Campus Safety & Welfare

Resources for Faculty, Staff and Parents

Depressed Suicidal Overanxious Grieving Self-Injury
Disruptive Aggressive Threatening Eating Problems Bipolar
Irrational Under the Influence Stalking Relationship Violence Sexual Assault
*All linked information from the Reaching Out Handbook: Resources for Responding to Students in Distress used with permission from Boise State University's Health Services.


 

THE STUDENT UNDER THE INFLUENCE

 

Alcohol is the most widely-used psychoactive drug and the preferred drug on college campuses.  It is common to find that students who abuse alcohol are also abusing other drugs, both prescription and illicit.  Fads and peer pressure affect patterns of use.  Binge drinking, defined as five drinks in a row for men, and four for women, is popular and can quickly become lethal.  Other adverse effects of alcohol consumption include:  hangovers, hospitalization for alcohol overdose, poor academic performance, class absences, injury, and unprotected sexual activity.  Alcohol is the most common drug used by sexual predators to incapacitate victims and perpetrate sexual assault.

The effects of alcohol abuse are well known to most of us.  Faculty often recognize substance abuse problems when a student's irresponsible, unpredictable behavior affects the learning situation (e.g., drunk and disorderly conduct in class), or when a combination of the health and social impairments associated with alcohol or drug abuse sabotages student performance.

Be aware that substance abuse may result in overly aggressive behavior.  In such cases, remain calm and get help if necessary (send a student for a staff person, faculty member, department chair, or security officer).  Stay safeby retaining access to a door, knowing whom to call (University Police -- 406-994-2121, for emergencies call 911), and keeping furniture (e.g., a desk) between you and the student.  Do not threaten, corner, or touch the student.

 

HELPFUL ACTIONS

UNHELPFUL ACTIONS

  •  Privately confront the student about the specific, observed behavior that concerns you.
  •  Conveying judgment or criticism of the student's substance abuse.
  •  Offer support and concern for his or her well-being.
  •  Making allowances for the student's irresponsible behavior.
  • Suggest the student talk with someone about these issues and maintain contact with the student after a referral is made. 
  •  Ignoring signs of intoxication in the classroom.
 
  •  If the behavior continues, consult with your department head and the Office of the Dean of Students at 406-994-2826.

*The above may be helpful only when the student is sober again. 

If there is immediate risk to life or property, call 911 or University Police at (406) 994-2121.