Substance Abuse & Education

What role do substances play in maintaining mental health?

In college, students are introduced to choices involving alcohol and drugs. Social pressures may encourage excessive drinking or drug use, which can affect academics and behavior. Some students use alcohol and drugs to cope with stressful events. Abuse can develop as students continue to use drugs or depend on larger amounts for intoxication. Abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to issues such as depression or anxiety, aggravate an already existing condition or lead to issues in school, work or with the law.

How do I know if my alcohol or drug use is a problem?

  • Do you drink/use drugs to fit in?
  • Have friends/family expressed concerns about your usage?
  • Have you missed school or work due to drinking or drug use?
  • Do you drink/use more drugs than you used to to get the same effects?
  • Do you drink/use drugs first thing in the morning?
  • Do you continue to drink/use drugs despite negative consequences?

What substance abuse prevention resources are available on campus?

  • The Substance Abuse & Prevention Education (SAPE) office has a listing of resources for responsible decision-making with alcohol and other drugs:
  • SAPE offers eCheckupToGo, an online self-assessment tool that provides feedback about drinking patterns and use of alcohol. A marijuana usage screening tool is also available:

What resources for substance abuse are available off-campus?

  • Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (LRADAC), the Behavioral Health Center of the Midlands is the county authority for the prevention, intervention and treatment of substance abuse for Richland and Lexington Counties. LRADAC offers a wide variety of programs to combat substance abuse in our community. If you or someone you know needs help, please call 803-256-3100 or visit
  • Narcotics Anonymous provides a recovery process and support network inextricably linked together. One of the keys to NA’s success is the therapeutic value of addicts working with other addicts. Members share their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free, productive lives through the application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA.

Contact: 803-254-6262 or

  • South Carolina Department of Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Services
    DAODAS partners with public, private and social sector organizations to provide quality prevention, intervention and treatment services for the citizens of South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) is the cabinet-level agency charged with ensuring the provision of quality services to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of substance use and addictions. DAODAS partners with public, private and social sector organizations to provide quality prevention, intervention and treatment services for the citizens of South Carolina. Check for details about gambling addiction services, prevention opportunities and DAODAS’ general information on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Contact: 803-896-5555

What national substance abuse resources are available?

  • College Drinking: Changing the Culture
    The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Task Force’s focus is on how to change the culture that underlies alcohol misuse and its consequences on college campuses, rather than on simply determining the number of negative alcohol-related incidents that occur each year. The report offers (1) a general approach to incorporating prevention programs on campus, (2) specific interventions that schools can combine to meet the needs of their campuses and (3) recommendations for future research on college drinking. This link provides national information about how college student drinking is being handled at other universities, by parents, university administrators and communities alike.
  • Comprehensive Guide to Drugs on Campus
    If you’re currently enrolled in college, or will be soon, use this guide to help you navigate the proverbial minefield of substances on campus. It’s important to know what to look for, and how to steer clear of high-risk situations. If you find yourself in an abusive cycle with drugs or alcohol, or know someone who is, they’ll point you in the right direction to get the help you need.
  • The Real Facts about Drugs
    If you’re not very familiar with drug use and abuse, you should start by understanding the different classes of drugs. Drug abuse often starts as recreational drug use. Sometimes individuals are predisposed to becoming addicted. Other times, the very nature of the drug itself makes the person physically dependent on it.
  • The National Council on Problem Gambling
    The National Council on Problem Gambling is the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families. The mission of the NCPG is to increase public awareness of pathological gambling, ensure the widespread availability of treatment for problem gamblers and their families and to encourage research and programs for prevention and education.