The use of drugs and alcohol has both physical and psychological repercussions. Such substances can interfere with memory, sensation and perception and impair the brain’s ability to synthesize information. Regular users develop tolerance and physical dependence. Psychological dependence occurs when the substance becomes central to the user’s life and decision-making. Alcohol consumption may cause a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses may significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely. Low to moderate doses of alcohol may increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including physical attacks. Moderate to high doses of alcohol may cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses may cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol may produce the effects just described. Repeated use of drugs and alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of substance intake can produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Substance withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of substances, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs, such as the brain and liver. Women who use controlled substances during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol or drug syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.
In order to promote an environment free of substance abuse, the College supports an active program of community awareness and education and also offers assistance with confidential counseling. Many of these counseling services are provided “in-house” at no charge to the student; other services are provided through direct referrals to outside service agencies and regional support network. A part-time program specialist provides education, counseling, and evaluation services related to drug, alcohol, and other substance. All services are confidential, and information will not be released without written authorization. A copy of the policy related to limits of confidentiality is available at Counseling Services. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to refer students who appear to be troubled by drug or alcohol use to Counseling Services (ext. 7261). In addition to the College’s confidential counseling services, there are several national hotlines and websites available that provide information and referral.
Health Services 410-778-7261
Counseling Services 410-778-7261
The Office of Prevention Education & Advocacy 410-778-7277
Alcoholics Anonymous www.aa.org
Marijuana Anonymous www.marijuana-anonymous.org
Children of Alcoholics Foundation www.coaf.org
Cocaine Anonymous www.ca.org
Narcotics Anonymous www.na.org
National Alcohol Abuse and Drug 24-Hour Helpline: 1 (800) 252-6465
Cocaine Abuse 24-Hour Hotline: 1 (800) 262-2463