Understanding Substance Use

University of Guelph students make decisions about substance use all the time. Some students choose to use caffeine, some alcohol, some cannabis, and some choose to use none of the above. While respecting legal drinking and smoking ages in Ontario, students are encouraged to make these decisions in ways that reduce harms for themselves and their communities. This might mean choosing to have five or fewer drinks at a time, or to not use multiple substances at once. Gryphons respect the choices that their peers make, and this includes the 21% of students who choose not to drink at all (2016 National College Health Assessment). They also care about the space in which we live, work, and play, and thus respect smoking areas that are away from the entrances of buildings. Healthy campus policies seek to reduce the impact of alcohol and other substance use on our community and are outlined below.

Resources & Help with Substance Use

While most university students see their alcohol use decline as they move through their degree, some Gryphons may not realize that they're using alcohol far more than their peers because of misperceptions that everyone is drinking a lot, a lot of the time. Other times substance use might be involved with harms such as sexual violence or physical injury. Help is available on campus in either case. The University of Guelph has a variety of services that can assist students if they start to see their substance use negatively impacting their lives.

The Campus Alcohol Recovery Room (CARR) is a space on campus staffed by individuals trained in first aid. Students receive constant care and observation in the CARR if they have over consumed alcohol. CARR is a non-judgmental space that is used to ensure the safety of Gryphons.

For professional support, Counselling Services is available along with Student Health Services, which may connect students with an Addictions Counsellor.

For Gryphons more interested in talking with a peer, the Student Support Network is available for students to drop-by and chat about what they're experiencing. Students are also welcome to drop by the Wellness Education Centre for information about substance use on everything from smoking cessation to partying safer.

Campus Policies and Guiding Documents

Available Trainings & Further Information

If your group is interested in further educational information about alcohol use, smoking cessation, or other drugs, please contact wellness@uoguelph.ca. A Peer Wellness Educator will get back to you and help answer questions or organize educational workshops.

Students are also encouraged to register parties through the Party Registration program if they plan on hosting an off-campus party. This program is designed for University of Guelph students who wish to create a safer place for their guests to have fun, and to demonstrate respect for the community they live in.

Reporting an Issue Related to Alcohol Use

Incidents of substance use may be dealt with by the on-campus body that has the appropriate jurisdiction. If you want to report an issue with substance use, you can do so in the following ways:

If you are not comfortable reporting an incident(s) to one of the above individuals, you can contact Campus Community Police by dialing x52245.

For any on-campus emergencies, please dial x52000 on any on-campus telephone.