Students and Alcohol/Other Drug Use
Students who use alcohol and other drugs may not only be at risk
academically, they may also be at risk for accidents and injuries, sexually transmitted
diseases, and incidents of sexual violence. There are long-term health risks associated
with drinking and using drugs over time. These risks include damage to the heart,
liver, and brain. However, it should be noted that the vast majority of health risks
occur over the course of a single evening, not after decades of abuse. A college-aged
student has a much higher risk of an alcohol or other drug-related injury caused
by a car crash, slipping or falling, or getting into a fight than developing liver
As a faculty/staff member, you have the unique opportunity to
support and make an intervention with a student.
The table below provides a list of student behaviors that may
indicate that the student is under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs.
||Signs & Symptoms
||What you can do
Student reports struggling with alcohol or other drug use (e.g. a desire to stop,
cut down, or risky behavior)
Drop in attendance/performance
Getting in trouble with
Unexplained change in personality
Lack of motivation, lethargic
Unusual hyperactivity, giddiness
Mood swings, irritability
Talk to the student and express your concerns
(1) share with them the behavior
(2) express your concern for the student’s well being,
the student resources, perhaps by walking
the student to Student
If needed, discuss what the student needs to do to be successful
in the class. If you believe alcohol or other drugs are affecting a student's behavior
in the classroom or his or her ability to succeed academically, we encourage you
to talk to the student.
Smells of alcohol
Impulsive/Talking too much
Sleeping in class
If you believe the student is currently under the influence, go to “Dangerous” behavior.
Set limits for appropriate behavior
Give the student a verbal warning that
the behavior is disruptive and state the behavior that you expect of the student;
for example, “I need you to stop the side conversations and focus on the class
discussion, if you cannot I will ask you to leave the class.”
For hygiene issues:
inform the student of how strong smells can be disruptive to the learning environment;
if necessary, dismiss the student.
For the sleeping student: wake the student up
to determine if the student is under the influence.
Any sign of being under the influence is dangerous:
Unusual smells on breath, body, clothing
Sleeping in class
larger or smaller than usual
Please note: the above behavior can be caused by the
side effects of some prescription medications or disabilities involving the Central
Nervous System. If a student reports that the concerning behavior (i.e. drowsiness)
is connected to a disability or medication, please refer them to Disability
Resources (DRD). DRD faculty provide students with guidance about how to
manage their disability.
(1) Call District Police: 527-1000
Any student who you believe is currently
under the influence is in a potentially dangerous situation because we don’t know
how much of the substance they used (e.g. blood alcohol levels continue to rise after
the last drink) and we don’t know if they are safe to travel off campus. The
college is liable when it sends students home who are known to be under the influence.
Students who are sleeping in class might be under the influence. Only District Police
has the training and the duty to assess and release students who are under the influence.
Remember: An intoxicated person is not rational. The alcohol has affected judgment
and the person may become violent and uncooperative. If a person is very intoxicated
and staggering, vomiting or passing/passed out, he/she may need emergency care.
Document the incident
(3) Consider a referral for discipline for
violating section J or K of the Student
Clinical services, health counseling and education are provided by Nurse Practitioners,
Physicians, and Medical Assistants. Screening of drug/alcohol problems and connection
with resources. Health education resources for students about alcohol and other drug
||Individual, couples, group, substance abuse, Spanish
language, and drop-in counseling provided. SPS also provides psychiatric services
for students in counseling.
||For assistance disability management and academic
|12 Step Groups
2 AA meetings at SRJC Santa Rosa Campus
|Drug Treatment Programs
Abuse Alternatives Center
Azure Acres Recovery Center
Campobello Chemical Dependency Treatment Services
Kaiser Permanente Chemical
How Frequently are SRJC Students Using Alcohol and Other Drugs?
When you hear
students making statements like, "everyone is partying," challenge this
misperception! The reality is that most students use alcohol occasionally. In 2010,
Student Health Services at SRJC participated in the National College Health Assessment
by surveying the health related behaviors of 1090 randomly sampled SRJC students.
The results showed that 25% of SRJC students sampled reported that they had never
used alcohol and 51% had never used marijuana. Likewise, 71% had not engaged in binge
drinking (defined as having 5 or more drinks in one day) in the past 2 weeks.
SRJC Students Alcohol Use: Perception versus Reality
SRJC Students Marijuana Use: Perception versus Reality
Therefore, if a student’s involvement with alcohol or other
drugs is to the point where it comes to your attention as staff/faculty at SRJC,
then the student’s behavior is of concern and warrants a referral to the resources
Warning Signs of Commonly Abused Drugs
- Marijuana: Glassy, red eyes; loud talking, inappropriate
laughter followed by sleepiness; loss of interest, motivation; weight gain or loss.
(including Xanax, Valium, GHB): Contracted pupils; drunk-like; difficulty concentrating;
clumsiness; poor judgment; slurred speech; sleepiness.
- Stimulants (including
amphetamines, cocaine, crystal meth): Dilated pupils; hyperactivity; euphoria; irritability;
anxiety; excessive talking followed by depression or excessive sleeping at odd times;
may go long periods of time without eating or sleeping; weight loss; dry mouth and
- Inhalants (glues, aerosols, vapors): Watery eyes; impaired vision,
memory and thought; secretions from the nose or rashes around the nose and mouth;
headaches and nausea; appearance of intoxication; drowsiness; poor muscle control;
changes in appetite; anxiety; irritability; lots of cans/aerosols in the trash.
(LSD, PCP): Dilated pupils; bizarre and irrational behavior including paranoia, aggression,
hallucinations; mood swings; detachment from people; absorption with self or other
objects, slurred speech; confusion.
- Heroin: Contracted pupils; no response
of pupils to light; needle marks; sleeping at unusual times; sweating; vomiting;
coughing, sniffling; twitching; loss of appetite.