Drug Free Schools and Community Act

Southern Connecticut State University
Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Annual Notification

Employee Policies

The Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S. Code §§701 et seq.) requires that any employer receiving Federal funding certify that it will maintain a drug-free workplace.  Among other things, the act requires that this policy be published notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of controlled substances is prohibited in the workplace.  It also requires that certain actions be taken if this policy is violated.  In accordance with Connecticut's three-pronged strategy of education, treatment, and enforcement to combat substance abuse, and in accordance with Federal legislation, this Drug-Free Workplace Policy has been adopted and can be found online.

For all of SCSU's employment policies, visit Policies and Procedures.

Student Policies

The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 requires that all institutions of higher education adopt and implement an alcohol and drug prevention program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on institutional premises or as part of any of its activities.  

SCSU's drug and alcohol policies are published annually in the SCSU Student Handbook, available online or in hard copy at the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (Engleman Hall, A106).  Enforcement of University drug and alcohol policies is a campus-wide effort, lead primarily by University Police and various offices within the Division of Student and University Affairs.

In addition to established campus policies, students are subject to all State and Federal laws concerning the use and possession of alcohol and other drugs. Students are expected to observe the laws of the state of Connecticut or face legal prosecution.

The University reserves the right, as permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) to notify parents/guardians if their son or daughter, less than 21 years of age, is found to be in violation of the University's alcohol and drug policies.

Legal Sanctions


Section 30-89 (a) of Connecticut statutes states that it is unlawful for a minor (under the age of 21) to purchase, or attempt to purchase or to make a false statement in connection with the attempted purchase of alcohol. The sanction is a fine of $200-$500. Section 30- 89(b) states that possession of alcohol by a minor on a street, highway, or public place is illegal. The fine ranges from $200-$500.

In Connecticut, a person is legally intoxicated when his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) reaches 0.10 percent. If a person is arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, his or her license will be suspended for 90 days.


Connecticut statutes cover a wide range of drug offenses, including the offer, the sale, the possession with intent to sell, the gift, and the mere possession of various types of drugs. [21a CONN. GEN. STAT. Section 277, 278, 279 (1988)] Among other provisions, the state laws create the following mandatory minimum prison sentences for first- time offenders who are not "drug-dependent" persons:

  • Five years for the manufacture or sale, or possession with intent to sell, of one ounce or more of heroin, methadone, or cocaine, or one- half gram or more of cocaine in a freebase form, or five milligrams or more of LSD;
  • Five years for the manufacture or sale, or possession with intent to sell, of any narcotic, hallucinogenic or amphetamine-type substance, or one kilogram or more of a cannabis-type substance (which includes marijuana);
  • Five years for the offer or gift of any of the above drugs in the respective amounts.

Conviction for the possession of drugs carries no mandatory minimum sentence but the following maximum sentences do exist for first-time offenders:

  • Seven years or $50,000 or both for possession of any quantity of a narcotic, including cocaine and "crack," morphine, or heroin;
  • Five years or $2,000 or both for possession of any quantity of a hallucinogen (such as LSD or peyote) or four ounces or more of a cannabis-type substance (which includes marijuana);
  • One year or $1,000, or both for possession of less than four ounces of a cannabis-type substance, or any quantity of a controlled drug, such as amphetamines or barbiturates.

Actual sentences depend on the severity and the circumstances of the offense and the character and background of the offender.

Federal law also penalizes the manufacture, distribution, possession with intent to manufacture or distribute, and simple possession of drugs ("controlled substances") Controlled Substances Act 21 U.S.C. Section 841, 843[b], 844, 845, 846 (1988). The law sets the following sentences for first-time offenders:

  • A minimum of ten years and a maximum of life imprisonment or $4,000,000 or both for the knowing or intentional manufacture, sale or possession with intent to sell, of large amounts of any narcotic, including heroin, morphine, or cocaine (which includes "crack"), or of phencyclidine (PCP), or of LSD, or of marijuana (1,000 kilograms or more);
  • A minimum of five years and maximum of 40 years or $2,000,000 or both for similar actions involving smaller amounts of any narcotic, including heroin, morphine, or cocaine (which includes "crack"), or phencyclidine (PCP), or of LSD, or of marijuana (100 kilograms or more);
  • A maximum of five years or $250,000 or both for similar actions involving smaller amounts of marijuana (less than 50 kilograms), hashish, hashish oil, PCP or LSD, or any amounts of amphetamines, barbiturates, and other controlled stimulants and depressives;
  • Four years or $30,000 or both for using the mail, telephone, radio or any other public or private means of communication to commit acts that violate the laws against the manufacture, sale, and possession of drugs;
  • One year or $1,000 or both for possession of any controlled substance. (The gift of a "small amount" of marijuana is subject to the penalties for simple possession.)


