Skip navigation

Student Health Services at Moffitt Health Center

Alcohol and Other Drugs

If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, know that you have resources on campus. Our clinic offers programs like Eagle Check-Up for students who may need help or have questions related to alcohol and/or drug abuse. The Resources for Improving Student Well-being is a great tool to help, too!

Also, be aware of the Alcohol Policy we have here at Southern Miss and make responsible choices.  

Alcohol

Standard Alcoholic Drink

Your body can eliminate about ONE alcoholic drink per hour. 

What is a Standard Drink? 

Beer: 12 oz   Wine: 4 oz   Liquor: 1.25 oz (80 proof)

Consider the Following: 

  • Know the Strength - Proof
  • Know the Amount - Ounces
  • Know the Time - Consumption Rate

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) - the measure of the amount of alcohol in a person's blood.

6 Factors Influencing Intoxication Rate and BAC

Size - Smaller people and people with more body fat tend to become intoxicated faster than larger people or people with more muscle mass.

Gender - Women have more body fat than men and tend to become intoxicated more quickly.

Rate of Consumption - How fast are you drinking? Gulping and chugging can lead to intoxication sooner than those who sip or drink slower. 

Strength of Drink - Know how much alcohol is in your drink, especially if drinking a mixed drink. Carbonated beverages speed up the absorption rate of alcohol by your body. Energy drinks (a stimulant) can mask the effects of alcohol (a depressant) and should never be mixed with alcohol.

Alcohol and Energy Drinks - Energy drinks consumed with alcohol heightens the buzz and the crash that typically occurs with alcohol consumption. This can lead to alcohol poisoning, alcohol related accidents, and even death. 

Drug Use - Mixing alcohol with other drugs, even over-the-counter medications, can be dangerous. 

Food Intake - Eat before and while you're drinking. This will help your body absorb the alcohol and slow down how quickly you become intoxicated. 

Before you take your first sip, keep the following in mind:

  • Don't let drinking get out of control.
  • Set a limit before you start drinking. More than 4 drinks for women and 5
    drinks for men per sitting is usually considered binge drinking
  • Pace your drinks.
  • Drink non-alcoholic drinks between alcoholic drinks.
  • Don't accept a drink if you don't know what is in it.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Avoid pre-gaming and drinking games.
  • Never ride in a vehicle with someone who has been drinking!

Learn more with Alcohol Use and Your Health and make the decision to act responsibly. 

Moderate Alcohol Consumption

  • Defined as 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.

Binge Drinking is defined as:

  • a pattern of drinking that brings BAC levels to 0.08g/dL
  • 4 or more drinks for women and 5 or more drinks for men on the same occasion at least 1 day in the past month
  • increases the risk for alcohol poisoning, alcohol related accidents, and deaths

Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18-34 years, but is reported across lifespan. The prevalence of binge drinking among men is twice that among women. 

CDC: Binge Drinking

 Heavy Alcohol Use 

  • Defined as binge drinking on 5 or more days in the past month.

No matter the setting, always be aware and know the signs of alcohol poisoning.

Think CUPS:

C - Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
U - Unresponsive, unconsciousness or semi-consciousness
P - Puking
S - Slowed or irregular breathing

Other signs to be aware of: mental confusion, a strong odor of alcohol

  • Call 911.
  • Try to wake the person.
  • Turn the person on his or her side to prevent the person from choking on vomit.
  • Do not leave the person.
  • Seek medical attention.

 The legal drinking age is 21.

Penalties for underage drinking include:
  • Fines up to $500.
  • Suspended license.
  • Community service.
  • Alcohol Awareness course.
  • Violation remains on your record.
Legal consequences for drinking and driving include:
  • $250-$1,000 fine.
  • 48 hour imprisonment.
  • Complete Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program.
  • Suspended license for up to one year.

*Penalties more severe for additional conviction.

Social Host Law

Misdemeanor charges may be filed against anyone who owns or leases a private residence or private premises and knowingly allows a party to take place or continue at the residence or premises where a minor attending the party obtains, possesses, or consumes beer, light wine, or alcoholic beverages. 

Violation of the Social Host Law is a misdemeanor and punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail. This law is not limited to underage drinking that takes place in a home, but also applies to gatherings such as bon fires or on private properties like camps and/or lake houses. 

Social Host Law - Miss. Code Ann. § 97-5-49

 

Mouth and Esophagus: Alcohol is an irritant to the delicate linings of the throat and esophagus. It burns as it goes down.

