Alcohol, Drug and Addiction Services
The Counseling Center provide services for students interested in and who have questions about Alcohol, other Drugs, Gambling, and other topics. It serves students who are experiencing difficulties with substance abuse, gambling and other addictive behaviors. Individual and group counseling is available. We also provide substance abuse education and counseling when recommended by the Dean of Students Office.
A note from the UCPS:
Hello student(s), parents, faculty, and staff:
Thank you for browsing through our website. We hope that the links provide you with helpful information.
The intention of our Alcohol, Drug and Addiction Services is to provide the university community with a resource for both those directly and indirectly affected by alcohol and/or drug use or concerned about other lifestyle choices such as excessive gambling and internet use (Campus Life Hot Topics). Our services are offered through the University Counseling & Psychological Services office. As a staff, we are able to meet with students in a confidential setting to discuss personal choices and concerns, determine whether engaging in particular behaviors is negatively affecting personal goals and quality of life, and collaborate together in identifying strategies to initiate change and develop a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle.
Our services include a variety of resources to assist students: brief individual counseling, group therapy, consultation for those concerned about friends, and referral to community resources. In addition, our staff is available to lead outreach discussions (Outreach discussions list) on various topics including alcohol and other drugs, gambling, and other areas involving lifestyle choices. Below you will find links providing information on these topics, contacts to community resources including Alcoholics Anonymous of the Lehigh Valley, Gamblers Anonymous, on-line screenings, and suggestions on how to help friends.
We invite you to contact any of the UCPS staff by phone or E-mail to answer further questions about our services.
University Counseling and Psychological Services
Alcohol and your college experience (factsontap.org)
Provides information about college students’ alcohol use, a survey for determining your level of alcohol use, and tips for cutting down or avoiding drinking.
Alcohol affects your ability to learn
New research shows that alcohol, even small amounts, affects the ability of college students to learn and remember new information, the Duke University Chronicle reported Oct. 9.
"There's no time when a person is called on to learn more than in college, but this is exactly the time when alcohol has its greatest negative effects on learning," said lead author of the study Scott Swartzwelder, a clinical professor of medical psychology at Duke University. The Veterans Affairs Medical Center also was involved in the research.
The research, which was comprised of one test group with participants aged 21 to 24, and another with those participants aged 25 to 29, looked at the ability of people to learn with low levels of alcohol in their systems. Participants were given two alcoholic drinks over an hour and then tested for verbal and visual memory acuity. "There was a much more powerful effect at inhibiting people's ability to learn in the younger range," said Swartzwelder. In addition, the researchers found that alcohol has a negative effect on energy and sleep cycles.
"The brain acts like a spring compressed by alcohol -- when you release the alcohol, the spring bounds back again and overshoots to a period of hyper-excitability, which wakes you up and disrupts your sleep cycle. And impairing the quality of your sleep impairs the quality of your ability for remembering things," said Wilkie Wilson, professor of pharmacology at Duke. "The message is don't drink on the night you want to consolidate information in your brain."
Concerned about a friend?
Seek advice on what to do when someone else’s drinking is concerning you.
Concerned about your own drinking?
If you are drinking too much, you can improve your life and health by cutting down. How do you know if you drink too much?
Self Evaluation for Alcohol Use
MentalHealthScreening.org offers self-assessment and screening tools. Near the bottom of the page, follow the link to register and participate in Online Screening.
Find an addiction treatment center near you
Marijuana, Cocaine, & Other Drug Resources
Drugs and Your College Experience
Click here for general information about drug use on campus
Click here to learn facts about the social, psychological, and biological effects of using marijuana and how to help yourself or a friend.
Click here to learn facts about cocaine use among college students, social and health risks of cocaine abuse, and treatment.
Prescription Drug Facts
Prescription drugs are only safe when used as prescribed. Click here to get information about the pitfalls of prescription drug abuse and how to get help.
Click here to link to SMART. SMART offers free face-to-face and online mutual help groups. SMART (Self-Management And Recovery Training) helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviors, including: alcoholism, drug abuse, substance abuse, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, and addiction to other substances and activities. SMART is an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
Some students gamble for fun as a way to relieve every day stress and do so in a responsible manner. But for others, gambling can become an unhealthy habit that destroys their personal relationships, disrupts their daily lives and interrupts their educational goals. Gambling is on the rise nationally, and student gambling is becoming a concern on campuses across the country.
Problem gambling is any gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social, educational or vocational. Problem gamblers are categorized by a progressive addiction displaying an increasing preoccupation with gambling, a need to bet more money more frequently, restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop, "chasing" losses, and an overall loss of control manifested by continuation of the gambling behavior in spite of mounting negative consequences. Below are links for further information on excessive/problem gambling to help yourself or someone you care about. On campus, the University Counseling and Psychological Services department can be a valuable resource for students with various types of excessive behavior (alcohol, drugs, gambling).
Identifying friends who gamble excessively
During your college experience you may recognize friends who engage in excessive gambling and notice specific changes in their behavior. Those who gamble excessively may begin to show the following signs:
- Unexplained absences from school or classes
- Sudden drop in grades
- Change of personality
- Possession of a large amount of money
- Bragging about winnings
- An unusual interest in newspapers, magazines or periodicals having to do with horseracing
- An intense interest in gambling conversations
- Exaggerated display of money and/or material possessions
- Visible changes in behavior (e.g. mood changes, behavior problems, etc.)
- Increased use of gambling language, including the word “bet” in conversation
As a concerned friend you may want to approach that person, though you may be uncertain of how to approach and initiate conversation about her or his excessive behavior. The following list offers some strategies on how to help friends who gamble excessively.
- Verify that the person may have a gambling problem with a mutual friend or relative
- Tell the person that you care about him or her
- Tell the person what he or she has done that has raised your concern and how you feel
- Be willing to listen to what the person has to say
- Tell the person what you’d like to see him or her do including:
- setting limits on gambling
- talking to another trusted person
- getting professional help
- Tell the person what you are willing to do; this may include:
- being available to talk again
- assisting in finding help
- Do not enable by lending money or helping to get gambling resources
Take a survey to determine your level of gambling
More information about problem gambling and available treatments.
A self-administered online assessment provides resources to help guide a person's efforts to changing personal gambling habits.
A group of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem.
Self - Management And Recovery Training (SMART) offers free face-to-face and online mutual help groups. The program helps people recover from all types of addictive behaviors, including: alcoholism, drug abuse, substance abuse, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, and addiction to other substances and activities. SMART is an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
- Philadelphia Gamblers Anonymous Hotline (215) 468-1991
- Harrisburg Gamblers Anonymous Hotline (717) 652-4400
- On-campus Help (610) 758-3880
- Gambling Hotline 1-800-522-3784
Links to other addiction Information
You Can Quit Smoking (CDC)
Quitting Tips (CDC)
Complete Guide to Quitting (American Cancer Society)