Alcohol & Other Drugs-University Health Services - Carnegie Mellon University

Alcohol

How much alcohol is too much?

It depends ... it could mean drinking too much at one time, drinking too often, or both.  Alcohol abuse increases the risks of injuries, health problems, alcohol disorders, as well as academic, social and emotional problems.  If you choose to drink, it's important to be aware of how much you are drinking, whether your drinking pattern is risky, the harm that drinking too much can cause, and how you can lower your risk.

What counts as one drink?

Standard Drink

What is low-risk drinking?

If choosing to drink, staying within these limits will reduce your risk of problems related to alcohol use:

Women: No more than 3 drinks/day AND no more than 7 drinks/week

Men: No more than 4 drinks/day AND no more than 14 drinks/week

Remember, low-risk does not mean no-risk.  Even within these limits, people can have problems if they drink too quickly or have health problems.  It’s safest to avoid alcohol if you:  
• Are under age 21
• Plan to drive a car or operate machinery
• Take medications that interact with alcohol
• Have a physical or mental condition caused or made worse by drinking
• Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant


Other Drugs

Marijuana

Marijuana is a mix of dried flowers, stems, seeds and leaves from the cannabis plant. The most active ingredient is 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana can be smoked, vaporized, or eaten. Marijuana is illegal under the federal government as well as in the state of Pennsylvania, however it is the most popular of all recreational drugs.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse (taking the prescription in any way other than prescribed) has been on the rise over the past several years, and is now the most commonly abused substance after alcohol and marijuana. The most common prescriptions include painkillers, sedatives, depressants, and stimulants. Prescription drugs are considered to be highly addictive and have resulted in an increase in treatment admissions, emergency room visits, and overdose deaths throughout the country.