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Contact Us

Contact:
Pritma "Mickey" Irizarry
Director, Wellness Center

Hughes hall, Room 105 on a map

Health Promotion & Advocacy Center 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Alcohol and Other Drugs Initiatives

HPAC houses the university’s Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives (AOD) where we provide trauma-informed alcohol and other drug interventions and prevention programming for the campus community.

Philosophy

HPAC & the AOD Initiatives team is committed to providing shame-free, reality-based drug education to the AU community. We commit to provide trauma-informed and student-centered advocacy meetings that consider the student as a whole being and never a singular issue. We understand that addiction is a disease influenced by both environment and biology. We believe in the thriving and recovery of our students and community.

Our Coordinator for Alcohol & Other Drug Interventions provides:

  • 1-on-1 support for students in recovery, interested in recovery, or seeking to minimize or stop drug use
  • Referrals to on-campus resources and off-campus resources related to recovery and support
  • Smoking/ Vaping Cessation Planning
  • Substance misuse prevention training and guest lectures for classes, student organizations & clubs
  • Partnership with clubs/ student organizations focused on substance abuse prevention and recovery

Book an appointment with our Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives.

University Policies & Protocols

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does HPAC provide substance abuse counseling and treatment?

    1. Currently, there are no onsite substance abuse counseling and treatment options at HPAC or the campus at large. Our Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives and Counseling Center can connect you to treatment centers, providers, and other sources of recovery support.

  2. Does AU have a medical amnesty policy?

    1. While American University doesn’t have a named medical amnesty policy, our medical transport policy states that first-time transports are generally not treated as individual violations of the Conduct Code, unless the students involved in the incident fail to comply with the directives of University officials handling the transport or appear to have committed other acts defined as prohibited conduct. The first transport is treated as a wellness check-in, an opportunity to make sure students are okay.

  3. Will I get in trouble if I call for help for a drug-related emergency but I am also using underage?

    1. As listed in our Medical transport policy, if a student or student organization is found responsible for misconduct in connection with an incident that includes a medical transport for alcohol and/or drug intoxication, the student’s or organization’s seeking medical assistance for their fellow student and cooperating with first responders and Public Safety will be considered mitigating factors when sanctions are imposed.

  4. I am a concerned staff member, faculty, parent, or friend of a student who may be struggling with their drug use. Are there resources for me?

    1. Yes! The Coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives and Counseling Center also meets with folks who are impacted by a students’ drug use and can connect you to resources.

  5. I’m not ready to go cold turkey- is the AOD initiatives program still a fit for me?

    1. Yes! The alcohol and other drug initiatives program is person-centered and rooted in harm reduction practices. We meet you where you are at- we are not here to tell you what’s best for you but rather, to give you the resources and information to help you make the best decisions for you. For some students, this means abstinence, for others, it is harm reduction. We honor and welcome both.

  6. Does American University allow alcohol on campus?

    1. Currently, American University allows students who are 21 years and older to possess reasonable amounts of alcohol in their residences only, and only if their roommates are also 21 years and older. Please refer to American University’s Alcohol and Drugs Policy for details.

  7. I have a medical cannabis card- am I allowed to bring cannabis to campus?

    1. No. Possession and use of cannabis on school property violates the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA). Cannabis is still considered a Schedule I drug through Federal policy.