Dos and Don’ts: Drugs and Alcohol
Monday, September 5, 2022
Life is full of decisions.
Should you eat pizza or salad? Go out or stay home and study? Go to bed or continue scrolling through TikTok?
We’ll admit that some decisions are easier than others. There might come a point in college where what seemed like the right choice at the time is no longer the right choice. Remember: With freedom comes responsibility.
Before you roll your eyes and close the tab…
Hear us out. You might learn something.
We’re talking about those awkward topics like accidentally drinking too much, or the circumstances that lead to you taking a friend's prescription Adderall before an exam, or popping Oxycodone or Xanax at a party.
While the characters from Euphoria seem to somewhat function under the influence of drugs and alcohol day in and day out, that's just not reality.
Whether you’re new to campus or a graduating senior, these are a few things you should know before you take that shot.
Oklahoma State is a DRY campus
So if you choose to drink off-campus, make SMART choices.
Those under 21 DON’T get to “choose” the off-campus option. But there are plenty of things to do around Stillwater.
HINT: If you choose to drink underage, you’re looking at Underage in Possession charges,
among others. Misdemeanors at the very least are expensive.
HINT HINT: There is such a thing as a Social Host Law. Meaning, if people under 21 are gathered and drinking on private property, the person who provides the location is considered the “social host” and will be held accountable.
Understand the risks
Know the signs of alcohol poisoning and drug overdose. They can be lethal.
Signs of Alcohol Poisoning
- Individual is unresponsive
- Individual cannot stand unassisted
- Individual won’t wake up
- Individual’s breathing is slow
- Individual can have either flushed or pale blue/gray toned skin
- Individual may vomit while passed out
- You should never leave someone who is suffering from any of these signs unattended.
These are not only signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning, but can also indicate a drug overdose. IF the individual has consumed any legal or illegal opiates, administer Narcan if available to possibly reverse an opioid overdose. Narcan works by blocking the effects of opiates on the brain and by restoring breathing. Narcan will only work if a person has opiates in their system. It will not work with other drugs or alcohol.
What is Narcan?
Narcan is a nasal spray that can be used in an emergency situation to reverse a drug overdose. OSU is the recipient of a Higher Education Prevention Services grant. As part of this grant, you can request Narcan nasal spray for free here. We hope the time won’t come when you need it, but watch this video and be prepared if you find yourself in the situation.
Even Fez (HBO’s Euphoria, Season 1) knew to have Narcan on hand in the midst of a drug deal, when the dealer forced Rue to use fentanyl.
Cowboys look out for each other
Also remember that an individual does not have to display any or all of these signs to be suffering from alcohol poisoning. They may appear to just be passed out. Friends don’t let friends die because they are afraid of getting into trouble. Cowboys are better than that!
In fact, did you know that OSU has a “Good Samaritan” clause in the Student Code of Conduct? Check it out!
The state of Oklahoma participates in the Medical Amnesty Initiative. This law grants intoxicated minors limited legal immunity when they seek help for themselves or another individual who is in need of immediate medical attention.
So, if you see someone who is suffering from these symptoms, DO call 911 immediately.
What about marijuana?
In case you were wondering… even though medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, it’s still illegal under federal law, which means it’s not allowed on our campus.
OSU receives federal funds so it must comply with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act.
What does that mean?
NO marijuana on campus or at any OSU sanctioned event or activity.
If you are using marijuana, always know where it is coming from. You don’t know what it could be laced with. It is also important to remember, whether you are using marijuana for medical or recreational use, if you use while drinking or using other drugs, your chances of an overdose increase.
Tips to be safe when you go out OR for when you stay in:
- Go with friends.
- Never take open drinks from a stranger.
- Always have a sober friend in your group, especially if you plan on driving home.
- By sober, we don’t mean the “least drunk.” This means selecting the most awesome pal that will take one for the team and NOT DRINK AT ALL for the evening to make certain everyone stays safe. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be the same person each time. Take turns. That’s what friends do.
- OR use a ride-share app! Know the resources available to you. It is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.
- Never take prescriptions belonging to someone else.
- NO alcohol or drugs are permitted on campus anywhere, including residence halls and fraternity or sorority houses.
- Always keep your prescriptions in a medication lock box or locked safely in a medicine cabinet.
- DO NOT mix substances and alcohol. Prescription medications and illegal drugs can be fatal when consumed with alcohol. Be mindful of the ways alcohol interacts with various medications and drugs.
Cowboys, remember to keep making smart decisions. You’ve got this!