Student Life
Health Promotion Programming
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

Prairie State College is in support of creating an environment that promotes health and safety for all
faculty, staff, and students. Preventative and support programs - trainings, counseling, rehabilitation,
support groups, licensed and confidential assistance, and peer mentoring - are available to both
employees and students.


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
  • Keep track of the number of drinks you consume
  • Pace drinking to one drink or less per hour; allow time in between drinks

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

 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 contact Marie Hansel, DNP RN, Vice President, Academic Affairs.


The e-Checkup-to Go Alcohol and Marijuana is a brief and confidential assessment and feedback tool
designed to reduce use of alcohol abuse. The assessment takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The assessment is self-guided by the computer and requires no face-to-face contact time with a counselor or administrator. Upon completion, students may meet with an on-campus counselor to discuss their results or receive additional information that will help lower the risk of alcohol abuse.

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,as well as tips on how to reduce/quit smoking. Some benefits to quitting smoking include saving money, more productivity, and overall better health. 

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

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, contact Marie Hansel, DNP RN, Vice President, Academic Affairs.

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.