Student Life

Student Outreach & Support: WADE (Wellness, Alcohol & Drug Education)

Anonymous Questions Answered Here

ASK WADE!

Get Your Questions Answered Here!

See below for questions from your peers and answers from Katie Bean, Assistant Director of Student Outreach and Support, Wellness, Alcohol & Drug Education (WADE) Program. Submit your own question below.

 

Question: People drove by and stopped close by, I could smell a strong scent of marijuana in the air when after they left, wondering if that would cause a failing of a drug test in a couple weeks.

Answer: Marijuana tests are done in several ways and the most common is through a urine sample. In a urine drug test, there are numerous factors that influence how long THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) will stay in a person's system. These include body weight, body fat, amount used and frequency of use.  For example, someone who smoked marijuana once might have THC in their system between 1-6 days while someone who is a regular or heavy user, smoking frequently, could still have THC in their system up to 30-45 days or more.  Each individual will be different based on the factors listed above. 

Without inhaling the marijuana directly into the lungs, it is highly unlikely that THC will show up in the system. Second-hand marijuana smoke can leave traces of THC in urine for a time after breathing in the smoke. However, the amount is usually not enough to make someone test positive, especially if that person is not a typical smoker. Most drug tests have intentionally high standards to avoid false positive results due to incidental ingestion of second-hand smoke. 

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Question: I have this one friend who gets really drunk whenever we go out. It is only getting worse and it is happening more often. She's been through nights of throwing up and I'm never sure if I should call for an ambulance or not.  What are the signs of overdose?

Answer: That's great that you want me to able to help your friend!  There are four specific signs of overdose including:

1. Vomiting while semiconscious or unconscious - including vomiting on self, not able to hold head up, etc  

2. Unconscious or unresponsive - being passed out and not moving or waking when someone taps or calls name                       

3. Slow or irregular breathing - more than 10 seconds in between breaths or less than 8 breaths per minute             

4. Signs of Hypothermia - cold, clammy, pale, blue or purple skin, especially in nails beds

If you ever notice just one of these signs, please call Public Safety at 610-660-1111 or call 911 and stay with your friend.  Turn her on her left side, if possible, and continue to monitor her breathing until help arrives. Pennsylvania has a Good Samaritan Law and SJU has a Help Seeker policy which both state that calling for help for someone is encouraged and therefore the help seeker may not be charged with violating policy or law related to underage drinking or public intoxication. So even if you are drinking yourself, it is important to call for help for your friend.

It sounds like your friend could use more than just help in the moment of intoxication. It sounds like she might be drinking enough to warrant help in other ways.  Have you shared with her your concerns?  If you plan to, here are some tips for sharing your concern with a friend. Try to use "I" statements which means instead of saying "you drink too much, you always get wasted" say "I am really concerned about you when you drink too much."  Try to be sure she is sober, alone and comfortable when you talk but don't wait too long after a concerning incident.  Know your resources.  Recommend she come to WADE for a private brief assessment with a staff member (email wade@sju.edu) or go to CAPS for a counseling session (610-660-1090).  Offer support and go with her is she is nervous.  She can take her own assessment online called E-CheckUpToGo.  

You are a great friend for wanting to help others in need.  Sharing concerns and offering support is important.  Taking care of yourself is also important so remember that CAPS and WADE can also meet with you to talk further.            

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Question: I just got out of rehab. Any meetings on campus?

Answer: Congratulations! and Yes. At SJU, we have two meetings that occur on campus each week: Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is held every Wednesday at 730pm in Sunroom II in Campion and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is held every Friday at 8pm in Sunroom II in Campion. We also have a growing student organization, The Flock, for students in recovery or supportive of recovery. This group organizes social events and holds meetings and is open to anyone supportive of recovery.  You can sign up for their bi-weekly newsletter here to learn about their upcoming events and recovery support options in the area.

There are many more meetings closeby and all resources for support can be found on our website under Resources for Students in Recovery. Also, feel free to reach out to self-identify with our office so we can provide you more resources such as connecting you with others in recovery on campus. One day at a time - I wish you a life-time of living in recovery.

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Question: What is there to do other than drink at SJU? I mean, I don't want to drink but I feel like I might have to in order to make friends.

Answer: I understand your concern as most of pop culture portrays college as one big party. But that is simply not the way it is at college. I suggest getting involved in clubs, organizations or activities you enjoy. The Activities Fair will take place the first Thursday of school and will showcase the many opportunities to get involved on campus. Participating in activities you enjoy is the best way to make friends who will share in your values.

SJU is a community that respects one another and everyone will respect your choice to not drink. And you will not be alone. Last year 22% of incoming freshman were non-drinkers and each year it goes up. Hopefully at Orientation coming up next week you will learn more about the culture here and meet some other freshmen with whom you can relate. While here you can also sign up for the Weekender: a email that goes out once a week that compiles fun and free things to do in the city. Philadelphia offers a wide variety of options including shows, concerts, comedians, restaurants and more.

Just remember that you will fit in and you will find friends you can relate to if you give it a chance. See you soon here on Hawk Hill!

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