Stomach and intestines: Alcohol has an irritating effect on the stomach's protective lining, resulting in gastric ulcers. This can lead to vomiting. About 20% is absorbed in the stomach and about 80% in the small intestine. In the small intestine, alcohol blocks absorption of such substances as thiamine, folic acid, fat, vitamin B1, vitamin B12, and amino acids.

How fast the alcohol is absorbed depends on several things:

  • The concentration of alcohol in the beverage- the greater the concentration, the faster the absorption.
  • The type of drink- carbonated beverages tend to speed up the absorption of alcohol.
  • Whether the stomach is full or empty- food slows down alcohol absorption.
     

After absorption, the alcohol enters the bloodstream and dissolves in the water of the blood. The blood carries the alcohol throughout the body. The alcohol from the blood then enters and dissolves in the water inside each tissue of the body (except fat tissue, as alcohol cannot dissolve in fat). Once inside the tissues, alcohol exerts its effects on the body. The observed effects depend directly on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which is related to the amount of alcohol consumed. The BAC can rise significantly within 20 minutes after having a drink.

Bloodstream: 95% of alcohol taken into the body is absorbed into the bloodstream. Alcohol causes the red blood cells to clump together in sticky wads, slowing circulation and depriving tissues of oxygen. Alcohol slows the ability of white cells to engulf and destroy bacteria and degenerates the clotting ability of blood platelets.

Once absorbed by the bloodstream, the alcohol leaves the body in three ways:

  • The kidneys eliminate 5% of alcohol in the urine.
  • The lungs exhale 5% of alcohol which can be detected by Breathalyzer devices.
  • The liver chemicals break down the remaining alcohol into acetic acid.

As a rule of thumb, an average person can eliminate .5 oz. of alcohol per hour. So it would take approximately one hour to eliminate the alcohol from a 12 oz. can of beer.

The BAC increases when the body absorbs alcohol faster than it can eliminate it. So, because the body can only eliminate about one dose of alcohol per hour, drinking several drinks in an hour will increase your BAC much more.

 Other Drugs

 

Drug Cocaine
Description A powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America.
Street Names Blow, Bump, C, Candy, Charlie, Coke, Crack, Flake, Rock, Snow, Toot
Possible Short-term Health Effects Narrowed blood vessels; enlarged pupils; increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; headache; abdominal pain and nausea; euphoria; increased energy, alertness; insomnia, restlessness; anxiety; erratic and violent behavior, panic attacks, paranoia, psychosis; heart rhythm problems, heart attack; stroke, seizure, coma.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Loss of sense of smell, nosebleeds, nasal damage, and trouble swallowing from snorting; infection and death of bowel tissue from decreased blood flow; poor nutrition and weight loss from decreased appetite.

Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol

Greater risk of overdose and sudden death from either drug alone. 
Drug Heroin
Description An opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance extracted from the seed pod of various opium poppy plants.
Street Names

Brown sugar, China White, Chiva Dope, H, Horse, Junk, Skag, Skunk, Smack, White Horse

With OTC nighttime cold medicine: Cheese
 
With Marijuana: A Bomb
Possible Short-term Health Effects Euphoria; dry mouth; itching; nausea; vomiting; analgesia; slowed breathing and heart rate.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Collapsed veins; abscesses (swollen tissue with pus); infection of the lining and valves in the heart; constipation and stomach cramps; liver or kidney disease.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol Dangerous slowdown of heart rate and breathing, coma, death.
Drug Inhalants
Description Solvents, aerosols, and gases found in household products such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning fluids; also prescription nitrites.
Street Names Air blast, Aimies, Bullets, Laughing gas, Moon gas, Oz, Poppers, Snappers, Snotballs, Toilet Water, Whippets, Whiteout
Possible Short-term Health Effects Confusion; nausea; slurred speech; lack of coordination; euphoria; dizziness; drowsiness;disinhibition, lightheadedness, hallucinations/delusions; headaches; sudden sniffing death due to heart failure (from butane, propane, and other chemicals in aerosols); death from
asphyxiation, suffocation, convulsions or seizures, coma, or choking.
 
Nitrites: enlarged blood vessels, enhanced sexual pleasure, increased heart rate, brief
sensation of heat and excitement, dizziness, headache.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Liver and kidney damage; bone marrow damage; limb spasms due to nerve damage; brain damage from lack of oxygen that can cause problems with thinking, movement, vision, and hearing.
 
