Drug Policy

The Drug-Free Schools And Communities Act Of 1989
The federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 requires all institutions of higher education to adopt and implement a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees as a condition of the institution receiving federal funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program. This policy is being issued by the College in compliance with the requirements of that Act.  

Emmanuel College strives to provide a safe and healthy environment for student growth and development and the achievement of academic success. The College policy on drug use is designed to promote these goals and to reduce the harm resulting from the misuse and abuse of drugs. Along with substantial health and safety risks are potentially significant legal consequences and students are urged to familiarize themselves with the information contained within this policy.  

Emmanuel College supports all laws governing the possession, use and sale of illegal drugs and fully cooperates with the enforcement of all such laws. The College strictly forbids the use, possession of distribution of illegal drugs, or use, possession or distribution of illegal drug paraphernalia. The College also strictly forbids the use of illegal drugs at College sponsored events off campus. In addition, all students present at the time of a drug violation may be subject to disciplinary action.  

Sanctions For Non-Compliance
Students are required to abide by all requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and this policy as a condition of continued enrollment at the College. A student who violates any provision of this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the College. Also, in appropriate circumstances, as determined by the College, law enforcement officials may be notified. Unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs may subject a student to criminal penalties. Any student determined to be manufacturing, dealing, selling, or distributing illegal drugs on or off campus faces dismissal from the College. Such students may be subject to arrest and further legal action. The College will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of drug related cases. The College will assume a student is dealing drugs if the student possesses a large quantity of illegal drugs. For example, more than two ounces of marijuana and more than four grams of cocaine would constitute a large quantity of illegal drugs.  

Persons suspected of bringing illicit drug on their person or in their belongings on property owned or leased by the College will be subject to search by the residence hall staff, Campus Safety staff or other authorized personnel. The responding staff member will document the situation. All students involved may be subject to disciplinary action.

Residence hall staff members will address any persons suspected of using or keeping illicit drugs or paraphernalia in a residence hall. In such an instance, residence hall and/or Campus Safety staff will conduct a visual inspection of the location and require the resident(s) to gather and surrender any illicit drugs or paraphernalia. Campus Safety will confiscate all found/surrendered illicit drugs or paraphernalia. If such an incident occurs in a residence hall room, any guest of the resident(s) at that time will be asked to leave the room and/or hall. The responding staff member(s) will document the situation and all students involved may be subject to disciplinary action.  

Federal Drug Offenses
The criminal offenses most commonly charged under the Federal Controlled Substances Act are the knowing, intentional and unauthorized manufacture, distribution or dispensing of any controlled substance or the possession of any controlled substance with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense. Federal law also prohibits the knowing, intentional and unauthorized creation, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to distribute or dispense a "counterfeit substance." Simple possession without necessarily the intent to distribute is also forbidden by federal law and carries a penalty of imprisonment. Furthermore, attempts and/or conspiracies to distribute or possess with intent to distribute controlled substances are crimes under federal law. Specific drug crimes carry greater penalties, including:

  • The distribution of narcotics to persons under 21
  • The distribution or manufacturing of narcotics near schools and colleges
  • The employment of juveniles under the age of 18 in drug trafficking operations
  • The distribution of controlled substances to pregnant women
  • The penalties for violating federal narcotics statutes vary considerably and may be more harsh based on two principal factors: 1. The type of drug involved (heroin, cocaine, marijuana, LSD, etc.) 2. The quantity of the drug involved  

With the exception of simple possession charges which result in up to one year imprisonment, maximum penalties for narcotic violations range from 20 years to life in prison. Certain violations carry mandatory minimum prison sentences of either five years or ten years. Harsher penalties will be imposed if a firearm is used in the commission of a drug offense. If a drug offense results in death or serious bodily injury to an individual who uses the drug involved, the penalties are also harsher. Anabolic steroids are controlled substances. Distribution or possession with intent to distribute carries a sentence of up to five years and a $250,000 fine. Questions sometimes arise as to what amount of narcotics found in the possession of a person is considered to be for personal use as opposed to the more serious offense of possession with the intent to distribute. Federal law, as a general rule, considers anything more than a dosage unit as indicating the intent to distribute. In other words, the greater quantity possessed, the more likely it is that an individual in possession has the intent to distribute.  

