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Drug and Alcohol Abuse


Substance Abuse Prevention

Alcohol and other Drugs

Substance abuse can affect individual student retention, engagement, and academic success as well as the overall WVU campus climate. University Police Department strives to cultivate an environment where high-risk drinking and drug abuse does not prevent a student from reaching their highest potential of intellectual, physical, and human development.

WVU utilizes the Alcohol Edu program to create a comprehensive strategy that addresses complex societal issues such as alcohol abuse. We collect data to reduce risk factors, promote protective factors, and implement best practices. Utilizing these data, the University Police coordinates with substance abuse prevention team members across the campus and community partners to implement and evaluate evidence-based policies, programs, and services to:

  • Decrease high-risk alcohol use among WVU students
  • Decrease the negative consequences of high-risk alcohol use that affect the WVU community
  • Be a tobacco-free campus
  • Change WVU’s drinking culture
  • Decrease other drug use among WVU’s students

Substance abuse is indeed a nationwide problem that reaches far beyond your grades. Substance abuse can cause countless alcohol and drug-related personal tragedies we hear about every day in news.  We believe that part of the solution is to provide you with timely and accurate information about drugs and alcohol so that you can make informed decisions.




Prevention Information and Support


The use of alcohol is a common social custom in many cultures.  Many people experience no ill-effects from an occasional social drink. Unfortunately, studies indicate that one in every ten (1 in 10) people who drink will find it difficult to control consumption. They are at risk to become alcoholics. Individuals born as female are more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol than individuals born as male.  Research from the University School of Medicine in Trieste, Italy, resulted in females having significantly lower amounts of stomach enzymes that breaks down components in alcohol. The research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other peer members of becoming alcoholics. Underage drinking (under age of 21) is not permitted on WVU Campus property. Appearing in public intoxicated on and around WVU property is not permitted.


Although many don’t think of tobacco as a drug, the nicotine in tobacco smoke is a highly addictive substance. Fewer than 20% of all smokers succeed in stopping on the first attempt.  Nicotine has been noted to cause the onset of heart attacks and cancer.  Cigarette smoke contains approximately 4,000 chemicals, several of which are known to cause cancer.  Smoking and vaping are not permitted on WVU Campus property.


Marijuana produced today is approximately 5 to 20 times stronger than that available as recently as 10 years ago.  Research has shown that severe psychological damage, including paranoia and psychosis, can occur when marijuana contains 2% THC content.  Continued use can impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, altered sense of time, and reduce ability to perform tasks that require concentration and coordination, such as driving a car.  Research has shown that students do not retain knowledge when they are using marijuana. The smoking of marijuana in the residence halls are easily detected and are reported. This may result in your being arrested and removed from your housing. Marijuana is not a legal drug in WV and is not permitted on WVU Campus property.


Use of narcotics such as heroin initially produce a feeling of euphoria, followed by drowsiness, nausea, and sometimes vomiting.  Tolerance to heroin and other narcotics develops rapidly.  These drugs are highly addictive.  University police are trained in the administration of Narcan for serious overdose situations. Possession of narcotics on WVU property is not permitted.



Drug sales or intent to sell within one thousand feet of a school is a violation of federal law, as well as state law. Every year, we make several arrests in the residence halls for drug possession and occasionally for distributing.