Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Alcohol and drug abuse is a major factor in crime and victimization. The substances compromise awareness and the ability to act in a rational manner. Northwestern fully supports federal law that requires academic environments to be free from illicit drug and alcohol use.

Underage drinking is illegal and highly discouraged. Keep in mind that unlawful use, possession/selling, manufacturing, and giving or furnishing false ID to individuals are Class A Misdemeanors with sanctions of $2,500 fine and/or one year in jail. 

Reduce your risk 

  • Take care of yourself. Don't put yourself in a situation where other people might have to take care of you.
  • Don't ever force or pressure anyone to drink or do drugs. It is rude, harmful and could be fatal.
  • Plan your drinking. Remember that food, attitude and the environment affect your susceptibility to alcohol.
  • Remember that drinking games put you at risk for binge drinking.
  • Don't drink or use drugs and drive.
  • When socializing, pair up with other friends. Don’t let a friend be alone with someone they've just met.

What to do in an alcohol emergency

Drinking too much alcohol can result in serious medical problems, even death. If you're with someone who has drunk too much, do not allow the person to “sleep it off.” Take these precautions: 

  • Do not let him/her drink more.
  • Call 911 and seek medical attention immediately. Stay with the individual until help arrives.
  • If the person is unconscious, place the person on his/her side to prevent choking if vomiting occurs.
  • Help the individual avoid dangerous situations such as driving, wandering or sexual encounters.

Driving under the influence

Blood-Alcohol Level (BAL) is the percent of alcohol present in the blood. If you are under 21 in Illinois, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with any alcohol in your system. For drivers 21 and older, it is illegal to drive with a BAL at or above .08. 

Take the test at the bottom of the Intoximeter page to see how many drinks would put you over the edge. The results may surprise you. 


To seek professional help regarding alcohol or drug abuse, contact:

For additional information on alcohol and drug education and services, visit the Health Promotion and Wellness website. Health Promotion and Wellness offers a number of educational programs during the school year, such as the Red Watch Band program. Health Promotion and Wellness also offers one-on-one screenings for students concerned about their alcohol and/or drug use. For more information call 847-491-2146.