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Drug-Free Schools Act

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Drug-Free Schools Act

Full Drug Free Schools Act Memo (.pdf 77 KB)

Introduction From President Collins

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, Public Law 101-226, requires that our University implements a program to prevent unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. In part, the law requires that all students and employees annually receive a description of University policies and possible sanctions for violation of drug or alcohol laws, possible health risks associated with use of drugs or alcohol, and counseling or rehabilitation services available to you. This is a most important topic. Please take the opportunity to reflect on potential problems associated with drug use. Consider, in particular, alcohol, its role in our lives, and its possible negative impacts.

Clarkson policies and possible sanctions
Clarkson prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of controlled substances or alcohol on its property or as part of its activities. Employees are referred to the Operations Manual 3.1.7. Students are referred to the Clarkson Regulations IX-A and IX-B. Sanctions for violation of these policies will range from written warning to dismissal or expulsion, depending on the circumstances of the violation. Possible sanctions include referral for counseling, fines or rehabilitation. Students can refer to the Sanctions/Penalties page for more details on possible sanctions. The University has the right to refer individuals to governmental authorities for prosecution if deemed appropriate.

Finally, any legal usage of alcohol in public areas on campus must be approved by Clarkson's ARC (Alcohol Review Committee).

Legal sanctions
It is widely known that selling illegal drugs can result in criminal conviction leading to large fines or imprisonment. However, simple possession of illegal drugs can lead to severe penalties as well. The federal and state laws that determine those penalties are complicated, but it is important that they be understood.

For your information, the Sanctions/Penalties page summarizes penalties for alcohol-related offenses in New York State. These laws make it illegal to drive while intoxicated; serve alcohol to persons under 21; misrepresent one's identity to purchase alcohol; or for a person under 21, to possess alcohol with the intent to consume it. Also, anyone under 21 driving a motor vehicle after having consumed any alcohol will be fined and will lose driving privileges.

In addition, the Drug Possession Penalties and Federal Trafficking Penalties pages summarize federal and state penalties for drug possession and trafficking.

Finally, the Village of Potsdam municipal code (Sec. 124-7) makes it a violation to consume alcohol or to possess an open container containing alcohol on public land without special permission from the Village. The ordinance applies to anyone in a vehicle as well. Violation can result in a fine of up to $250 or 15 days in jail.

These pages cannot present a comprehensive summary of drug and alcohol laws. The laws are complicated and details frequently change. However, it is designed to alert you to the consequences of illegal behavior associated with drugs and alcohol. You should also be aware that New York laws make it illegal to possess certain types of drug paraphernalia, to grow marijuana, to make or sell imitations of illegal drugs, to operate a motor vehicle while impaired by a drug, or even to be in public while under the influence of a drug. These, and other similar types of offenses, can bring penalties ranging from fines less than $100 to seizure of property used in transporting drugs, to imprisonment. Federal law also allows the doubling of fines or prison terms for anyone selling drugs to a minor or near a school, including any university.

Health risks
Alcohol is widely used in our society. Its health risks can easily be overlooked. Effects of use can range from immediate impairment in judgment and muscle coordination, to increased risk-taking behavior and violence. Moderate to high doses of alcohol can result in respiratory failure and death. The danger of receiving a fatal dose is greatly increased when alcohol is combined with other depressants such as barbiturates. High levels of alcohol usage increase the risks of breast cancer. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy may result in physical or mental abnormalities in infants. Dependence, both psychological and physical, can result from continued usage. Should one, who is dependent, attempt to stop using alcohol suddenly, and without medical help, life threatening withdrawal symptoms can appear.

Health risks of other common drugs are summarized on the Drug Uses & Effects page. Though this page cannot cover this important information in a comprehensive way, it is intended to alert you to the many possible dangers in the use of illicit drugs. Three types of drugs not covered in the table include deliriums, designer drugs and anabolic steroids. Deliriums such as solvents, aerosols and anesthetics can have a variety of effects such as impaired judgment, hyperactivity, confusion, headache, nausea, respiratory depression, unconsciousness and even death. Designer drugs are often manufactured in an attempt to avoid technical definitions of illegal drugs. Their effects vary depending on the drug they are intended to imitate. Many are much stronger than the original and can be many times as dangerous. Among the possibilities are permanent central nervous system damage or death. Anabolic steroids are often taken to enhance muscularity and strength. They can have negative effects such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, sterility, increased aggressiveness and stunted growth in adolescents.

Where to get help
The preceding information is designed to raise awareness of possible dangers in alcohol and drug use. It is hoped problems can be prevented in our University community. However, if you or someone you know needs help for a problem related to drugs or alcohol, the following are some of the sources of counseling or referral available.

For employees
Human Resources (315-268-6497, Graham Hall-Center Core, 1st floor) will make appropriate referrals to counseling, treatment or rehabilitation services.

St. Lawrence County Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (315-386-2189).

Canton-Potsdam Hospital Detoxification Unit (315-261- 5969, ext. 3402) and Rehabilitation Unit (315-261-5954, ext. 2304).

For students
Counseling Center (315-268-2327, ERC 1st floor) will provide confidential counseling and appropriate referral for treatment or rehabilitation.

For everyone
NCA (National Council on Alcoholism) Information line (1-800-NCA-CALL) will provide referral for drug or alcohol problems. Seaway Valley Prevention Council 315.713.4861

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Hotline (1-800-662-HELP) will provide confidential information and referral.

OASAS (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) Information line (1-800-522-5353) will provide confidential information and referral.

Reachout (315-265-2422) is a local 24-hour crisis hotline that will provide confidential information and referral.