Division of Student Affairs > Student Services > Health & Wellness > Alcohol & Substance Misuse Prevention > Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drugs

Taking someone else’s prescription medication, taking more of your own than is prescribed, and using recreationally or to achieve a high all fall under the category of “misuse” with prescription drugs.
Generally, prescription drugs may fall into the following categories:

  • Opioids - used to relieve pain, such as Vicodin®, OxyContin®, or codeine
  • Depressants - used to relieve anxiety or help a person sleep, such as Valium® or Xanax®
  • Stimulants - used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall® and Ritalin®

Health Risks

Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to negative health effects, including dangerous disruptions in mood, slowed or quickened heart rate (depending on the type), slowed breathing, slowed pulse, paranoia, seizures, addiction, overdose, and even death. Learn more here.

Intervention and Support

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 the 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 alcohol and other drugs in the body, drug interaction risks, and harm reduction strategies. While BASICS was originally created to focus on alcohol, HPW offers BASICS in a holistic way to address any and all substance use.