The Office of the Dean of Students works collaboratively with the departments of Residence Life, Counseling, Health and Campus Safety and various student groups to offer programs to educate students about the negative consequences associated with drug and alcohol use. Programs include alcohol/drug education during new student orientation, training for Residence Life staff and special programs conducted for the Emmanuel College community with the assistance of outside agencies.   

Health Risks Associated With The Use Of Illicit Drugs
For additional information on these and other drugs, please visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse website at www.nida.hih.gov

Cannabis (marijuana)
Marijuana use can have a variety of adverse, short- and long-term effects, especially on cardiopulmonary and mental health. Heart rate can increase anywhere from 20-100 percent and it was estimate that users have an almost 5-fold increase in heart attack risk in the first hour after smoking marijuana. Smoking can have an effect on heart rhythms and cause palpitations and arrhythmias. Marijuana smoke is also an irritant to the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers often suffer from chronic coughing and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections. A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and mental illness. High doses of marijuana can produce a temporary psychotic reaction (involving hallucinations and paranoia) in some users, and using marijuana can worsen the course of illness in patients with schizophrenia. A series of large prospective studies also showed a link between marijuana use and later development of psychosis. Associations have also been found between marijuana use and other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts among adolescents, and personality disturbances, including a lack of motivation to engage in typically rewarding activities.  

Cocaine is a strong central nervous system stimulant that increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine and ultimately disrupts normal brain communication. With repeated use, cocaine can cause long-term changes in the brain's reward system as well as other brain systems, which may lead to addiction. Most seriously, people who use cocaine can suffer heart attacks or strokes, which may cause sudden death. Cocaine affects the body in a variety of ways. It constricts blood vessels, dilates pupils, and increases body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. It can also cause headaches and gastrointestinal complications such as abdominal pain and nausea. Cocaine use can lead to loss of the sense of smell, nosebleeds, problems with swallowing, hoarseness, and a chronically runny nose. Users can also experience irritability, restlessness, and anxiety and severe paranoia, in which they lose touch with reality and experience auditory hallucinations.   

Heroin abuse is associated with a number of serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, constipation and gastrointestinal cramping, and liver or kidney disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health of the user as well as from heroin's effects on breathing. Chronic use of heroin leads to physical dependence, a state in which the body has adapted to the presence of the drug. If a dependent user reduces or stops use of the drug abruptly, he or she may experience severe symptoms of withdrawal.   

Narcotic Analgesics
Narcotic analgesic drugs may cause constipation, lightheadedness, dizziness, drowsiness, stomach upset, nausea, and flushing. When taken by routes other than as prescribed, there is an increased risk of depressed respiration, which can lead to coma and even death. In combination with alcohol there is a risk of dangerous slowing of heart rate and respiration, coma, and death. These drugs also possess addictive properties with long-term usage.  

Hallucinogenic drugs can have a wide range on side effects which can be dependent upon the drug taken. These effects can include the following: depression, paranoia/panic, emotional instability, impulsive behavior, and distortions in perception. Other effects include increased body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure; nausea; numbness; dizziness; weakness; tremors; sleeplessness; blurred vision. High doses of these drugs can cause the following: seizures, coma, hyperthermia, memory problems, feelings of invulnerability and exaggerated strength, and fear of insanity and death. Long-term use of these drugs can cause the following: addiction, flashbacks, cognitive impairment, loss of coordination, as well as other potential problems.  

Emergency Assistance
Students are encouraged to contact Campus Safety at 617-735-9710 for assistance when persons who are suspected to be under the influence of drugs and who may pose a danger to themselves or the community.  

A student who has been determined by the College to have used or to have been under the influence of drugs in violation of this policy may, at the College's discretion, be permitted to participate in a rehabilitation program approved by the College as an alternative to dismissal. Generally only a student who has not previously violated this policy and whose conduct and performance are otherwise satisfactory to the College will be considered for discipline short of discharge. Such a student will successfully complete an approved rehabilitation program as a condition of continued enrollment. The cost of the program is the responsibility of the student, but may be covered, in whole or in part, by the individual's health insurance, depending on the policy. The College strongly encourages students to seek assistance for problems with drug use and abuse before the individual's relationship with the College is jeopardized. A number of counseling and rehabilitation programs are available to individuals, on a confidential basis, to provide education, counseling, and coordination with available community resources to address drug and alcohol abuse problems. A list of local programs is available from the Office of Counseling room 151 Administration Building. 

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