Health Effects

Health Effects

Substance use can contribute to a number of problems, including those that impact one’s health and wellness. These problems can include both short-term and long-term effects, as well as direct and indirect effects. Possible impacts may include, but are not limited to, developing a substance abuse disorder, organ damage, increased risk of accidents, triggering or worsening psychiatric conditions, and risk of health complications that can be worsened by mixing drugs or medications. Misusing substances poses potential risks including:

Substance Possible Impacts Include
Alcohol Lowered inhibitions; impaired judgment, reaction, and coordination; distortion of vision and hearing; blackouts; increased risk of injury; damage to organs, including the liver and neurological system; unconsciousness; coma; risk overdose and death; addiction
Amphetamines Increased heart rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure; loss of appetite;  hallucinations; psychosis; restlessness; irritability; anxiety; addiction
Tranquilizers and benzodiazepines (such as Xanax) Slurred speech; dizziness; decreased motor control; memory issues; risk of seizure (withdrawal); possible psychosis; depression; risk of overdose and death; addiction
Club drugs (MDMA or “ecstasy”, GHB) Lowered inhibitions; decreased heart rate; muscle spasms; confusion; memory loss; organ failure; seizures; death; addiction
Cocaine Increased blood pressure, respiration rate, and heart rate; anxiety; paranoia; hallucinations; hostility; convulsions; sleep disturbance; seizure; heart attack; stroke; organ damage; death; addiction
Ketamine Hallucinations; impaired memory; impaired attention; impaired motor function; high blood pressure; depression; convulsions; confusion; muscle rigidity; addiction
LSD (“Acid”) Changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature; insomnia; tremors; changes in visual acuity; mood changes; panic/anxiety; psychosis; addiction
Marijuana (including edibles, concentrates, wax, etc.) Sensory distortion; lowered inhibitions; impaired judgement, coordination, and motor movements; anxiety; paranoia; respiratory ailments; depression of immune system; increased risk of lung cancer (if smoked); negative impacts on memory and motivation; changes in personality; addiction
Opiates (Heroin, Morphine, prescription pain killers including Fentanyl, Codeine, Percocet, etc.) Flushing of skin; dry mouth; slowed breathing; muscular weakness; loss of appetite; lethargy; weakened immune system; organ damage; pulmonary complications; coma; death; addiction
PCP Memory loss; difficulty with speech; depression; numbness; decreased respiration; decreased coordination; psychotic behaviors; nausea; delusions; paranoia; violent outbursts; addiction
Psilocybin (“Mushrooms” ) Nausea; distorted perceptions; paranoia; anxiety; confusion; memory loss; shortened attention spans; flashbacks
Steroids Increased acne and oily skin; increased blood pressure; cholesterol imbalance; excess hair growth; premature fusions of long bones; atrophy of reproductive organs; fertility issues/impotence; stroke; heart failure; organ damage; addiction

For more information on the effects of substance use, please visit the Drug Enforcement Agency website at


For more information about Fentanyl and its effects, please visit the Drug Enforcement Agency website at


In addition to complying with state and federal statutes and regulations, the University has a desire to identify and control, to the extent possible, environmental factors that influence the health and safety of members of the academic community. These factors include efforts to prevent and minimize possible problems related to alcohol and other drug use.