Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program

Health Risks Associated with Drugs and Alcohol Use and/or Abuse

Numerous health risks have been identified with substance abuse (use of illicit drugs and excessive use of alcohol). Abusers can lose resistance to disease, develop heart problems, contract infections, or become malnourished, physically exhausted, and even die.

Reality is often distorted, reactions may be slower, and the risk of accidents can increase. Extended substance abuse can cause coma, respiratory arrest, and convulsions. Injected drugs increase the risk for infectious diseases such as hepatitis and AIDS. Body systems are affected. The liver, lungs, and heart are damaged.

For women, there is an increase in birth defects associated with use during pregnancy.
The Student Services office located in the College Welcome Center (CWC) has more in-depth information on the inherent health risks related to substance abuse.

See tables that highlight health risk factors.

Risk Factors 1


Risk Factors 2


Risk Factors 3


Risk Factors 4


Risk Factors 5


Information adapted from U.S. Department of Justice-publication Drugs of Abuse (website September 2009)