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Substance Abuse and Addiction

Understanding Substance Abuse

Substance abuse encompasses the misuse of various substances, including alcohol, drugs, and prescription medications, posing significant risks to individuals' physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Alcohol and marijuana remain prevalent substances in the United States, each carrying substantial risks. However, it's essential to recognize that prescription drug abuse is also a significant concern, with medications being misused for non-medical purposes. Understanding the risks associated with these substances is crucial for making informed decisions about substance use and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Standards of Conduct

Northeast State Community College employees and students are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use, or being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol on the College campus, at off-campus facilities owned or controlled by the College, or as a part of College-sponsored activities. All categories of employees and students are subject to this policy and to applicable federal, state, and local laws related to this matter (NeSCC Policy 05:04:02).

Understanding these risks is essential for individuals to make informed choices about substance use. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, seeking help and support is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle.

Substance Abuse and Addiction Resource Videos


Empty beer bottles
  • Alcohol is the most frequently used and misused substance in the U.S.
  • Each year, an estimated 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
  • Approximately 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol annually.
  • An estimated 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking each year.
  • Around 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape annually.

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Marijuana plants

  • Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the U.S., with real risks associated with its use.
  • Today's marijuana is stronger than ever before, increasing the likelihood of addiction.
  • Early marijuana use can lead to permanent IQ loss of up to 8 points.
  • Marijuana use can exacerbate symptoms of depression and anxiety, increase suicidal ideation, and trigger psychotic episodes.
  • It can negatively impact motivation and concentration, leading to worse educational outcomes, lower career achievement, and reduced life satisfaction among regular users, according to research.

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Prescription Drugs

Pills in a bottleFor the latest updates on regional efforts in substance abuse prevention and treatment, we recommend exploring the following resources:

If you're concerned about a loved one's risk of opioid overdose, assistance is available. Contact Brianne Dunning at or call 423.742.5819 to inquire about naloxone HCI training, obtain an Opioid Overdose Prevention Kit, and access support service referrals. For more information on naloxone HCI and its life-saving potential, visit

In alignment with TCA § 63-1-152, officers at the Northeast State Police Department are trained to administer naloxone HCI to address opioid-involved overdoses occurring on campus premises, aiming to minimize injuries and fatalities. In case of emergency, reach out to Campus Police directly at 423.677.7927 (emergency cell) or dial 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.

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Support & Referral Information

People supporting each otherSupport can be very powerful and a beneficial force when trying to change one's misuse or addiction to alcohol or drugs. Weekly community groups in the Tri-Cities area are available on different days and times throughout the week. Sometimes it takes visiting two or three different groups before one can find the right fit.  Check out these groups for locations, day and times that will meet your schedule.  

Recovery Groups

Family Groups

Counseling Services
C2101, General Studies Building 

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Connect with Northeast State

Northeast State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. For questions or concerns, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer.