Division of Student Affairs > Support Services > Health & Wellness > Alcohol & Substance Abuse Prevention > Cannabis

Cannabis

While alcohol has long been the most commonly used drug among college students, cannabis use has moved up to the number two spot (Monitoring the Future Survey, 2015). Health Promotion and Wellness want to engage students in discussion and education around cannabis in order to empower students with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Contact Health Promotion and Wellness at hpw@depaul.edu to join the conversation!

Intervention and Support for Cannabis Use

BASICS for Cannabis is provided to any student on an individual basis, and sometimes BASICS is mandated for students who have violated the alcohol and/or drug policies of Code of Student Responsibility. BASICS is also offered to students who may benefit from learning more about their use/misuse. BASICS is an effective, holistic, and evidence-based intervention for helping students reduce risky behaviors and typically involves two one-hour individual sessions. In the sessions, students will learn helpful information related to safety around substance use/misuse, including effects of alcohol or cannabis in the body, drug interaction risks, and harm reduction strategies. While BASICS was originally created to focus on alcohol, HPW offers a similar process that focuses more on cannabis.

Choices for Cannabis is a group session that facilitates discussion around cannabis from a variety of perspectives. Students will engage in conversations around the culture of cannabis use, challenge myths and facts, and learn more about the impact on the body and harm reduction strategies to practice safety.

Cannabis Frequently Asked Questions

Is cannabis addictive?

  1. Yes, like other drugs cannabis interacts with your brain's reward system that can lead to both physical and psychological dependence.
  2. Read more here.

What is cannabis withdrawal?

  1. If a person is dependent on cannabis​​, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug. Common symptoms include:
    • Increased irritability
    • Increased anxiety
    • Disrupted appetite
    • Disrupted sleep
    • Physical discomforts (i.e. headaches, restlessness)
  2. Thinking of cutting down your use? Contact Katie Bellamy​ to talk about some tips and other available resources that can help!​

Does cannabis help me sleep?

Similar to alcohol, cannabis​ ​may help you fall asleep; however, it can interrupt healthy sleep cycles, causing you to feel (NIDA, 2012):

  • More tired during the day
  • More anxious, or irritable
  • Overall more fatigued

Does cannabis help with anxiety?

  1. While many students share that using cannabis helps ease their anxiety, it may also be a contributing factor if you are experiencing cannabis withdrawal (see above).
  2. If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety, it may help to talk with someone to learn more about what tools and strategies are available to help. Reach out to Katie Bellamy in Health Promotion and Wellness or you can contact University Counseling Services to learn more.

Is cannabis stronger than it used to be?

The potency of cannabis has increased from 4% in 1995 to 12% in 2014 (3x more potent in approximately 20 years) (NIH). ​

If I have a medical card, can I have cannabis on campus?

I am a campus employee (staff, faculty, student employee) and am over 21; can I use cannabis?

  • Read more about DePaul University's Drug-Free Workplace and Legal Drinking Age Compliance Policy
  • Reminder that having or using cannabis on campus is never allowed, regardless of your age or the amount. Off campus in Illinois, cannabis use is still illegal for anyone under age 21. Read up on the law here.
  • If you are an employee seeking help with your cannabis use/misuse, reach out the Employee Assistance Progam here.

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Why can’t I smoke on campus if cannabis is legal in Illinois?

a. Because cannabis is federally illegal, all campuses must comply with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act that does not allow cannabis, medicinal or recreational, on school property.
b. Read more about DePaul University's Drug-Free Workplace and Legal Drinking Age Compliance Policy
c. Reminder that having or using cannabis on campus is never allowed, regardless of your age or the amount. Off campus in Illinois, cananbis use is still illegal for anyone under age 21. Read up on the law here.

More Info on Cannabis

  • Quick Contacts

    • DePaul Publi​c Safety (Available 24/7)
      LPC: 7730.325.7777
      Loop: 312.362.8400
    • Chicago Police
      For Emergencies - Call 911
    • Substance Misuse Prevention Specialist 
      Office of Health Promotion & Wellness
      Lincoln Park Student Center, Suite 302
      2250 N Sheffield Ave.
      773.325.7129
      hpw@depaul.edu
    • Alcohol & Drug Abuse Action Helpline
      1.800.662.4357
    • Dean of Students Contact
      Lincoln Park Student Center, Suite 307
      2250 N. Sheffield Ave.
      773.325.7290