Student Counseling Center

blurred picture of cigarette and glasses of alcohol

Alcohol/Drug Effects

Every year there is a total of over $100 BILLION loss to industry due to substance abuse. Alcohol is the most frequently used and abused drug on the job. Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

Effects of Controlled Substances

Tobacco:

Possible Effects - The primary active ingredient in tobacco is nicotine. Nicotine is a very toxic substance widely used as an insecticide. It is a highly addictive stimulant which increases the metabolic rate.

Narcotics:

Possible Effects - Euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils and nausea. Effects of Overdose - Slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and possible death. Withdrawal Syndrome - Watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, irritability, tremors, panic, cramps, nausea, chills and sweating.

Depressants:

Possible Effects - Slurred speech, disorientation, and drunken behavior without odor of alcohol. Effects of Overdose - Shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death. Withdrawal Syndrome - Anxiety, insomnia, tremors, delirium, convulsions, and possible death.

Stimulants:

Possible Effects - Increased alertness, excitation, euphoria, increased pulse rate and blood pressure, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Effects of Overdose - Agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucination, convulsions, andpossible death. Withdrawal Syndrome - Apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability, depression, and disorientation.

Hallucinogens:

Possible Effects - Illusions & hallucination, poor perception of time and distance. Effects of Overdose - Longer, more intense "trip" episodes, psychosis, possible death. Withdrawal Syndrome - Withdrawal symptoms not reported.