Eastern University student and employee health and well being are of great importance. The University wants all students and employees to know about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and the resources that are available to them concerning education, what to do about abuse and addiction in self and others, and other general information. To this end, the University has established programming and/or resources for students and employees appropriate to their needs.
Undergraduate students are held accountable through University alcohol policies, as listed in the Student Handbook. Students who may be abusing alcohol will be confronted and offered or required to receive alcohol education, alcohol counseling or to otherwise get assistance with the problem.
Undergraduate resident students are required to participate in an annual face-to-face group alcohol awareness program administered by the residence life staff. Athletes participate in additional annual programming through the Department of Athletics and are also asked to abide by the Student Athlete Handbook which affirms and embraces the University alcohol policy and additional, more stringent alcohol policies for participating athletes. Students who self-report as needing help with a drug or alcohol addiction will be referred to appropriate resources. Students who come to the attention of the University through violation of policies will be responded to in a restorative manner when possible, and will also be held accountable for the outcomes of drug or alcohol use and abuse through the disciplinary process as outlined in the Student Handbook.
Employees are referred to the New Employee Welcome Packet for specific information on drug and alcohol education and prevention. In addition to the annual face-to-face alcohol awareness programming, students are required to review the Drug and Alcohol Use, Abuse and Resources information annually.
Alcohol & the law, violations and fines
If you are under 21 and you possess a fake ID or falsify an ID card to misrepresent your age or purchase, attempt to purchase, use, or transport alcoholic beverages, you will lose your driver’s license on the first conviction.
First offense - 90 day mandatory suspension
Second Offense - 1 year suspension
- Third Offense - 2 year suspension
You will pay a fine of up to $500.00 and it will cost $25.00 to get your license back. Your parents will be notified and, if the courts stipulate, you’ll be required to complete an alcohol education or counseling program.
Moreover, it is unlawful for any person to sell, furnish, or give any liquor, or permit any liquor to be sold, furnished, or given to any person visibly intoxicated or to any minors (persons less than 21 years of age). Violation carries a minimum $1,000.00 fine for the first offense and a $2,500.00 fine for second and further offenses. Maximum penalty: $2,500.00 and one year imprisonment.
Health Risks: Alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant that affects the heart, liver, kidneys, and brain activity.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states “harmful and underage college drinking are significant public health problems, and they exact an enormous toll on the intellectual and social lives of students on campuses across the United States.” Consequences of underage college drinking can include sexual assault, assault, academic problems, Alcohol Use Disorder, in addition to other health risks.
Short Term Health Risks
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These are most often the result of binge drinking and include the following:
- Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns.
- Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.
- Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.
- Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
- Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.
Long Term Health Risks
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:
- High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
- Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
- Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
- Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
- Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
- Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.
Health Risks: Drugs
“Drugs are chemicals that affect the body and brain. Different drugs can have different effects. Some effects of drugs include health consequences that are long-lasting and permanent.”
Drug Abuse Health Risks
Both short term and long-term health risks occur with drug abuse. Many health risks may vary depending on the type of drug and how often it is taken. Health risks can include:
- A weakened immune system, increasing the risk of illness and infection.
- Heart conditions ranging from abnormal heart rates to heart attacks and collapsed veins and blood vessel infections from injected drugs.
- Nausea and abdominal pain, which can also lead to changes in appetite and weight loss.
- Increased strain on the liver, which puts the person at risk of significant liver damage or liver failure.
- Seizures, stroke, mental confusion and brain damage.
- Lung disease.
- Problems with memory, attention and decision-making, which make daily living more difficult
- Global effects of drugs on the body, such as breast development in men and increases in body temperature, which can lead to other health problems.
Drug Abuse Effects on Behavior
All drugs impact brain chemistry affecting the limbic system and cerebral cortex. Substance use disorders can lead to short-term and long-term behavioral problem. Drug effects on behavior may include:
- Impaired Judgement
- Loss of self-control
If you need help and/or would just like to talk to someone about your own or a family member’s drinking, or if you are struggling with the decision to use drugs or alcohol and are student, call the Cushing CCAS office. Our staff will provide short-term counseling or referrals to counseling and facilitates a variety of ongoing support and therapy groups throughout the school year. The CCAS staff will refer students to an extensive network of counseling services, hospitals, or treatment centers.
We are very serious about maintaining alcohol and drug-free residence halls. We expect our students to abide by State and Federal laws (no drinking at all if you are under 21) as well as Eastern University policy. Should you choose to violate the university policies or the laws of the state or federal government concerning drugs and alcohol, you can expect to be confronted, challenged, and when warranted, disciplined. Students who believe drugs and alcohol must be a part of their college experience should not consider Eastern. In addition, parents or guardians may be informed when underage students are involved in violating our policy.
Drug and Alcohol Use, Abuse and Educational Resources
This free, confidential website lets individuals privately assess their own drinking habits and receive personalized feedback to help them determine if they need help to change those habits. Individuals can also find out about facilities in their communities that offer drug and alcohol abuse treatment and consultations with qualified health professionals regarding alcohol problems.
Al-Anon provides information on the effects of alcohol abuse and refers friends and families of alcohol abusers to nearby support groups. Al-Anon’s purpose is to help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with a relative or friend with a drinking problem. Alateen is the organization’s program for young people whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
AA offers a way to stop drinking to individuals who feel they have a problem with alcohol. AA groups are located in most cities and rural communities throughout the country. Look up “Alcoholics Anonymous” in a local telephone directory for a contact in your area.
American Council on Alcoholism
This service provides referrals to alcoholism treatment programs nationwide and distributes written materials on alcohol abuse problems.
Cocaine Anonymous provides support for people dependent on cocaine and other mind-altering substances. Callers are referred to local helplines.
This worldwide program provides support for friends and families of individuals with substance abuse problems.