University of Vermont

Division of Student Affairs
Think. Care. Act.
Health and Safety

Substance Abuse

The repeated use of a substance even though they are having personal distress and problems related to its use.  These problems may include: 

  • Failure to fulfill work, school and/or home obligations.  
  • Legal problems such as getting arrested for disorderly conduct.  
  • Physical harm that results from things such as falling or getting into a car accident.  
  • A person can abuse a substance without becoming addicted to it.  Addicts, however, usually have personal distress and problems with daily living that result from substance abuse in addition to more severe symptoms.

Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use

The excessive use of alcohol, improper use of controlled substances and use of illicit drugs pose significant health risks to individuals including addiction, permanent injury and death. Additional risks include the following: impairment of reflexes making the operation of vehicles or machinery dangerous; short and long-term effects from mixing alcohol with over-the-counter or prescription medications, which may include permanent damage to organs or death; negative impacts on social and emotional well-being and on education and employment; birth defects if you are pregnant; long-term health problems including liver disease, heart disease, increased risk of cancer and pancreatitis.

DO

  • Speak up
  • Take care of yourself
  • Avoid self blame

More information:

The University encourages individuals who desire education, counseling or treatment related to the abuse of alcohol or other drugs to obtain such services either through the University or in the community. The University offers educational programming related to alcohol and other drugs through the Center for Health and Wellbeing’s Livning Well Center and Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS). Counseling, referral and consultation services for abuse, misuse and/or addiction is available through CAPS. The University may, in addition to other sanctions or as a penalty for a minor first offense, require any student found responsible for violation of this policy to participate in education, consultative and/or educational programs related to drug or alcohol use.

Last modified August 18 2014 11:58 AM