Nitrites: increased risk of pneumonia.
Drug LSD
Description A hallucinogen manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. LSD is an abbreviation of the scientific name lysergic acid diethylamide.
Street Names Acid, Blotter, Boomers, Cid, Golden Dragon, Looney Tunes, Lucy Mae, Microdots, Tabs, Yellow Sunshine
Possible Short-term Health Effects Rapid emotional swings; distortion of a person’s ability to recognize reality, think rationally, or communicate with others; raised blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature; dizziness; loss of appetite; tremors; enlarged pupils.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Frightening flashbacks (called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder [HPPD]); ongoing visual disturbances, disorganized thinking, paranoia, and mood swings.
Drug Marijuana (Cannabis)
Description Marijuana is made from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The main psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
Street Names
420, Blunt, Bud, Doobie, Dope, Ganja, Grass, Green, Herb, Joint, Mary Jane, Pot,
Reefer, Sinsemilla, Skunk, Smoke, Stinkweed, Trees, Weed,
 
Hashish: Boom, Gangster, Hash, Hemp
 
Concentrates: Budder, Crumble, Shatter, Wax
 
In food: Edibles
 
Added to hollowed out cigar: Blunt
Possible Short-term Health Effects Enhanced sensory perception and euphoria followed by drowsiness/relaxation; slowed reaction time; problems with balance and coordination; increased heart rate and appetite; problems with learning and memory; anxiety.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Mental health problems, chronic cough, frequent respiratory infections.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol Increased heart rate, blood pressure; further slowing of mental processing and reaction time.

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana

Drug MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly)
Description A synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen
mescaline. MDMA is an abbreviation of the scientific name 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine.
Street Names Adam, E, X, XTC, Beans, Candy, Ebomb, Thizz, Love Drug, Molly, Rolls, Skittles, Sweets, Vitamin E or X.
Possible Short-term Health Effects Lowered inhibition; enhanced sensory perception; increased heart rate and blood pressure; muscle tension; nausea; faintness; chills or sweating; sharp rise in body temperature leading to kidney failure or death.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Long-lasting confusion, depression, problems with attention, memory, and sleep; increased anxiety, impulsiveness; less interest in sex.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol MDMA decreases some of alcohol’s effects. Alcohol can increase plasma concentrations of MDMA, which may increase the risk of neurotoxic effects.
Drug Methamphetamine
Description An extremely addictive stimulant amphetamine drug.
Street Names
Crank, Chalk, Crystal, Dunk, Gak, Ice, Meth,
Pookie, Quartz, Rocket Fuel, Scooby Snax,
Speed, Trash
 
With cocaine: Croak, Shabu
 
With MDMA: Hugs and Kisses, Party and
Play (P&P)
Possible Short-term Health Effects Increased wakefulness and physical activity; decreased appetite; increased breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature; irregular heartbeat.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood problems, violent behavior, paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, weight loss, severe dental problems ("meth mouth"), intense itching leading to skin sores from scratching.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol Masks the depressant effect of alcohol, increasing risk of alcohol overdose; may increase blood pressure.
Drug PCP
Description A dissociative drug developed as an intravenous anesthetic that has been discontinued due to serious adverse effects. Dissociative drugs are hallucinogens that cause the user to feel detached from reality. PCP is an abbreviation of the scientific name, phencyclidine.
Street Names
Angel Dust, Embalming fluid, Hog, Rocket Fuel, Sherms,
 
Mixed with marijuana: Zoom
Possible Short-term Health Effects
Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, problems thinking, a sense of distance from one’s environment, anxiety.
 
Low doses: slight increase in breathing rate; increased blood pressure and heart rate; shallow breathing; face redness and sweating; numbness of the hands or feet; problems with movement.
 
High doses: nausea; vomiting; flicking up and down of the eyes; drooling; loss of balance; dizziness; violence; seizures, coma, and death.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Memory loss, problems with speech and thinking, loss of appetite, anxiety.

Pain relievers with an origin similar to that of heroin. Opioids can cause euphoria and are often used nonmedically, leading to overdose deaths.

