Peer Health

Alcohol and Other Drugs

Surveys conducted at Williams show that alcohol is the drug of choice. These results correspond to nationwide statistics. However, experimentation with a wide variety of drugs does occur, and because of their unpredictability and diverse nature, use of these substances involves a substantial risk.

Alcohol is only one of many mood-altering drugs, many of which are marketed as medicines. Prescription psycho-active drugs have justifiable and effective uses in certain short term crisis situations, for truly disabling depression or anxiety and for some physical ailments. They should not be used without medical supervision, however, and a patient taking these substances should be aware of the way in which these drugs work on the body’s chemical and emotional system. A patient should always feel free to ask her or his doctor what the drug is for, how it will affect the body and mind, how it interacts with other drugs, food and alcohol, if it is addictive and what alternative modes of treatment are available.

Drugs are usually categorized according to their major physical effects. The five basic categories of drugs are stimulants, depressants (including alcohol), hallucinogens, narcotics and cannabis. Some of these drugs are illegal and some are not.

Visit Peer Health in Paresky room 212 during office hours to get more information on drugs not covered here!

Many legal substances can be used and abused as drugs. Most prevalent are nicotine and caffeine.