A person vapes outside Norlin Library on the University of Colorado campus, which has a smoking ban. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but there are many
A person vapes outside Norlin Library on the University of Colorado campus, which has a smoking ban. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but there are many places you're not allowed to use it. That includes CU. Yep, even edibles. (Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer)

Campus resources

Medical services: A continuum of services are available to address substance abuse and dependence, including brief screening and referrals. Wardenburg Health Center, 1900 Wardenburg Drive, on campus; 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday; 303-492-5101. colorado.edu/healthcenter

Health promotion: This program aims to foster a community that promotes health and helps students develop the skills they need to make informed choices about health. Services include educational workshops and trainings, early intervention classes, health supplies, and nicotine cessation support. Wardenburg Health Center, 1900 Wardenburg Drive., Room 130; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 303-492-2937; colorado.edu/health/promotion

Counseling and psychiatric services: Students are eligible to receive free individual and group counseling targeted toward substance abuse and dependence. Students can also receive free substance abuse assessments and referral services through CAPS. Psychiatric services are located in Wardenburg Health Center on the third floor. Counseling and other services are located in the Center for Community C4C, S352; 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 303-492-2277; colorado.edu/health/counseling


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CU Collegiate Recovery Center: The CU Collegiate Recovery Center (CUCRC) provides a home for the sober community on the CU Boulder campus and support for those in recovery from alcohol or drug use and other addictive behaviors. It is open to all who are in recovery or choosing sobriety/abstinence, and to those who are supportive of the recovery community. UMC 102; Those interested in holding a meeting should contact cucrc@colorado.edu or call 303-492-9642; colorado.edu/recoverycenter

The University of Colorado has a variety of on-campus treatment and recovery resources and programs available for students who find themselves suffering from dependence on — or abuse of — drugs, alcohol or other substances.

Those include medical, counseling, psychiatric, treatment and recovery services for students with substance- or alcohol-abuse or dependency problems, according to Kathryn Dailey, associate director of health promotion for the university's Health and Wellness Services.

The university also has educational information for students about the dangers of misusing, mixing or over-using prescribed medications, alcohol, marijuana and other substances, Dailey said.

"It's not about scaring them," she said. "It's about giving them the information and skills to make the best decisions for themselves."

That includes information for new students from other states and countries who know that recreational marijuana has been legalized in Colorado but may not know about the restrictions, limits and conditions for its use.

Pot is legal now, but it's not permissible for everyone and it's not legal everywhere. You must be 21 to purchase weed, and it is still illegal to use it in public, and that includes any public or private locations on the CU campus.

A state government Good To Know website — colorado.gov/good-know — has some of that information.

And while pot is legal and long has been advocated by many for its medicinal uses, that doesn't mean it comes without risk, according to CU Health Promotion officials.

Downsides from marijuana use can include driving impairment and memory loss. There can also be compounding effects from being both drunk and high, which can compromise motor skills and reaction time.

Additionally, officials said, pot use can interfere with learning and academic achievement.

Prescription drugs can also pose problems. These generally fall into two categories, stimulants and other drugs, including barbiturates and depressants. On top of negative effects such as irritability and explosiveness, the use of stimulants such as Adderall as a study tool tend to make students overestimate how much they have actually accomplished.

Jason Egelanian, of Boulder, takes a drink from a vodka bottle and gets a kiss from Natalie Taja while hanging out at the Boulder Creek on the Fourth of
Jason Egelanian, of Boulder, takes a drink from a vodka bottle and gets a kiss from Natalie Taja while hanging out at the Boulder Creek on the Fourth of July. Alcohol is tied to many students' favorite college memories, but if it starts to sabotage your life and relationships, services like the CU Collegiate Recovery Center can help. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

Those using stimulants tend to believe they are achievement-oriented and making progress on assignments when they actually are not, officials have said. Sleep has a big impact on memory, and stimulants can inhibit that dynamic, meaning users don't learn as much as they believe they do.

As for depressants, combining one — alcohol, for example — with another — such as prescription drugs for depression, anxiety and insomnia — carries another series of risks, death included, through consequences including respiratory failure.

Students suffering dependence on marijuana, addiction to prescription drugs or alcohol abuse can take advantage of on-campus resources to steer them toward recovery.

CU's counselors have said the goal of programs offered to students is harm reduction, enabling students to make decisions that will lead them toward success.

Dailey said the programs, services and resources have a goal of teaching students to be safe. She said the university also tries to provide information for students concerned about their classmates' use or misuse of drugs or alcohol in order to help them "look out for one another."

John Fryar: twitter.com/jfryartc