Street Name Commercial Name
Captain Cody, Coties, Schoolboy,
 
With soft drinks/candy: Lean, Sizzurp, Purple Drank
 
With hypnotic sedatives: Doors & Fours, Loads, Pancakes and Syrup
Codeine (various brand names)
Apache, Blonde, Blue Diamond, Blue Diamond, China Buffet, China White, Snowflake, Humid, Jackpot, Murder 8,
Tango and Cash, TNT, White Ladies,
 
With heroin: Birria
 
With heroin pills: Facebook
Fentanyl (Actiq®, Duragesic®, Sublimaze®)
Vikes, Veeks, Idiot Pills, Scratch, 357s,
Lemonade, Bananas, Dones, Droco, Lorries,
 
With valium and vodka: Triple V
Hydrocodone or dihydrocodeinone (Vicodin®, Norco®, Zohydro®, and others)
D, Dillies, K4, Needle Candy,  Hydromorphone (Dilaudid®)
Demmies, Pain Killer Meperidine (Demerol®)
Amidone, Biscuits, Fizzies, Jungle Juice,
Maria, Wafer

With MDMA: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Methadone (Dolophine®, Methadose®)
Dreamer, First Line, Joy Juice, Morpho,
Miss Emma, Monkey, White Stuff, Mister
Blue, Unkie
Morphine (Duramorph®, MS Contin®)
30s, 40s, 512s, Oxy, Beans, Blues, Buttons,
Cotton, Hillbilly Heroin Kickers, Killers, Percs, Roxy
Oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, and others)
Biscuits, Blue Heaven, Blues, Mrs. O, O
Bomb, Octagons, Stop Signs
Oxymorphone (Opana®)
Possible Short-term Health Effects Pain relief, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, euphoria, slowed breathing, death.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Increased risk of overdose or addiction if misused.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol Dangerous slowing of heart rate and breathing leading to coma or death.
 

Medications that slow brain activity, which makes them useful for treating anxiety and sleep problems.

Street Name Commercial Name
Barbs, Dolls, Phennies, Red/BlueBirds, Tooties, Yellow Jackets, Yellows Barbiturates: pentobarbital (Nembutal®)
Benzos, Downers, Poles, Tranks, Totem Z-Bars, Vs, Yellow/Blue Zs, Zannies Benzodiazepines: alprazolam (Xanax®), chlorodiazepoxide (Librium®), diazepam (Valium®), lorazepam (Ativan®), triazolam (Halicon®)
Forget-me pill, Looney Bar, Mexican Valium, R2, Roche, Tic-Tacs, Sleepeasy, Symphony, Zombie flip Sleep Medications: eszopiclone (Lunesta®), zaleplon (Sonata®), zolpidem (Ambien®)
Possible Short-term Health Effects Drowsiness, slurred speech, poor concentration, confusion, dizziness, problems with movement and memory, lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Unknown.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol Further slows heart rate and breathing, which can lead to death.
 

Medications that increase alertness, attention, energy, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate.

Street Name Commercial Name
Addys, Bennies, Beans, Black Beauties,
Crosses, Hearts, Ivy League Drug, Pep Pills, Speed, Truck Drivers, Uppers
Amphetamine (Adderall®)
Diet Coke, JIF, Kiddie Coke, MPH, R-Ball, RPop, Skippy, Study Buddies , The Smart
Drug, Vitamin R
Methylphenidate (Concerta®, Ritalin®)
Possible Short-term Health Effects Increased alertness, attention, energy; increased blood pressure and heart rate; narrowed blood vessels; increased blood sugar; opened-up breathing passages.
High doses: dangerously high body temperature and irregular heartbeat; heart disease; seizures.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Heart problems, psychosis, anger, paranoia.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol Masks the depressant action of alcohol, increasing risk of alcohol overdose; may increase blood pressure.

