Substance Use Concerns

Alcohol and drug use is incredibly common among college students. It is important to understand the potential impact of using substances on your physical and mental health, safety, and well-being.

Substance Use concerns occur on a spectrum and people need different levels of support to overcome them. Many people are able to overcome challenges with substance use by reducing use through accessing an assessment(link to basics info from the well) and brief counseling and pursuing other ways of coping. For others, more intensive supports can be critical to making and sustaining changes. There is no shame in asking for support, whatever your level of need is and it is very common for people to need to make multiple attempts to change their substance use.

Rams in Recovery

Rams in Recovery, VCU's collegiate recovery program, is available if you are concerned by either your own or someone else’s substance use and are seeking recovery support.

Go to Rams in Recovery

Pathways to Recovery

People take many pathways in their recovery and use many different resources as they make changes in their lives. These paths often include formal paths (treatment, counseling, recovery meetings, medication) or informal (family support, personal commitment, exercise, finding purpose etc.) Most people use many of these together to make changes in their lives. It’s important to know that you can find a pathway to recovery that works for you.

Choosing your own path to recovery can also mean deciding your own treatment options. There is no right or wrong way to recover, and different people need different levels of support in order to thrive. If you try to make some changes but still struggle, you may just need a different level of care and support to make the changes that you want to make.

For those who want or need a lot of support, there are recovery communities ready to encourage, inspire, and commend you on a daily basis. Once you connect with others that have been where you’ve been, it’s incredible to see just how far from alone you really are. Don’t be shy when it comes to reaching out─we have all desperately needed each other at some point too.

Not Sure? Start Where You Are.

Not sure about making a big change in your use right now? You are not alone in that either. It can start with small changes, and your safety is really important. Practicing harm-reduction strategies if you are still using substances can be a really important first step. We want you to know that you matter whether or not you jump into recovery. This is especially important if you are using opioids. Change examples: not using alone, always having Naloxone, taking a tester shot, being extra careful when using in new environments, and using clean needles are all strategies that reduce the risk of overdose or getting a disease.


The resources below are designed to support you in making informed decisions about your substance consumption and plan for your health and safety.

Make Plans for a Safe Night Out

The Well’s AOD website

Moderation Management

Common Myths about Alcohol

Mental Health Screenings
If you are worried or wonder about your alcohol and/or other drug consumption, take this brief screening designed to help you better understand your alcohol and drug habits.

Taking a T Break Guide from The University of Vermont

Getting Naloxone
if you or a loved one is using opioids, it is very important that you get access to the life-saving drug naloxone. Email to get the drug for free or get it from The Richmond City Health District

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