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Health Promotion and Wellness

Drug Use and Health

Drug use and abuse can negatively impact a student’s ability to perform academically, as well as subject a student to institutional and legal consequences that may threaten success. Abstaining from using drugs is the only way to completely protect oneself from these risks.

The College encourages all students who use drugs to seek appropriate assistance. The College provides alcohol and drug abuse information, education, or referral services to help meet individual needs and to assist in times of crisis. The Counseling Service, Student Health Service and Health Promotion and Wellness Service are available to all students for confidential alcohol or drug-related consultation, whether or not those students are covered under the College health insurance program.

Students should also be aware of the College Policies regarding drug possession and use.

The health risks of drug use can be severe, especially with excessive or prolonged use. The following resources detail some of the health risks associated with various recreational drugs:

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Commonly Abused Drugs

Vaults of Erowid

Marijuana 101

Marijuana is the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp (cannabis) plant. Marijuana contains more than 400 chemical compounds, 61 of which are psychoactive. The most widely-studied chemical component in marijuana is THC. THC is rapidly absorbed by the fatty tissues in various organs. The amount of THC stored in the body after use depends on the frequency of use.

Marijuana affects people differently, and social and situational factors can change how an individual responds to marijuana. Some of the factors that contribute to a person’s response to the drug include:

  • the user’s previous experience with the drug
  • user expectations
  • type and amount of marijuana consumed
  • how it is taken
  • the user’s environment and surroundings
  • whether the user has consumed alcohol and other drugs

There are a number of health effects associated with marijuana use, and some can be particularly of concern for students. Some of the health effects of use include:

  • increased heart rate
  • disrupted sleep patterns
  • impaired cognitive function
  • loss of motor coordination

  • respiratory problems

Note: Although medical and recreational use of marijuana is legal under certain circumstances in the state of Oregon, it is still prohibited under College policy.