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


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 wants to engage students in discussion and education around cannabis in order to empower students with the knowledge to make informed decisions. Contact Kate Lower via hpw@depaul.edu to join the conversation!

BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) and Choices

BASICS 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 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 alcohol and other drugs, including effects of alcohol or marijuana 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 is a group session that facilitates discussion around alcohol from a variety of perspectives. Students will engage in conversations around the culture of drinking and alcohol, challenge myths and facts, and learn more about the impact on the body and harm reduction strategies to practice safety, if one chooses to drink.

Marijuana Frequently Asked Questions

Is marijuana addictive?

  1. Yes, like other drugs marijuana 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 marijuana, they may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using the drug. Common symptoms include:
    • Increased irritability
    • ncreased anxiety
    • Disrupted appetite
    • Disrupted sleep
    • Physical discomforts (i.e. headaches, restlessness)
  2. Thinking of cutting down your use? Contact klower@depaul.edu to talk about some tips and other available resources that can help!

Does weed help me sleep?

Similar to alcohol, marijuana 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 weed help with anxiety?

  1. While many students share that using marijuana 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 Kate Lower via hpw@depaul.edu or you can contact University Counseling Services to learn more.

Is weed stronger than it used to be?

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

If I have a medical marijuana card, can I have it on campus?

Marijuana Resources