​​Associated Health Risks

​​dose@marianuniversity.edu   Hornung Student Center 103   920-923-8530

Wellness, Health and Counseling   Regina 010  920-923-8799

The following is a partial list of drugs and the consequences of their use.  The abuse of alcohol and the use of other drugs are detrimental to the health of the user.  Further, the use of drugs and alcohol is not conducive to an academic atmosphere.  Drugs impede the learning process and can cause disruption for other students and disturb their academic interests.  The use of alcohol or drugs in the workplace may also impede the employee's ability to perform in a safe and effective manner, and may result in injuries to others.  Early diagnosis and treatment of drug and alcohol abuse is in the best interests of the employees, students, and the College itself.

Anabolic Steroids

Concerns over a growing illicit market and prevalence of abuse, combined with the possibility of long-term effects of steroid use, led Congress to place anabolic steroids into Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).  Although the adverse effects of large doses of multiple anabolic steroids are not well established, there is increasing evidence of serious health problems associated with the abuse of these agents, including cardiovascular damage, liver damage and damage to reproductive organs.  Physical side effects include elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels, severe acne, premature balding, reduced sexual function and testicular atrophy.

The CSA defines anabolic steroids as any drug or hormonal substance chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone (other than estrogens, progestins, and corticosteroids), that promotes muscle growth.  Those commonly encountered on the illicit market include: boldenone (Equipoise), ethylestrenol Maxibolin), fluoxymesterone (Halotestin), methandriol, methandrostenolone (Dianabol), methyltestosterone, nandrolone (Durabolin, Deca-Durabolin), oxandrolone (Anavar), oxymetholone (Anadrol), stanozolol (Winstrol), testosterone and trenbolone (Finajet).


Three drugs that come from cannabis (marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil) are currently distributed on the U.S. illicit market.  These drugs are detrimental to the health and impair the short-term memory and comprehension of the user.  When used, they alter the sense of time and reduce the ability of the user to perform tasks requiring concentration and coordination.  They also increase the heart rate and appetite.  Motivation and cognition can be altered, making acquisition and retention of new information difficult.

Long-term users may develop psychological dependence that can produce paranoia and psychosis. Because cannabis products are usually inhaled as unfiltered smoke, they are damaging to the lungs and pulmonary system and contain more cancer-causing agents than tobacco.


Depressants produce central nervous system depression.  Depressants (i.e., barbiturates, benzodiazepines, glutethimide, methqualone, and meprobamate) can cause physical and psychological dependence that can lead to respiratory depression, coma, and death, especially when used simultaneously with alcohol.  Withdrawal can lead to restlessness, insomnia, convulsions, and even death.  Chloral hydrate, a hypnotic depressant, and alcohol constitute the infamous date rape drug or "Mickey Finn."


LSD, PCP, mescaline, and peyote are classified as hallucinogens.  Hallucinogens interrupt the brain messages that control the intellect and keep instincts in check.  Large doses can produce convulsions and coma, and heart and lung failure.  Chronic users complain of persistent memory problems and speech difficulties for up to a year after their use.  Because the drug stops the brain’s pain sensors, drug experiences may result in severe self-inflicted injuries.  Persistent memory problems and speech difficulties may linger.


The term narcotic derives from the Greek word for stupor.  Narcotic use is associated with a variety of unwanted effects, including drowsiness, inability to concentrate, apathy, lessened physical activity, constriction of the pupils, dilation of the subcutaneous blood vessels causing flushing of the face and neck, constipation, nausea and vomiting and, most significantly, respiratory depression.  With repeated use of narcotics, tolerance and dependence develop.  Users of narcotics such as heroin, codeine, morphine, and opium are susceptible to overdose that can lead to convulsions, coma, and death.


Cocaine is the most potent stimulant of natural origin.  "Crack" is the smokeable free-base form of cocaine.  These drugs stimulate the central nervous system and are extremely addictive.  They can cause psychological and physical dependency.  Stimulants can lead to dilated pupils, increased pulse rate, elevated blood pressure, insomnia, loss of appetite, paranoia, and seizures.  They can also cause death by disrupting the brain’s control of the heart and respiration.  The use of amphetamines and other stimulants can have the same effect as cocaine and cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that can result in a stroke or heart failure.  Side effects include dizziness, sleeplessness, and anxiety.  They can also lead to hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, and even a physical collapse.  Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant, whether ingested by smoking or chewing.  This drug affects the brain in six seconds and damages the lungs, decreases heart strength, and is associated with many types of cancers when ingested by smoking.  The withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, and sleep disturbances.

For additional information concerning the health risks associated with substances covered by the Controlled Substances Act, refer to the U.S. Department of Justice publication, Drugs of Abuse, 2005 edition.​