Coping With Recent Events

The Alcohol and Drug Program wants you to take care of yourself in a healthy way

In moments of uncertainty people may turn to substances to help them cope with their feelings thinking it will make them feel better. When in fact this might not be true. 

Things to Remember:

  • Substances can have unpredictable effects and can exacerbate negative emotions or symptoms one may be experiencing.
  • Alcohol polarizes and enhances emotions (for example: anger and sadness)
  • Marijuana has a numbing effect and masks feelings. It can provide temporary relief for some but for others, it’s main negative effect is paranoia which can stimulate panic attacks or increase anxiety.
  • No matter what substance someone uses to avoid feelings eventually they will resurface at a later time.

Here are some better options:

  • Spend quality time with your friends (ie: go for a walk on the beach. Watch a funny movie, etc.)
  • Shut down from social media and watching the news, it can be emotional and overwhelming
  • Talk with friends or family about what you are feeling. You might find that others will connect with you are going through. This can validate how you are feeling and facilitate healing.
  • Take care of yourself

Communicating with friends/family:

Sometimes talking with friends or family can be difficult. We know they mean well and are just trying to be supportive, but it can feel overwhelming.

Here are some tips:

  • Make group communication your ally- Send out a status update, group text, etc. to let your community know you are doing ok.
  • Take a deep breath- connect with what you are feeling. People sometimes can feel multiple things at once. Such as: sadness, irritation, anger, remorse, and agitation
  • If your family visits, remember it’s not what you say, it’s what you do- Sometimes we need to just physically be with loving, supportive people. Hug ‘em, grab food, go out for a movie or even the zoo.
  • When on the phone, set boundaries!  It is okay to not want to talk.Here are a few options on what you can say:
    • “Thank you, I’m okay but I don’t really want to talk right now. I’ll call you back later when I feel like talking.”
    • “I love you, but I don’t feel like talking about it. Can we talk about something else?”
    • “Let’s not talk about what’s on the news, but I can tell you how I am feeling.”
    • “I am doing okay, I have a lot of people in the same boat as me and we are all supportive of each other. Thank you for checking in.”
    • “I haven’t been feeling so good, but I am using services on campus and talking to a counselor.
    • “I haven’t been doing so good, but I appreciate your support. I will let you know how you can help me when I need it.”

If and when you need it, free and confidential Counseling Services are available for students

(After hours counseling services available 24-7)