Know the Risks
Substance Abuse Prevention and Education aims to curb drug and alcohol misuse and abuse by educating students and empowering them to make healthy decisions. Our harm-reduction lens does not promote or encourage the use of substances but instead equips students with information that may help aid in smart decision-making.
Know the Signs
Overdose is a serious medical event that can look different based on the substance consumed. Signs and symptoms of a depressant overdose may include shallow breathing, cold skin, vomiting, and loss of consciousness. Call 911 even if you’re unsure.
Know the Rx
Prescription drug abuse includes:
- Taking more than the written dose
- Combining prescriptions and/or alcohol
- Using someone else’s medication
- Starting or stopping any medication before consulting with your doctor
There are various ways to better your study routine and ensure success on future exams. Get adequate sleep, eat a healthy snack, take breaks, create a schedule, commit to exercising, and stay hydrated.
Naloxone Saves Lives
Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is an opioid antagonist capable of reversing an overdose from Fentanyl or other opioidergic substances. To obtain naloxone, visit your local pharmacy or attend a training held on campus each term. Learn how to administer Narcan through NEXT Distro.
Drugs Don’t Mix
Mixing drugs or combining them with alcohol increases associated risks dramatically.
- Never combine medications without consulting with your doctor.
- Never mix drugs of differing classes.
- Never combine alcohol with other depressants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you become addicted to prescription drugs like Adderall?
The short answer is yes. Adderall, like other prescription stimulants, when misused, can lead to mental and physical dependence. If you are using more than prescribed, find yourself needing additional doses to function, experiencing withdrawal symptoms, or are finding alternative ways to get it (without a doctor’s approval) these could be signs of abuse or misuse. If you feel you need substance use support services, here are a list of reliable organizations:
- SAMHSA-National Help Line 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
- UO Collegiate Recovery Center
- UO Counseling Services
Why is it such a big deal if I use a friend’s prescription stimulants (ie. Adderall, Ritalin)?
Prescription drugs are prescribed by a doctor for a specific person. Each individual is given a dosage based on age, weight, and symptoms. When someone takes a prescribed medication that is not meant for them, they are at risk of experiencing side effects or developing a dependence. Often, pharmacies provide just one months’ worth of medication at a time. Should an individual run out before their next refill, they may experience withdrawal symptoms and be forced to navigate the effects of ADD/ADHD unmedicated.
How do you safely dispose of prescription drugs?
Join SAPE for our prescription drug takeback event that happens yearly! Safely dispose of all expired or excess drugs on hand (over the counter included) in our designated bins. Safe disposal limits abuse of drugs or accidental ingestion. Safe disposal sites are available year-round in the pharmacy at University Health Services.
What is MDMA?
MDMA stands for methylenedioxymethamphetamine, better known as ecstasy or molly. MDMA is a stimulant, empathogen-entactogen and a mild hallucinogen. Reported problems from regular users include difficulty sleeping, mood fluctuations, increased depression and anxiety, poor concentration or memory, irritability, weight loss, and tremors.
What do I need to know about cocaine?
Cocaine is a stimulant, and more specifically a dopamine reuptake inhibitor. This means it prevents dopamine from being absorbed back into the synapses, causing euphoria, elevated mood, increased heart rate, and raises blood pressure. Due to its quick onset of action, cocaine has a high potential for abuse.
How common is drug use at the University of Oregon?
As with most college campuses, drug and alcohol use appears on a spectrum. Many social groups may find they rarely encounter drug use. For others it can be a nightly occurrence. Providing students with education and forums to engage in open and honest dialogue is a modern approach to reducing misuse and abuse.
Does harm reduction increase drug use?
No. Harm reduction arms people with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions regarding drugs and alcohol. For some this may look like choosing to abstain, for others it can mean safe and mindful drug use. Substance Abuse Prevention and Education does not condone or encourage underage or illicit drug and alcohol use, but we do want students to remain safe and healthy.
How do I help a friend whose substance use I’m worried about?
Common signs of substance misuse include mood swings, changes in behavior, sleep irregularities, changes in appearance or grooming habits and an increase in time spent obtaining or using substances. Letting friends know you’re concerned and available to talk is an excellent way to show support. If their substance use continues to progress, you may find yourself needing to set boundaries.
Aren’t all drugs legal in the state of Oregon?
No. In 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110 which decriminalized and reclassified to a civil violation the possession of small amounts of psychoactive substances including Schedule I drugs. When caught with narcotics, folks are now given citations and/or treatment options, rather than taken to jail. Possession of drugs on the UO campus is still against policy and may subject an individual to conduct sanctions. This includes cannabis. Additionally, the University of Oregon is a federally funded institution, which prohibits the use or possession of drugs as defined by the Drug-Free Communities and Schools Act as well as the Drug-Free Workplace Act.
If a friend is overdosing on a drug, will we get in trouble if we call for help?
Oregon Medical Amnesty law protects someone experiencing alcohol poisoning and the person who calls 911 on their behalf from receiving a minor in possession (MIP). Oregon’s Good Samaritan overdose law protects folks in the event of an overdose. If someone is overdosing and you seek medical help, neither of you can be arrested or prosecuted for possessing drugs, frequenting a place where drugs are used, or violating probation. We also recommend students familiarize themselves with the Responsible Action Protocol policy found in the UO Student Conduct Code.