Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs


Did you know that excessive alcohol use is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation? Below you will find information that will help you make informed decisions about alcohol use.

What is a drink?

A standard drink is any drink that contains 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. You can typically find this in a

  • 12 ounce can of beer
  • 5 ounce glass of wine
  • 1.5 ounce of 80 proof liquor

Patterns of drinking alcohol

Binge drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks for women or 5 or more drinks for men at one time.
Heavy drinking is considered 1 or more drinks for women or 2 or more drinks for men on average.
Excessive drinking is defined as either binge drinking, heavy drinking, or both.

What are risks of high blood alcohol levels?

Having a high blood alcohol content (BAC) can lead to unintentional injuries, accidents, violence, unintended pregnancy, transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, acquaintance rape and many other dangerous situations.

Responsible Drinking

There are ways that you can drink in a responsible manner. Some suggestions for responsible drinking are:

  • “Party” without drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Pace drinking to one drink or less per hour
  • Keep track of the number of drinks you consume
  • Allow time in between drinks; pace yourself

Remember, a person who maintains a safer drink level is less likely to harm themselves or others due to drinking.

 Do not drink alcohol if you:

  • are under the age of 21
  • are feeling pressured to drink
  • might be pregnant
  • are using other drugs (prescription, over the counter or others)
  • will be driving

Health Promotion Programming offers the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) program. BASICS allows you to evaluate your alcohol use in a non-critical manner. This program is meant to help reduce risky behaviors and is not meant as therapy or substance abuse treatment. For more information on BASICS stop by the Health Promotion Programming Office, room 1180.

Choose Responsibly
Choose Responsibly is available to learn more information regarding alcohol education.



Have you tried to quit smoking? Have you tried to help a friend or loved one try to quit smoking? Would you like to learn more information on smoking or tobacco? If you have answered yes to any one of these questions, you have come to the right place! Health Promotion Programming offers information on smoking, tips on how to reduce/quit smoking as well as quit smoking kits. These kits consist of gum, mints, lollipops, stress balls, and quit smoking educational materials. Some benefits to quitting smoking include saving money, more productivity, and overall better health. The majority of the student population here at Prairie State has not used tobacco products within the last year. We work hard to make sure that the number of students using tobacco products continues to decrease.

Prairie State College enforces the Clean Air/Smoke Free Environment in alignment with the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

The American Lung Association

The American Lung Association provides information on how to quit smoking, increasing lung health, and other information on the effects of smoking to yourself and the environment.

Other Drugs

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We are pleased to announce that most Prairie State students do not use marijuana. Of those students that have used marijuana in the past, the majority have not done so within the last 30 days. Below you find resources that you may use to gain more information about marijuana and other drugs. If you have any additional questions, please stop by the Health Promotion Programming office, room 1180.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is available to help you find information about prevention, treatment, and publications for various substances.