DrugWatch: Adderall Side Effects

Drug  Rohypnol® (Flunitrazepam)
Description A benzodiazepine chemically similar to prescription sedatives such as Valium® and Xanax®. Teens and young adults tend
to misuse this drug at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties. It has been used to commit sexual assaults due to its ability
to sedate and incapacitate unsuspecting victims.
Street Names Circles, Date Rape Drug, Forget-Me Pill, La Rocha, Mexican Valium, Mind Eraser, Pingus, R2, Rib, Variations of: Roaches,
Roapies, Rochas Dos, Roofies, Rope, Rophies, Rowie, Ruffies
Commercial Names Flunitrazepam, Rohypnol®
Possible Short-term Health Effects Drowsiness, sedation, sleep; amnesia, blackout; decreased anxiety; muscle relaxation, impaired reaction time and motor coordination; impaired mental functioning and judgment; confusion;
aggression; excitability; slurred speech; headache; slowed breathing and heart rate.
Possible Long-term Health Effects  Unknown.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol Severe sedation, unconsciousness, and slowed heart rate and breathing, which can lead to
death.
Drug  Steroids (Anabolic)
Description Man-made substances used to treat conditions caused by low levels of steroid hormones in the body and misused to
enhance athletic and sexual performance and physical appearance. 
Street Names Gear, Gym Candy, Juice, Pumpers, Roids,
Stacking
Commercial Names
Nandrolone (Oxandrin®), oxandrolone (Anadrol®), oxymetholone (Anadrol-50®),
testosterone cypionate
(Depo-testosterone®)
Possible Short-term Health Effects Builds muscles, improved athletic performance. Acne, fluid retention (especially in the hands and feet), oily skin, yellowing of the skin, infection.
Possible Long-term Health Effects Kidney damage or failure; liver damage; high blood pressure, enlarged heart, or changes in cholesterol leading to increased risk of stroke or heart attack, even in young people; aggression; extreme mood swings; anger ("roid rage"); extreme irritability; delusions; impaired judgment.
Possible Health Effects if used with Alcohol  Increased risk of violent behavior. 
Drug  Synthetic Cannabinoids
Description  A wide variety of herbal mixtures containing man-made cannabinoid chemicals related to THC in marijuana but often much stronger and more dangerous. Sometimes misleadingly called "synthetic marijuana" and marketed as a "natural," "safe," legal alternative to marijuana. 
Street Names Black Mamba, Bliss, Bombay Blue, Fake
Weed, Fire, Genie, K-2, Moon Rocks, Solar
Flare, Skunk, Smacked, Spice, Yucatan, Zohai
Possible Short-term Health Effects Increased heart rate; vomiting; agitation; confusion; hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia;
increased blood pressure.
Possible Long-term Health Effects  Unknown.
Drug  Tobacco (and Nicotine)
Description Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are dried and fermented before use. Tobacco contains nicotine, an addictive chemical. Nicotine is sometimes extracted from the plant and is used in vaping devices. 
Street Names
Cigarettes/Cigars: Butts, Cancer sticks,
Ciggys, Cigs, Coffin nails, Smokes, Stogies,
Stokes

Cigar hollowed out with marijuana added:
Blunt

Vaping: Cig-A-Like, EHookah, E-Juice,
JUULing, vape pens, mods
Commercial Names Multiple brand names.
Possible Short-term Health Effects Increased blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate. Exposes lungs to a variety of chemicals. Vaping also exposes lungs to metallic vapors created by heating the coils in the device. 
Possible Long-term Health Effects Greatly increased risk of cancer, especially lung cancer when smoked, and oral cancers when chewed; chronic bronchitis; emphysema; heart disease; leukemia; cataracts; pneumonia

DrugWatch: Juul and E-Cigarettes

Drug information found above adapted from National Institute on Drug Abuse - Commonly Used Drugs Chart.

CDC: Rx Awareness

Drug Abuse and Addiction 

Addiction is a brain disease. People from all backgrounds can get an addiction. Though an addiction can start at any age, chances of addiction are higher when a person starts using drugs when they're young.. 

  • Drugs alter how the brain works. 
  • Changes to the brain from drug use can last for a long time.
  • Changes to the brain brought on by drug use can cause problems like mood swings, memory loss, difficulty thinking, and difficulty making decisions. 

 Adapted from What is an Addiction?

People with drug problems might not act like they used to.

They might:

  • change their friends a lot
  • spend a lot of time alone
  • choose not to spend time with family and friends like they used to
  • lose interest in their favorite things
  • not take care of themselves—for example, not take showers, change clothes, or
  • brush their teeth
  • be really tired and sad
  • have changes in eating habits (eating more or eating less)
  • be very energetic, talk fast, or say things that don't make sense
  • be in a bad mood
  • quickly change between feeling bad and feeling good
  • sleep at strange hours
  • miss important appointments
  • have problems at work or at school
  • have problems in personal or family relationships

It’s hard for people with an addiction to stop taking the drug on their own. They might try to stop taking the drug and then feel really sick. Then they might take the drug again to stop feeling sick. They might need help to stop using drugs.

Drug treatment can help.

Acquired from Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse.

 

Hours 

Fall and Spring Semesters

Monday-Wednesday:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
 

*Pharmacy opens at 9 a.m. Monday - Friday*

Semester Breaks and Summer

Clinic and Pharmacy
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. - Noon, 1 p.m - 4 p.m.

Contact Us

Student Health Services at Moffitt Health Center
Scott Hall
118 College Drive Box #5066
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Campus Map

Email
clinicadminFREEMississippi

Phone
601.266.5390

Fax
601.266.4205