Drugs and Alcohol Fact Week

In January 2020, the Wellness Hub held our first National Drugs and Alcohol Fact Week, a health observance week created by the National Institute on Drug Abuse aimed to “shatter the myths” regarding drug and alcohol use. UMB students, staff, and faculty participated in different events throughout the week discussing alcohol and drug use and common misconceptions and problems seen in the graduate school population.

Drugs and Alcohol Fact Week Events 2020

  • Smoking 21 Policy
  • How to Write a Criminal History on a License or Employment Application
  • Assisting Students with Mental Health Crisis
  • Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
  • Naloxone Training
  • Myths and Facts of Marijuana, CBD and Edibles

Leo Altidor, a counselor from The Haven at College, hosted “Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).” This event focused on alcohol use, particularly in college students, and how students can better understand their own drinking habits. Although drinking alcohol is a social norm in the US, many people have different false perceptions about alcohol and its effects.

Here are some misconceptions Mr. Altidor highlighted:

  • “If I stop drinking, I will immediately begin to sober up.” Even when you stop drinking, your BAC will continue to rise. It can take between 24-48 hours to return to normal levels.
  • “Men who are bigger and are older have a higher than average tolerance.” Weight, gender, and age do not predict your tolerance to alcohol and should not be a predictor to how much you decide to drink. In fact, having a higher alcohol tolerance does not mean that drinking is any safer for you than someone else. Tolerance should not be a factor when deciding how much to drink.
  • “Alcohol is alcohol, so it doesn’t matter what kind I drink throughout the night.” When you mix different types of alcohol, it is harder to assess your level of intoxication. Sticking with one type of alcohol can help you better judge how much you’ve had to drink.

In addition to busting myths, various tools and resources were provided to attendees, including the AUDIT-C screening questionnaire. Overall, the event emphasized the importance of making informed decisions when using alcohol and that students know the facts about its effects.

Special thanks to all organizations involved in National Drugs and Alcohol Fact Week, including Students Promoting Awareness, UMB School of Medicine CHAT (Community Health and Addictions Team), the Student Counseling Center, Leo Altidor from The Haven at College, UMB Scholars for Recovery, and the Maryland Department of Health Center for Harm Reduction Services.

Over 100 attendees participated in the week of events with 5 people attending 2 or more events and received a Wellness Hub Tote!