University of Minnesota  Appendix

Drug and Alcohol Health Risks


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Governing Policy


Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

Health Risks

To ensure students and employees are aware of the serious health consequences of the use, misuse, and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, this appendix provides an overview of some commonly abused drugs and provides links for more information.


Alcohol is a depressant that slows down a person’s central nervous system, including breathing and heart rates. Short-term risks of alcohol use include: impaired judgment, poor motor coordination, emotional instability, and increased aggression. Long-term risks include: irreversible damage to brain, liver, pancreas, kidneys; memory problems and nutritional deficiencies; and high risk of fetal damage if used during pregnancy.


Marijuana is an illegal drug that can cause changes in the way people think and feel. Marijuana use can make it harder for students and employees to function in school and work-related activities. It slows reflexes and impairs visual perceptions.


Cocaine is an illegal drug that is a strong central nervous system stimulant. It is a powerfully addictive drug.

Club Drugs

Club drugs, such as MDMA (Ecstasy), Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine sometimes are used in a nightclub, bar, or rave drug scene. They have varying effects and can cause changes to critical parts of the brain.