Wellness Education and Prevention Services

St John’s is dedicated to being one of the healthiest college campuses in America. 

Wellness Peer Educator Application 2023-2024

The mission of the Wellness Education team is to help you create a Wellness Kit that includes the most effective strategies for balanced living. We want to put the information you need to make healthy choices into your hands.

We know that being healthy and being successful go hand in hand. This is a time for you to learn what it takes to care for yourself not only during college but for the rest of your life.  

There are many aspects to wellness. Our team of top professionals is a resource you can count on to help you create a balanced and healthy lifestyle that will enhance your St. John’s experience.

Want to Get Involved? Become a Wellness Peer Educator

Wellness Peer Educators (WPE) engage with their peers to provide support and education on a variety of health topics including: suicide prevention, sleep, stress management, alcohol risk reduction and more. WPEs assist with the planning and facilitation of wellness workshops, presentations, tabling, and large scale wellness events.

If you are interested in applying, please complete the Wellness Peer Educator Application 2023-2024.

The application closes on September 8, 2023.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Meg Johnson, Associate Director for Student Wellness Education and Prevention, at [email protected].

Wellness Education Team

We engage with students and collaborate with other University departments to develop and deliver programs, events, and services that  increase awareness of issues that most relate to students’ well being. Members of the professional staff are also available to address classes, clubs, and other organizations.

To request a presentation, please contact us at [email protected].

Office Locations

Queens CampusStaten Island Campus
8000 Utopia Parkway
The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Garden Level
Queens, NY 11439
[email protected]
300 Howard Avenue
Campus Center, B-15
Staten Island, NY 10301
[email protected]

Drug-free Campus Guidelines

Drug and alcohol abuse are national health problems. St. John’s University’s mission includes education available to all members of the University community concerning the medical, social and legal risks associated with substance abuse.

In addition, as an institution rooted in the Vincentian tradition of serving the community, the University is committed to helping any individual member of the University community overcome the psychological and physical problems that may be attributable to drug and alcohol abuse.

The United States Department of Education has issued regulations for the implementation of the provisions of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226). These regulations require the University to distribute annually to each student and employee information regarding the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on University property or as part of any of its on-campus or off-campus activities.

The University Code of Conduct with respect to alcohol and other drug abuse is described within, along with the health risks associated with substance abuse. We have also attempted to outline the various assistance programs available at the University and other places in the New York City area where individuals can seek help and treatment.

In compliance with the federal law, the University has described in this document the legal sanctions under both federal and state law for the illegal possession or distribution of drugs and alcohol, as well as the range of University sanctions that can be imposed for violation of the University’s policies regarding substance abuse.

The following information is extremely important and should be read carefully by each student and employee:

Student Code of Conduct and Conduct Process
Applicable to all students

Student Handbook
Applicable to all students

Residence Life Handbook
Applicable to resident students

Employee Handbook
Applicable to all University employees

St. John’s University is committed to an educational community that is free of illegal drug use and alcohol abuse. In order to achieve and maintain such an environment, a comprehensive education campaign about the medical and legal dangers of substance abuse is active on the campus through the Alcohol and Other Drug Education Office. The University’s Center for Counseling and Consultation offers its services to any student who may seek or require help with drug or alcohol-related problems.

Employees are provided with a robust Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that offers free and confidential support and services in a wide range of areas, including alcohol and substance abuse. The University’s commitment to help employees and students confront their problems of drug and alcohol abuse should not be interpreted as in any way tolerating the illegal use or abuse of alcohol or drugs or any activity that may be attributable to the use of alcohol or drugs. The University prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs or alcohol on its property, or as part of its activities. In the event an illegal alcohol- or drug-related incident should arise, involving an employee or student, the University will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies and will determine the appropriate internal disciplinary actions.

The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol is punishable by sanctions imposed by the United States Government and by the State of New York.

The penalties that are imposed for the use of illicit drugs depend on the types of drug and the amounts in possession or distributed. Refer to the chart below for a listing of drug trafficking laws.

Students can contact the Office of Student Conduct for a complete review of the University's judicial policies concerning drug and alcohol use and abuse.

Employees can contact Human Resources to obtain the documents that outline the University’s drug and alcohol policy as it pertains to University employees.

Criminal penalties can result from the misuse of alcohol. In New York State, a Class A Misdemeanor is committed when an alcoholic beverage is given to a person under the age of 21. This crime is punishable by up to one-year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine for a first offense plus six-month license revocation; a second or subsequent offense is a felony. In addition, a sale of any kind of alcoholic beverage without a license or permit is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine, a jail term or both.

Under the Zero Tolerance Law, the State will suspend or revoke the driver’s license of any person under the age of 21 who is found to have driven after drinking any quantity of alcohol. A .02 blood alcohol content is conclusive evidence that the person has consumed alcohol. The NYPD will immediately seize and impound the vehicle of an intoxicated driver. Also, if the driver causes bodily and/or property damage to others, he/she may be liable for monetary damages and criminal penalties if serious injuries or death occur.

Students under the age of 21 should be aware of New York State law that prohibits possession of alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume them. Each violation is punishable by a $50 fine and/or completion of an alcohol awareness program and/or community service (beverages may also be confiscated and destroyed). Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWAI) is also a violation, punishable by up to 15 days imprisonment and/or a $500 fine plus a 90-day license suspension.

In addition, students under 21 can be fined up to $100 and/or required to perform community service and/or complete an alcohol awareness program when presenting falsified proof to purchase alcoholic beverages. If a driver’s license is used in the attempt to purchase alcohol illegally, the license can be suspended for 90 days.

The Controlled Substance Act (CSA) of 1970 places all substances regulated under federal law into one of five schedules based on the substance’s medical use; potential for abuse; and safety or dependence liability.

For more information, please see:









(Schedule II)

500 to  4999 grams mixture

First Offense: Not less than 5 years and not more than 40 years. If death or serious injury, not less than 20 or more than life. Fine of not more than $2 million if an individual, $5 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Not less than 10 years, and not more than life. If death or serious injury, life imprisonment. Fine of not more than $4 million if an individual, $10 million if not an individual.

5 kilograms or more mixture

First Offense: Not less than 10 years and not more than life. If death or serious injury, not less than 20 or more than life. Fine of not more than $4 million if an individual, $10 million if not an individual.


Second Offense: Not less than 20 years, and not more than life. If death or serious injury, life imprisonment. Fine of not more than $8 million if an individual, $20 million if not an individual.

Two or More Prior Offenses: Life imprisonment.

Cocaine Base

(Schedule II)

5 to 49 grams mixture

50 grams or more mixture


(Schedule II)

40 to 399 grams mixture

400 grams or more mixture

Fentanyl Analogue

(Schedule I)

10 to 99 grams mixture

100 grams or more mixture


100 to 999 grams mixture

1 kilogram or more mixture


(Schedule I)

1 to 9 grams mixture

10 grams or more mixture


(Schedule II)

5 to 49 grams pure or 50 to 499 grams mixture

50 grams or more pure or 500 grams or more mixture

PCP (Schedule II)

10 to 99 grams pure or 100 to 999 grams mixture

100 grams or more pure or 1 kilogram or more mixture





Other Schedule I and II drugs (and any drug product containing Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid)

Any amount

First Offense: Not more than 20 years. If death or serious injury, not less than 20 or more than life. Fine of $1 million if an individual, $5 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Not more than 30 years. If death or serious injury, not less than life. Fine $2 million if an individual, $5 million if not an individual.

Flunitrazepam (Schedule IV)

1 gram

Other Schedule III drugs

Any amount


First Offense: Not more than 5 years. Fine not more than $250,000 if an individual, $1 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Not more than 10 years. Fine not more than $500,000 if an individual, $2 million of not an individual.

All other Schedule IV drugs (other than one gram or more of Flunitrazepam Schedule IV)

Any amount

First Offense: Not more than 3 years. Fine not more than $250,000 if an individual, $1 million if not an individual.

Second Offense: Not more than 6 years. Fine not more than $500,000 if an individual, $2 million of not an individual.

All Schedule V drugs

Any amount

First Offense: Not more than 1 year. Fine not more than $100,000 if an individual, $250,000 if not an individual.

Second Offense: Not more than 4 years. Fine not more than $200,000 if an individual, $500,000 of not an individual


Federal Trafficking Penalties: Marijuana

Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance: Includes Hashish and Hash Oil



First Offense

Second Offense


1,000 kilograms or more marijuana mixture or 1,000 or more marijuana plants

Not less than 10 yrs. or more than life. If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs., or more than life. Fine not more than $10 million if an individual, $50 million if other than an individual.

