As a University, the safety, health, and well-being of our students are our top priorities.
The University does not condone the illegal use of alcohol or other drugs. We aim to provide students with the information and skills necessary to make healthy decisions with regards to substance use and to foster a community where students look out for one another and act responsibly to prevent alcohol and other drug-related problems for themselves and their peers.
It is important for all students to take the time to examine their own behaviors, experiences, and motivations to ensure that they are making safe and responsible choices with regards to substance use. If you choose to drink or use other drugs, it is important to be aware of the wide range of effects that these substances have on your judgment, behavior, and health.
Effects of Mixing Alcohol with Other Drugs
Illicit drugs, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medications can interact with alcohol and with each other in harmful and unpredictable ways. Illicit drugs and prescription or over-the-counter medications can intensify or mask the effects of alcohol, thereby greatly increasing the risk for accidental overdose and death. If you have been prescribed a medication by your doctor, pay attention to the warning labels on the bottle. Many prescription medications should never be used with alcohol; these combinations are potentially lethal.
Potential Negative Consequences of Substance Use
Impaired judgement may lead to regrettable or dangerous situations. UWM students report having experienced a variety of detrimental outcomes as a result of their substance use, including illness, legal trouble, academic problems, regretted actions, high-risk sexual activity, and violence.
Those who choose to use alcohol or other drugs are not the only ones detrimentally impacted by substance use at UWM. Students report having experienced disturbances to their quality of life due to the behaviors of peers who are under the influence, such as personal property damage, being awakened or kept from studying, and being made to feel unsafe.
Safer Drinking Strategies
Recent campus survey data reveals that many UWM students choose not to drink and that many who do drink do so in a moderate and safe manner and regularly adopt safer drinking strategies. Responsible drinkers are drinkers who make decisions that do not endanger their health, personal safety, or the safety of others.
How to Recognize and Respond to an Emergency
Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning/Overdose
- Person is unconscious or semi-conscious and cannot be awakened by shaking or shouting. It may seem as if they are “sleeping it off,” but if they cannot be readily roused, it is likely that they are in danger.
- Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
- Slow or irregular breathing: less than 8 times a minute or 10+ seconds between breaths
- Vomiting while “sleeping” or passed out
What to Do in an Emergency
- Call 911 (or 9-911 from on-campus).
- Do not leave the person alone – monitor their breathing, and turn them on their side with their knees bent to prevent choking in case of vomiting
- Call for medical help when you are not sure what to do but think that a person may need help. It is always better to be safe than sorry to prevent the worst from happening; do not put yourself in a situation where you wish you had called for help but didn’t.