Drugs & Health Risks

Hilbert is committed to educating its students in the areas of drug and alcohol use. The Counseling Center, which is located on the first floor of Franciscan Hall, provides education on substance use and abuse and is here to assist you if you are having problems with alcohol or drug abuse. If you have any questions concerning health risks associated with the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol, then stop by the Counseling Center. You will find brief descriptions of several drugs and their health risks by clicking the links below.

Alcohol
When alcohol is abused, the consequences to the body can be severe. All systems of the body are affected. The effects on the central nervous system include poor memory, premature aging of the brain and loss of reasoning ability. There is also the possibility of an increase of cancer of the mouth, larynx and the esophagus along with the possibility of heart rhythm disturbances. In addition, alcohol abuse can lead to significant liver damage.

Marijuana
Users often have chronic bronchitis and run the added risk of lung cancer. Heavy users, especially among the young adult population, may show slow and confused thinking, loss of energy, and physical discomfort caused by abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Other side effects associated with chronic use of marijuana are chromosome damage, decreased levels of the male sex hormone, and brain damage.

Cocaine
Cocaine abusers often have a stuffy, runny nose with eczema around the nostrils and possible perforation of the nasal septum. In addition, cocaine can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death.

Amphetamines
These drugs can cause very rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and even death from heart failure or from burst blood vessels in the brain. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.

Heroin
This is an opiate drug that causes the body to have diminished pain reactions. Some of the risks associated with the use of heroin include slowing of the heart rate so much that coma and death can be induced. In addition, chronic constipation and depression of male and female sex hormones are other associated risks from heroin.

Prescription Drugs
These drugs are not illicit if they are used in accordance with the prescription. However, sharing prescription medication with someone else is illegal and can be very harmful.