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Substance Use

Monitoring Your Usage

You don’t have to believe you “have a problem” or are addicted, to pay attention to your substance use. There are numerous reasons to what you are doing and how much you are using. A lot of students report considering cutting back when they have had negative consequences, like OSARP or legal charges, blacking out, using alcohol or drugs as a primary way to cope, or using more than they would like.

Sometimes students reduce their use after someone has expressed concern or they used to enjoy using socially, but it’s not as fun as it once was. Everyone you ask has their own definition of what is normal or what is problematic substance use. You need objective information that’s relevant to you. There’s no way to make accurate decisions about using without good information. There are free on-campus, confidential alcohol and marijuana screenings. You can also do an online assessment. Those are two good places to start to accurately assess your use, and if you are interested, learn about some strategies to reduce risk.


There’s a good chance that you will see the negative effects of college drinking, even if you don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol is involved with numerous college student injuries, deaths, assaults, sexual abuses, academic problems, and health concerns every year. It also plays a role in mental health concerns. Not only do people drink to cope with a variety of mental health symptoms, but chronic, high-risk alcohol use can create mental health symptoms and result in numerous negative consequences.

It’s good to know strategies for reducing your consumption. If you are in recovery or want support while at JMU, there is a campus AA meeting and community meetings in the area. Don’t forget to schedule your free, on-campus, confidential alcohol screening to obtain more information


People have a lot of opinions about marijuana and it’s often difficult to the facts from personal opinions and myths. There are a lot of beliefs about the use of marijuana and mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression. It’s important to understand the research on marijuana and how it impacts mental health. See the infographic below for more information about that topic. Don’t forget to schedule your free, on-campus confidential marijuana screening to obtain more information.

Marijuana and Mental Health
Marijuana and Mental Health

Substance Use Resources