Not less than 20 yrs. or more than life.  If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.  Fine not more than $20 million if an individual, $75 million if other than an individual.


100 to 999 kilograms marijuana mixture or 100 to 999 marijuana  plants

Not less than 5 yrs. or more than 40 yrs.  If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs. or more than life.  Fine not more than $5 million if an individual, $25 million if other than an individual.

Not less than 10 yrs. or more than life.  If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment.  Fine not more than $8 million if an individual, $50million if other than an individual.


50 to 99 kilograms marijuana mixture, 
50 to 99 marijuana plants

Not more than 20 yrs.  If death or serious bodily injury, not less than 20 yrs. or more than life.  Fine $1 million if an individual, $5 million if other than an individual.

Not more than 30 yrs. If death or serious bodily injury, life imprisonment. Fine $2 million if an individual, $10 million if other than an individual.


More than 10 kilograms

Hashish Oil

More than 1 kilogram


less than 50 kilograms marijuana (but does not include 50 or more marijuana plants regardless of  weight)

1 to 49 marijuana plants

Not more than 5 yrs.  Fine not more than $250,000, $1 million if other than an individual.

Not more than 10 yrs.  Fine $500,000 if an individual, $2 million if other than individual.


10 kilograms or less

Hashish Oil

1 kilogram or less

The following is a brief summary of health risks and symptoms associated with illegal drug and alcohol abuse. Please note that individuals experience alcohol and drugs in different ways based on a variety of other physical and psychological factors.


Effect: The consumption of alcohol causes immediate changes in the functioning of the body. Within seconds of the first sip of alcohol, a person’s judgment and coordination are impaired. At this moment, activities such as a person’s ability to drive a car safely are at risk, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including physical abuse of another person. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause significant impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, low doses of alcohol will produce the effects usually correlated with moderate or high doses.

The repeated use of alcohol may lead to dependence. A person ceasing alcohol use or significantly reducing their intake will likely experience withdrawal symptoms, such as severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations and convulsions. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy are at risk for delivering an infant suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. Research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk of becoming alcoholics than other children.

Illicit Drugs


Effect: Marijuana use causes the heart rate to increase substantially, may reduce short-term memory capability and comprehension, alter cognition and decrease motivation. Long-term use may result in paranoia and psychosis. Smoking marijuana damages the lungs and pulmonary system. It contains more cancer-causing agents than tobacco. Other possible long-term effects include a decrease in male sex hormones, ovulation suppression, changes in the menstrual cycle and possible birth defects. A person who is under the influence of marijuana may laugh inappropriately, have bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat, tell-tale odor of the drug, a poor sense of timing and increased appetite.

Cocaine and Crack

Effect: Cocaine is an extremely dangerous drug, which in its purest form can cause death when even trace amounts are ingested. Use of the drug causes changes in body temperature and blood pressure and can cause heart and breathing problems. Snorting cocaine may severely damage nasal tissue and the septum. Smoking cocaine may damage the lungs. Someone using cocaine may experience muscle twitching, panic reactions, anxiety, numbness in hands and feet, loss of weight, a period of hyperactivity followed by a crash, a runny or bleeding nose and depression. Other effects may include nausea, vomiting, insomnia, tremors and convulsions. Long-time users may become paranoid and/or experience hallucinations.


Effect: In small doses, barbiturates produce calmness, relaxed muscles and lowered anxiety. Larger doses cause slurred speech, a staggering walk and altered perception. Very large doses or doses taken in combination with other central nervous system depressants (e.g., alcohol) may cause respiratory depression, coma and even death. A person who uses barbiturates may have poor muscle control, appear drowsy or dunk, become confused, irritable or inattentive or have slowed reactions.

Hallucinogens (Including PCP, LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Psilocybin)

Effect: PCP, or angel dust, interrupts the part of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. PCP blocks pain receptors. Violent episodes, including self-inflicted injuries, occur often. Long-time users report memory loss and speech difficulty. Very large doses produce convulsions, coma, heart and lung failure or ruptured blood vessels in the brain. Mescaline, LSD, peyote, etc., cause dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure and tremors. Someone under the influence of PCP might appear moody, aggressive or violent. They may also become paranoid and experience hallucinations and have slow body movements. People using LSD may report perceptual distortions or experience flashbacks and may experience loss of appetite, sleeplessness, confusion, anxiety and panic .

