Alcohol & Other Drugs

Academically smart. Socially smart. That’s you.

You’re an independent thinker, so we wouldn’t expect you to let others make personal choices about drinking for you. We’ll give you the resources you need to make wise decisions that keep you, and those around you, safe and healthy.

Alcohol and substance use are related to many of our dimensions of wellness—physical, mental, social, and occupational to name a few—so it’s no surprise that your decisions about drug use can affect every area of your life. It’s important to know the limits of the law and, even though it does sound cliché, drink responsibly.

Don't let alcohol poison your fun

When alcohol is consumed in large quantities over short periods of time causing your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) to rise unsafely, you put yourself at risk of life-threatening alcohol poisoning. There are ways to identify and respond to alcohol poisoning that don’t involve a breathalyzer. The best way to handle it, however, is to avoid it in the first place.

  • Go out with friends and stay together. Keep an eye on each other, and step in when you think someone is going to do something they might regret later. You’re friends, after all.
  • Set a limit. Before you go out, decide how many drinks you’re going to have and tell your plans to your friends so they can help you stick to the plan. Everyone is different, but according to the National Institutes of Health, low-risk guidelines for drinking include no more than four drinks per occasion or 14 per week for men, and no more than three in an occasion or seven in a week for women.
  • Know the alcohol content and serving sizes of what you plan to drink. It’s fun to be surprised on your birthday, not with your drinks.
  • Once you know how much alcohol is in different drinks, choose ones with a lower alcoholic content.
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water. And don’t forget to eat before and during drinking.

How can you tell if someone may be suffering from alcohol poisoning? The person might appear to be asleep, but you cannot wake them. They could be cold and clammy or have pale or bluish skin. They could be vomiting while passed out and still not wake up. Or that person might have slow, shallow, or irregular breathing. When breathing and heart rate slow enough, they may enter a coma and die. You can help.

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning:

  • Call 911 immediately.
  • Do not leave the person alone and do not put them in bed to “sleep it off.”
  • If the person passes out, put them on their side to prevent choking on vomit.
  • If the person’s breathing stops, perform CPR or find someone else who can.

You can prevent alcohol poisoning with bystander intervention

Students out on Mass Ave at an outdoor seating area.

A bystander is anyone who is present at an incident but does not take part. You do not want to be a bystander. To keep yourself and others safe, we encourage you to practice bystander intervention. This involves developing the awareness, skills, and courage to step into a situation when someone needs help. Often, this may mean stopping a friend from drinking too much or misusing substances, but it can also involve preventing sexual assault, hazing, discrimination, and other crimes.

When you step up, bystander intervention sends a powerful message about what is acceptable behavior in our community and creates a positive, welcoming environment.

To learn more about practicing bystander intervention without putting yourself at risk or making the situation worse, visit JagNation: A Culture of Care or the Stop Sexual Violence website.

The Indiana Lifeline Law provides immunity from underage drinking and public intoxication laws if you call the police in response to a crime, sexual offense, or health emergency. You can save a life without fear of punishment, so make the call!

Train for a strong campus community

We request that all students, as part of their IUPUI orientation, complete the MyStudentBody training module. Through this online training, you will learn how to ensure your health and safety as well as the health and safety of others at IUPUI. It’s all about understanding the risks of alcohol and drug use, sober consent, and the role we all playing in preventing sexual assault. To become a stronger member of our campus community and complete this expectation, go to MyStudentBody at One.IU. Contact Health and Wellness Promotion at or 317-274-3699 for more information.

Know the Code

Student walks while on their cell phone.

As an IUPUI student, you are expected to uphold certain standards set forth in the Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct. Violations of drug and alcohol policies are considered incidents of personal misconduct.

Submit a report

Arm yourself with knowledge

Because drug and alcohol use impacts so many parts of your life, it’s important to have all the facts. We offer presentations on substance use, bystander intervention, the IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct, and more.

Request a presentation