Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Drugs

The College encourages students to engage in thoughtful decision-making and responsible behavior with respect to alcohol and other drugs. A range of educational programs and services are available to help students negotiate choices around alcohol and other drugs.



If you choose to drink, here are some essential things to know:

  • Be sure to eat before drinking to aid in metabolizing the alcohol
  • Measure your drinks; a standard drink is: 12oz of beer, 5oz of wine, and 1.5oz of 80 proof liquor
  • Pace yourself; about 1 drink an hour
  • Drink water between each drink and before you go to bed
  • For additional resources for athletes, please see NCSA and NCAA for further details
  • Wellesley's Alcohol & Other Drug Policy

The following is information from the Centers for Disease Control; for more information, please also familiarize yourself with Wellesley College's Alcohol and Other Drug Policy.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, with 37.6 million users in the past year, and marijuana use may have a wide range of health effects on the body and brain. 

Marijuana use directly affects the brain — specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time.

What are the effects of marijuana on the brain?

Heavy users of marijuana can have short-term problems with attention, memory, and learning, which can affect relationships and mood.

Marijuana also affects brain development. When marijuana users begin using as teenagers, the drug may reduce attention, memory, and learning functions and affect how the brain builds connections between the areas necessary for these functions.

Marijuana’s effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent. This means that someone who uses marijuana may not do as well in school and may have trouble remembering things.

The impact depends on many factors and is different for each person. It also depends on the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana (i.e., marijuana potency or strength), how often it is used, the age of first use, and whether other substances (e.g., tobacco and alcohol) are used at the same time.

Vaping, Tobacco and Cigarettes

Did you know that 77% of Wellesley College students never smoke cigarettes? And only 3.5% of Wellesley College students reported smoking cigarettes on 3 or more days in the last month. Many of those who do smoke would like to reduce the amount they smoke or quit entirely.   

e-Cigarettes and Vaping

e-Cigarettes are battery operated devices designed to look like actual cigarettes, but rather than burning their contents, they heat up liquid to release nicotine and other chemical vapors.  The contents of the liquid may vary widely in terms of the amount of nicotine and other additives included.  Although e-Cigarettes may not deliver the same toxins as cigarettes to the user, they are still a carcinogen delivery device.  Early research shows that e-Cigarettes may be useful in helping existing users quit tobacco use, but that in young people, they may be serving the exact opposite function and facilitating initiation of tobacco use.


Online Resources for Help with Quitting

Alcohol and Other Drug Policy

Wellesley College is committed to providing an environment of well-being, learning, and accountability for its members, and established its Alcohol & Other Drug Policy with the priorities embodied in the logo created by Ashley Longseth ‘13 for the College's alcohol and other drug education programs: Educate, Moderate, Communicate Concern.

The Alcohol & Other Drug Policy establishes the following Community Standard regarding alcohol:  Students are expected to comply with governing law and College policies; respect this community by minimizing the impact of drinking upon others; care for their own health and well-being; and seek assistance for themselves of someone else who needs support or medical attention. Please read the entire policy here. The College complies with federal law which prohibits marijuana use.

eCHECKUP TO GO - Alcohol Self-Assessment Tool

eCHECKUP TO GO is a quick and confidential personalized self-assessment that will provide you with information on alcohol and harm reduction strategies, as well as feedback on your own alcohol behaviors and risk factors. It will also provide you with helpful resources available to you at Wellesley College and in the community. The information you provide to eCHECKUP To Go is completely anonymous and will only be available to you. Your identifying information is only used to verify completion of the program.  

eCHECKUP TO GO is required for all entering students, and students referred for Alcohol Education sessions. Any Wellesley student can access eCHECKUP TO GO anytime.