Narcotics (Including Heroin, Codeine, Morphine, Opium, Percodan)

Effect: Narcotics are generally injected and the use of contaminated needles can result in many different diseases, including AIDS and hepatitis. Symptoms of overdose include shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions and coma and may result in death. Some signs of narcotic use are euphoria, drowsiness, constricted pupils and nausea. Other symptoms include itchy skin; needle or “track” marks on the arms or legs; nodding; lack of sex drive and appetite; sweating, cramps and nausea when withdrawing from the drug.


Effect: Amphetamines, methamphetamines or other stimulants can cause increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure and dilated pupils. Larger doses cause rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors and physical collapse. An amphetamine injection creates a sudden increase in blood pressure that can result in stroke, high fever, heart failure and death. An individual using amphetamines might begin to lose weight, have the sweats, and appear restless, anxious, moody and unable to focus. Long-term use may produce psychosis, including hallucinations, delusions and paranoia.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Nassau Intergroup (516) 292-3040

Suffolk Intergroup (631) 669-1124

Nassau/Suffolk Spanish Intergroup (516) 223-9590

Intergroup Association of New York (212) 647-1680

Intergroup Association of Queens (718) 520-5021

Intergroup Association of Brooklyn (718) 339-4777


Nassau (516) 433-8003

Suffolk (631) 699-2827

Narcotics of Greater NY (212) 941-0094

Other Resources

New York City Dept. of Health: (800) LIFENET

1-800 Alcohol Helpline: (877) 515-1255

Narcotics Anonymous: (212) 929-6262

Narco Freedom (Drug and Alcohol Inpatient Treatment): (718) 585-5204

Phoenix House: (888) 286-5027

Cocaine Anonymous:  (212) 929-7300

Long Island Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence: (516) 747-2606

Marijuana Anonymous: (212) 459-4423


New York City Programs, a full range of detoxification, outpatient rehabilitation, inpatient rehabilitation and re-entry programs are available in New York City. The programs listed in this brochure will refer clients based on individual needs.

Damon House (Drug and Alcohol Inpatient Treatment)
(718) 443-7170

New York State Division Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS)
(800) 522-5353

Our Lady of Mercy Hospital Alcoholism Clinic 
(718) 920-9100

Outreach Project
(718) 847-9233

Paul J. Cooper Center for Human Services (Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Center for Mental Health) 
(718) 346-5900

St. Vincent’s Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment Services
(718) 522-5725

For additional resources numbers, please contact the Office of Wellness Education and Prevention.

St. John’s University is committed to the education of its students, faculty, administrators, and staff about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. We believe that the best way to achieve and maintain this objective is through preventive education about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse and compassionate attention to the needs of those who may require help with drug-related problems. To that end, the University provides many avenues of support and appropriate off-campus referrals along with supporting educational programming and disseminating of information in a context of wellness that focuses on the whole person.

Wellness Education Program

The Student Wellness Education Program operates as part of the Department of Student Wellness along with the Center for Counseling and Consultation and Student Health Services, Wellness Education seeks to challenge students about decisions concerning their overall wellness including those related to the use of alcohol and other drugs. It is also charged with raising the awareness of the entire University community of these same issues through:

  • Conducting educational programs and lectures that heighten awareness and sensitivity
  • Planning and facilitating events such as National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week activities, Safe Spring Break Campaign, Great American Smokeout, and Kick Butts Day,
  • Distributing literature on alcohol and other drugs at information tables
  • Creating and supporting alcohol-free events on campus utilizing such programs as the Stressbusters to help reduce stress and promote having a good time without the use of alcohol.
  • Promoting the services and resources available on campus that support students with overall wellness needs.
  • Facilitating the Wellness Peer Education program where students are trained to work with their peers through participating in all major campus events, conducting workshops as part of the Don’t Cancel that Class (DCTC) program (professors request programs in their absence and in lieu of canceling their classes) and other activities designed to focus on alcohol abuse prevention and other student health and safety issues including healthy relationships, use of over-the-counter drugs, smoking cessation, nutrition and stress reduction.
  • Requiring all incoming First-Year students to complete the online course, AlcoholEdu.
  • Provide one-to-one BASICS programming for students found in violation of the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug policies. BASICS is a multi-session program that helps students learn about alcohol and drug use in the context of their overall health and creates an opportunity for students to look individually at their own situations and tendencies for at-risk behavior.