Penalties may be doubled, however, when a person at least 18 years old [1] distributes a controlled substance to a person under 21 years of age and (a term of imprisonment for this offense shall not be less than one year) or [2] distributes, possesses with intent to distribute, or manufactures a controlled substance in or on, or within 1,000 feet of, the real property comprising a public or private elementary, vocational or secondary school, or a public or private college. Any attempt or conspiracy to commit one of the above federal offenses, even if unsuccessful, is punishable by the same sentence prescribed for that offense. A first-time offender may receive only probation and later have the charge dismissed. Although in some cases the federal penalties seem somewhat lighter, it is not possible to "trade" a state charge for a federal one.

State and Federal law thus make crimes of many different activities involving drugs. Simple possession, giving, or even merely offering drugs is illegal, as are such offenses as the manufacture or sale of drugs.


High-risk drinking (drinking to high blood alcohol levels, drinking to the point of unconsciousness), illicit drug use, and other forms of alcohol and drug abuse have a profound effect on the body. These behaviors may cause damage to vital organs such as the heart, stomach, liver, and brain and may lead to serious emotional conditions such as severe anxiety and depression. Students should be aware of the specific health risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse.

Alcohol: Alcohol consumption causes significant changes in behavior. Low doses of alcohol can impair judgment, coordination and abstract mental thinking. Alcohol use can affect one's ability to operate a motor vehicle and increase one's chances of being involved in an accident. Excessive use of alcohol can cause marked impairments in higher mental functioning, altering a person's ability to learn and remember information.  A person who continues to use alcohol in large amounts can be at risk for dependency and severe health problems such as strokes, cancer and liver damage.

Cannabis (Marijuana): Marijuana is a mood altering chemical substance that can impair short-term and long-term memory and comprehension. Chronic use of marijuana can reduce a person's coordination and energy level. Use of marijuana can increase a person's risk for infections due to a lower immune system, lung cancer and problems with infertility. THC is the active ingredient in Marijuana and is stored in the fatty tissue of the brain and reproductive system.

Opiates (Narcotics):  Opiates are a group of chemicals that are used to treat moderate to severe pain. Narcotics can be prescription medications or street drugs such as heroin. Opiate drugs are highly addictive and can lead to dependency. Abuse of opiates can result in a coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.

Cocaine/Crack: Cocaine is a stimulant to the central nervous system. The immediate effects of cocaine include dilated pupils, elevated blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. Both cocaine and crack cocaine are highly addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, chest pains and convulsions.

Amphetamines: Amphetamines are chemicals that speed up the brain and nervous system. Use of amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, difficulty with sleeping and loss of appetite. Excessive use can cause mood changes and violent behavior and can result in permanent heart and brain damage.

Hallucinogens: Lysergic Acid (LSD), mescaline and psilocybin (mushrooms) cause delusions and hallucinations. Use of hallucinogens can cause panic, paranoia, confusion and anxiety. Flashbacks can occur months or years after use has stopped. Excessive use of hallucinogens can cause permanent psychological problems and depression.

In addition to these health problems, because judgment, reasoning, communication and perception are all negatively affected by alcohol and other drugs, these substances may lead to such things as: sexual exploitation; unwise choice of partners; unwanted pregnancies; and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.

Information on the health risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse are available at the SCSU Drug and Alcohol Resource Center, Counseling Office, Wellness Center, University Health Services, and through The Lexington Group employee assistance program.

Resources: Counseling, Referral and Treatment Services

Alcohol and Other Drug Services serves as the campus resource for students seeking information and personal assistance for substance abuse.

Confidential counseling is provided by SCSU Counseling Services.  Learn more about their services.

For more information on off-campus area resources for drug and alcohol addiction located in the New Haven County, contact any of the following resources.