Alcohol and Drugs

Involvement with or dependency upon drugs or excessive or illegal use of alcohol is viewed by Middlebury as a health concern, as well as a disciplinary matter.  Any time a Schools Abroad official has reasonable concerns that a student’s health is being compromised by alcohol or other drug use (even in cases where no concrete evidence or direct witness is involved), a drug and/or alcohol consultation or assessment may be required.  In addition, the Schools Abroad official may notify the student’s parents or guardian and/or the student’s home institution regarding concerns about the student’s drug or alcohol use.  Many of the safety incidents that our students have experienced have occurred when the students were intoxicated.

Please bear in mind the following so that you do not compromise yourself:

  • The Schools Abroad do not condone underage drinking nor drinking to excess in any context, but in those instances when alcohol is involved in students’ plans, it is imperative that students make a plan to ensure their safety above all else.
  • Many countries have laws regarding alcohol and other drug use that are more severe than laws in the US. In some countries, those caught with illegal drugs can be subject to death.
  • Certain types of alcoholic beverages may be stronger than what you are used to in the US.
  • Be aware of where and with whom you are drinking. Remember that your host country has different social norms than those with which you are familiar in the U.S.
  • Remember that consuming alcohol or another drug may impair your ability to make sound judgments, and your behavior while under the influence may put you in danger and/or lead to a violation of local laws in addition to program rules.
  • While in the U.S., emphasis is often placed on having a designated driver; people with access to public transportation tend to dismiss the importance of having at least one member of the group sober for the duration of the evening, and charged with seeing everyone home safely. 
  • Review the alcohol safety strategies and warning signs of alcohol poisoning.
  • For a student perspective on drinking while abroad, we recommend this video.

Students seeking treatment or counseling for alcohol or drug issues, can consult the following resources:

Narcotics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous

GeoBlue Insurance (phone: +1-610-254-8771; email: globalhealth@geo-blue.com)