For more information on Wellness Education and Prevention programming, please contact the Office of Wellness Education and Prevention.

Additional Wellness Contacts:

Employee Assistance Program

The University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential benefit designed to help employees and family members handle life’s challenges successfully—from routine concerns to major crises. The services include assessment, referral and follow-up assistance for alcohol and drug-related issues, as well as other personal and work-related matters.

Professional counselors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer support and resources, simply by calling the confidential helpline or using the website. Employees can also make appointments to meet with counselors at offices locally and nationwide. More information on the EAP can be found in policy #610 in the HR Policy Manual and from the University’s Human Resources' Work-Life Programs. 

  • For direct assistance, call the confidential helpline at 800-833-8707
  • For the member website, please visit myccaonline.com (log in with company code STJOHNS)
  • For EAP administration, please contact Human Resources


SJUOK? helps students address the issues of mental wellness through interactive programming, training, and resource dissemination.

Through a three-year grant from the US Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), we are enhancing our mental wellness support. SJUOK? was developed by students for students.

SJUOK? will help you:

  • Increase awareness of suicide and its signs and symptoms
  • Educate students on help-seeking behaviors
  • Establish a core of student “gatekeepers” through the Campus Connect program
  • Expand access to mental health treatment and resources
  • Understand both the positive and negative emotions are normal and the first step in self-care techniques

If your friend mentions suicide of self-harm, take them seriously:

Immediately call Public Safety or 911 if:

  • Someone is threatening to hurt or kill themselves
  • Someone is looking for ways to hurt or kill themselves (seeking access to pills, weapons, or other means)
  • Someone is talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide

Things to Know About Suicide

  • 1 in 10 students may have suicidal thoughts in any given year. These thoughts are a sign that the person needs attention.
  • Most suicidal people don’t want to die —they just want their pain to end.
  • Most people who are suicidal are depressed, and depression can be treated.

If you or someone you know exhibits these signs, it’s important to get help.

Recognize the Warning Signs

Here are some symptoms of someone who may be struggling:

  • Constant feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of appetite or major change in weight
  • Lack of coping skills or intense reactions to certain situations
  • Giving away belongings
  • Written or verbal statements of self-harm or violence
  • Depression: excluding themselves from social activities

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline

We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.

If you’re in crisis, there are options available to help you cope. You can also call the Lifeline at any time to speak to someone and get support. For confidential support available 24/7 for everyone in the United States, call 988. For more information, please visit 988lifeline.org.

If you are concerned about someone:

  • Tell them you care and want to help
  • Ask if they are thinking about suicide
  • Don’t promise to keep it a secret
  • Tell them about the free and confidential support from the Center for Counseling and Consultation
  • Connect them to an RA, RD or another professional that can provide guidance and assistance
  • Don’t leave them alone if you think they are suicidal


  • Understand that they may be scared and experiencing many emotions when discussing the topic of suicide. You may too.
  • Know that asking about suicide does not put the idea in their head. They may be relieved that you asked.
  • Trust that you are doing the right thing.

What is self care?

Self care includes intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health.

How can it be helpful?

Self care is unique for everyone and can be a part of healing and maintaining a healthy mind-body balance.

Self care ideas

Proper Nutrition:
Nutrition goes a long way. Having regular meals helps ensure that your body and hormones are balanced.

Self care goal: I will eat regularly and eat something nutritious at each meal.

Meditation comes in various forms. Some people find guided meditation/imagery meditative journaling, or coloring helpful to calm uncomfortable feelings and promote a positive mood.

Self care goal: I will practice deep breathing before I head to bed to wind down from my day for 20 minutes twice weekly.

Gaining restful sleep:
Seven to 10 hours of sleep per night is recommended to have your body in tip top condition.

Self care goal: I will get to bed 30 minutes earlier to get more sleep.

Physical movement:
Thirty minutes a day helps improve physical and emotional health.

Self care goal: I will go for a walk Wednesday and Friday after one of my classes.

Socializing with supportive people can be a great way to increase positive mood.

Self care goal: I will have lunch with friends at least once a week.

Online Screenings

We know that college life presents its challenges. High stress levels and other events can lead to difficulty in coping with situations.

These interactive surveys allow you to learn about your alcohol and marijuana use patterns and receive feedback about your use of them.

The assessments take about 6-7 minutes each, are self-guided, and require no face-to-face contact time with a counselor or administrator.