personal choice whether or not to use a substance. All drugs have associated risks. On our site, you can check out the facts about a variety of substances, like alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, opioids or stimulants, debunk some common myths, and read our answers to the questions we are most asked by students.
How can I request a presentation on these topics?
Did you know? Most Rams either don’t drink, drink on 0-5 days per month, and stick to between 0-3 drinks when they party or socialize.1
Rams do a lot of things to keep safety in mind if they choose to use alcohol, like "Herding Up" to stay safer. 95% of Rams who drink watch out for the safety of their friends.2 Check out these other safety tips that can help you stay safer if you choose to go out. 99% of Rams use at least one of these strategies, most use at least 5! What's your party plan?
- Choose not to drink
- Count your drinks and know your limit
- Use a designated driver, Lyft, or Uber and ride with a friend
- Eat before and/or during drinking
- Alternate alcohol with non-alcoholic drinks
- Stay with the same group of friends and watch out for each other
- Stick to one standard drink per hour
- Avoid mixing alcohol with other substances
You can also review VCU’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy to make sure you are informed about the laws governing substance use here at the University.
There is no obvious “healthy” or “unhealthy” relationship with substances, but it is dependent on how the use of them is impacting a person’s life. Here are some questions you might ask yourself about your relationship with substances:
- Have you ever felt the need to cut down or stop your use of substances?
- Have you ever made and broken promises to yourself about controlling your use? (“I won’t buy any more JUUL pods”, “I won’t drink liquor, only beer or wine” or “I’ll only use on the weekends”)
- Do you and your friends usually use before, during, or after social activities?
- Have you found yourself feeling irritated or angry with friends or family when they suggest you cut down or stop using?
- At times when you’ve gotten into trouble, have you been using substances?
- Do you often use substances when you’re alone?
- Do you ever forget things you did when you were using?
- Is substance use one of your primary coping strategies?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be worth exploring your relationship to substances. Email email@example.com to learn more about available supports.
It can be challenging to know what to do when concerned about a loved one. Take a look at our page on helping family members or friends. A helpful approach is to express your concern, without judgement or shaming, and point out the changes that you have seen in their behaviors. Empathy and compassion can go a long way. Our Recovery Ally training provides tools and skills to help people recognize and advocate for those who may be struggling with substance use. We also encourage everyone to receive the REVIVE! naloxone training to be prepared in the event of an opioid overdose.
We are here to support you and recovery is possible. Whether your goal is to stop using substances, reduce your use, or reduce the harm associated with it, we can help. Come to The Well for one of our recovery meetings, make an appointment for recovery or harm reduction coaching, or contact University Counseling Services to access treatment services. We will help connect you to what you need. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.