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Substance Abuse Prevention, Intervention, & Recovery


The University Health Center works to increase knowledge and awareness of alcohol and other drug issues, and promoting the use of protective strategies to reduce negative consequences associated with high-risk drinking and illegal drug use.

The UHC supports peer education and provides consultation to ensure that substance abuse prevention programs are evidence-based, comprehensive and coordinated across the university.

  • AlcoholEdu - Two-part evidence-based online alcohol prevention program required for all first-year students that empowers students to make well-informed decisions, helps students better cope with the drinking behavior of peers, motivates behavior change, examines expectations about the effects of alcohol, links choices about drinking to academic and personal success, helps students practice safer decision-making, and engages students to create a healthier campus community
  • Campus Coalition on Alcohol Abuse - Coalition of students, faculty, and staff that considers effective ways to promote short and long-term programs and environmental changes that minimize underage drinking and negative consequences among students, and funding for efforts that align with its mission
  • SafeRides - Student-run, non-profit organization working to prevent drunk driving by educating the JMU community and providing free rides home for students on Friday and Saturday nights
  • G.A.M.M.A. - (Greeks Advocating Mature Management of Alcohol) Student organization promoting inter-Greek collaboration regarding the mature management of alcohol
  • Postcards from home - Pre-stamped postcards mailed to freshmen parents for them to send to their son/daughter to promote family values, expectations, and healthy choices, as these are major factors in a student’s decision to drink
  • 21st birthday postcard to parent - A postcard mailed to parents two weeks prior to their student's 21st birthday, designed to reinforce the influence parents/guardians can have on their child's decision making, and provides specific tips for parents to talk with their child about healthy celebration, alcohol expectancies, and protective strategies
  • Common Ground - Free, confidential, non-judgmental group program to connect with and engage in conversations with other students about the role of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs in their life
  • BASICS - Empathetic, confidential, non-judgmental, early-intervention program designed to help students evaluate the risks that may result from alcohol use
  • High Expectations - Empathetic, confidential, non-judgmental, early-intervention program designed to help students evaluate the risks that may result from marijuana use
  • A.A. - Alcoholics Anonymous open, young persons' meeting

The University Health Center strives to make its programs and services as accessible and inclusive as possible. Please let a staff member know if assistance is needed or the University Health Center is difficult to access for any reason.

Rethinking Drinking

Some people find it helpful to evaluate their drinking pattern. Use this online tool from the NIAAA to examine your drinking risk, pros/cons of drinking, and strategies to make change.

If you are a JMU student who would like to discuss your substance use further, please contact University Health Center Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Paige Hawkins.

Your Call

The UHC will provide students with various tools and education resources, but as adults, the decision about how much to drink is ultimately their call.

  • If you decide to drink, you'll consume much more if you're thirsty, so start with a soft drink or water. Your call
  • If you choose to drink, do so at your own pace, not someone else's. Your call
  • If you decide to drink, count your drinks accurately. A standard beer is 12 ounces. Your call
  • You don't have to drink to have a good time. Be yourself and feel good about it. Your call
  • Consider yourself a leader. Choosing not to drink may positively influence your peers who feel the same way. Your call
  • Always be yourself. Choosing not to drink still means you are a valued part of the group. Your call
  • Energy drinks can suppress the feeling of drunkenness and limit your ability to stay in control. Your call
  • Never leave a drink unattended and don't accept open beverages from someone you don't know. Your call
  • If you choose to drink, eat a good meal before you go out. Your call
  • You can be the life of the party and still remember the party. Your call
  • Free beer comes with a price. (It's called the next morning.) Your call
  • Will you still be a 10 at 11? Your call
  • Drink a soda or water between alcoholic beverages and feel better in the morning. Your call
  • Stay in control. Your call
  • Let's keep the halftime show on the field. Your call
  • It's homecoming. Make sure you come home safely. Your call
  • Too much pregame and you'll miss the game. Your call
  • Don't be the first down at the game. Your call
  • You can be the big shot without taking any shots. Your call