Negative consequences of alcohol and other drug use can mean different things to different people.

The real question is: What unanticipated negative effects on your life are you or those around you experiencing as a result of your alcohol and/or other drug use? Common negative consequences experienced by college students include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Hangovers.
  • Being late for class or missing class as a result of being hungover.
  • Getting sick or vomiting from too much drinking or drug use.
  • Being hurt or injured as a result of being too intoxicated or high.
  • Being hospitalized for alcohol and/or other drug use.
  • Blacking out or browning out.
  • Getting into verbal arguments or fights that you would not have participated in if you were sober.
  • Getting into physical fights due to alcohol or other drug use.
  • Damaging property while under the influence.
  • Having unprotected sex while under the influence.
  • Experiencing unwanted or unanticipated sexual encounters (touching, intercourse, etc.).
  • Taking advantage of someone else sexually.
  • Finding yourself in threatening or unsafe situations as a result of poor judgement while under the influence.  

The first thing affected when drinking is one's "judgement" -- which undoubtedly is part of the reason why students like to drink.  However, it can also be a contributing factor in a number of the negative consequences mentioned above.  So, the questions are, how do you find a balance?  How do you still have fun while keeping yourself safe and healthy?  These are tough questions, but they are not as difficult as they may seem.  In reality, small changes can have a BIG impact on your ability to keep yourself safe and healthy.  At First Step, students have the opportunity to talk openly and safely about the challenges involved in answering these tough questions, as well as the opportunity to develop a real-life action plan.