Drug Education and Harm Reduction

Wellness Tree


Alcohol and other substance misuse and abuse can impact all dimensions of your wellbeing. We are here as a resource to provide prevention and education opportunities, social host responsibility training, and organizational risk management workshops. Whether you are looking for information or strategies for yourself, a friend, or for a larger organization, DuWell can work with you to develop an action plan for reducing the potential harm stemming from high-risk activities.  

What You Can Do

Party Monitor Trainings are a chance for students to talk with other student leaders and learn skills regarding:

  • The goals of hosting events
  • The roles of the Party Monitor
  • The risks associated with alcohol and other drug use
  • How to promote safe social behaviors
  • Resources and support for your group
  • Develop skills to address potentially dangerous and questionable behavior among your guests, including overconsumption of alcohol and drugs and situations potentially involving sexual assault

Things to Remember

  • Party Monitors must complete one training each academic year.  
  • For ALL events involving alcohol, there must be one Party Monitor for every 25 expected attendees. 
  • When planning an event, the names of each Party Monitor must be submitted with the Space Request, Program Notification Form, and through DukeGroups.com.

To register for a training, click here.

What is alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a serious - and sometimes deadly - consequence of consuming large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate, and gag reflex and potentially lead to coma and death. Binge drinking - rapidly downing 5 or more drinks in a row - is the main cause of alcohol poisoning.

What are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning?

  • Eyes roll back in head
  • Skin is clammy
  • Skin color changed
  • Breathing is slow
  • Heart rate is slow
  • Vomiting while passed out
  • Cannot be awakened from their passed out state

What do I do if I think someone has alcohol poisoning?

A person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call Duke EMS at (919) 684-2444 or 911 right away.

How can I prevent alcohol poisoning?
If you choose to drink, there are several things you can do before, during, and after drinking to keep you and your friends safe:


  • Be prepared- bring your cell phone
  • Decide on a drink limit and tell your friends
  • Eat a full meal
  • Know the signs of alcohol poisoning and the number for Duke EMS


  • Keep track of how many drinks you have had
  • Limit yourself to one alcoholic drink per hour
  • Sip drinks slowly
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water
  • Stick to one type of alcohol
  • Avoid unfamiliar drinks with unknown alcohol content
  • Avoid chugging contests or drinking games
  • Check on your friends throughout the night


  • Leave with your friends
  • Stay with friends who appear to be intoxicated or ill
  • Call Duke EMS or 911 right away if you notice signs of alcohol poisoning

How We Can Help

DuWell provides advising and consultations for student groups that are planning to host on-campus events. We are happy to work with your group on an ongoing basis to develop and implement a risk management plan.

We also provide consultations to assist in the planning process for major campus events like LDOC, Devils Gate, and K-Ville.

Organizers of these types of large-scale entertainment venues have a greater number of concerns to evaluate to minimize the negative consequences of alcohol and other substance use that may be associated with these events.

To Set Up An Appointment:
Contact DuWell at 919-681-8421 or duwell@studentaffairs.duke.edu to schedule a private consultation to address the ongoing prevention needs of your event. We will work with you to access the resources on campus to assist you in making your event as successful as possible.

BASICS is a screening program for alcohol and other drug use/abuse. This program assists students in identifying their patterns of use and the risk factors associated with those patterns. Students work together with us and brainstorm ideas on how to reduce their risk and implement their harm reduction strategy. Most students who attend BASICS are then able to manage their plan on their own, but we provide ongoing support as needed.

If you are looking to make an appointment, interested in helping a friend, or if you are a campus professional who is interested in learning more about talking to students about alcohol and other drugs, please click here or call (919) 681-8421.

Similar to Individual BASICS, Group BASICS is a screening program for alcohol and other drug use/abuse that allows students to explore and identify their patterns of use and the risk factors associated with those patterns in a small group setting. Students will often be referred to Group BASICS by the Office of Student Conduct or HRL for first-time, low-level alcohol violations. Students work together with us and brainstorm ideas on how to reduce their risk and implement their harm reduction strategy. 

To register for Group BASICS, click here.

DuWell offers students the opportunity to meet individually with a staff member to explore options for reducing or quitting their tobacco use. Consultations are free and may be one-time or ongoing depending on the individual's need for support. We can also connect you with other resources both on and off campus.

Please call our office at 919-681-8421 and request a smoking cessation consultation with one of our staff members.

Supporting Those in Recovery

DuWell welcomes those in our community who are in recovery or allies to recovery. There are several engagement opportunities to support your needs.

  • On-Campus AA Meetings: Held every Tuesday in the Student Wellness Center Room 144 from 12:00pm - 1:00pm.
  • General Support: If you are in need of support or have other ideas on how we can help the Duke Recovery Community, feel free to contact us at anytime, we would be happy to help.
  • DukeReach: DukeReach provides case management services to students in recovery or returning from a leave of absence for ongoing coordination of care and referrals to resources on and around campus. For more information contact DukeReach at 919-681-2455.
  • AA Meetings: Alcoholics Anonymous® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. For Durham-based AA meetings please click here.
  • Al-Anon: Al-Anon provides friends and relatives of those with a substance use disorder an opportunity to gather together to share their experience, strength, and hope in order to solve their common problems. 
  • NA Meetings: Narcotics Anonymous  provides help from peers and offers an ongoing support network for substance abusers who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. the name, Narcotics Anonymous, is not meant to imply a focus on any particular drug; NA’s approach makes no distinction between drugs including alcohol. For Durham-based NA meetings please click here. 
  • Duke Marine Lab - Recovery Resources: For students taking semester at the Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC and looking for support, click here.


When does drinking for fun turn into problem drinking? It’s not always easy to see when drinking has crossed the line from moderate or social use to problem drinking. And it can be hard to talk to your friend about your concerns for their drinking habits. Being a friend or partner of a person with an substance use problem can be difficult for you and negatively affect your relationship.  You are not alone.

Tips for talking with your friend:

  • Express to your friend when they are sober about how his/her drinking makes you feel. You may be met with excuses, denial, or anger but what does matter is that you express your love and concern with specific examples of behavior that has worried you.
  • Making empty threats or preaching does not show your support for them.
  • Don’t feel guilty or responsible for his/her behavior. It is not your fault.
  • Keep in mind that change cannot be forced. It takes time for someone to seek help and develop new coping skills to overcome problem drinking. Being patient is important.
  • Remain involved in the recovery process but don’t assume their responsibilities. Taking over their responsibilities protects them from the consequences of their behavior.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I worry about how much my friend drinks?
  • Am I embarrassed or hurt by my friend’s behavior after he/she drinks?
  • Do I make excuses for this behavior to our friends or others?
  • Are you afraid to upset your friend for fear it will set off a drinking bout?
  • Does “having a drink” seem to be more important than other things?
  • Has the personal safety of myself, partner, or other friends been threatened when he/she drinks?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, consider seeking support from any of these resources: