Substance Abuse Prevention Program for Students
The University of La Verne's concern over the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol results from the serious health hazards associated with substance abuse and from the potential legal penalties for those convicted of unlawful use, possession or distribution of these substances. The University's primary approach in preventing substance abuse by students is to educate them regarding its medical and psychological hazards and to increase student sensitivity to the ways in which it interferes with the growth of a community, where substance abuse is not condoned, and where those with related problems are provided with assistance.
The University has a long-standing tradition of students acting responsibly and refraining from actions that are damaging to others or to the University. Members of the University of La Verne community are expected to take responsibility for their own conduct and to comply with state and federal laws as well as with policy.
Local, State and Federal Laws and Legal Sanctions
Local, state and federal laws establish severe penalties for unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a fine, probation, or lengthy imprisonment. In the case of possession and distribution of illegal drugs, these sanctions could include the seizure and summary forfeiture of property, including vehicles. It is especially important to know that recent federal laws have increased the penalties for illegally distributing drugs, to include life imprisonment and fines in excess of $1,000,000.00. Examples of the law are:
- Unlawful possession of a narcotic drug is punishable by imprisonment in the State prison.
- The purchase, possession, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
- Any person found in a public place to be under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug and unable to care for his/her own safety or interfering with the use of a public way is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.
- Selling, either directly or indirectly, any alcoholic beverages, except under the authority of a California Alcoholic Beverage Control License, is prohibited. This includes selling glasses, mixes, ice or tickets for admission.
- Possession of an alcoholic beverage in an open container in a motor vehicle or on a bicycle is prohibited, Regardless of who is driving or whether one is intoxicated.
- Driving a motor vehicle or bicycle while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.
Note: Undergraduate students be advised that the manufacture, use or provision of a false State Identification Card or Driver's License is prohibited.
Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol
The use of any mind or mood-altering substance, including alcohol, can lead to psychological dependence, which is defined as a need or craving for the substance and feelings of restlessness, tension or anxiety when the substance is not used. In addition, with many substances use can lead to physical tolerance, characterized by the need for increasing amounts of the substance to achieve the same effect, and/or symptoms when the substance is no longer being used. As tolerance and psychological or physical dependence develop, judgement becomes impaired and people often do not realize they are losing control over the use of the substance and that they need help. It is impossible to accurately predict how an individual will react to a specific drug or the alcohol because effects vary depending on the person, environmental variables, the dosage and potency of the substance, the method of taking the substance, the chronicity of use, and whether the substance is taken in conjunction with other substances. Illegal drugs have particularly unpredictable effects due to variability in dosage and purity. Further, the overall potency of street drugs has increased dramatically, making users increasingly susceptible to negative effects.
Alcohol acts as a depressant to the central nervous system and can cause serious short and long-term damage. Short-term effects include nausea, vomiting, and ulcers; more chronic abuse can lead to brain, liver, kidney and heart damage, and eventually death. Ingesting a large amount of alcohol at one time can lead to alcohol poisoning, coma, and death. Drugs such as LSD, amphetamines, marijuana, and alcohol alter emotion, cognition, perception, physiology, and behavior in a variety of ways. Health risks include but are not limited to depression, apathy, hallucination, paranoia, and impaired judgement, and all substances can have adverse effects on pregnancy. When two or more substances are combined, there is often an effect that is stronger that their additive sum.
Assistance for Alcohol Abuse and/or Drug Use Problems
The University of La Verne is committed to education and counseling as the primary focus of its Substance Prevention Program and will provide confidential and professional assistance for any student who wants it. Students enrolled at the La Vern campus are urged to seek information and help regarding substance abuse through the University Counseling Center. Students enrolled at the University's other sites should seek assistance from the Director of their program who can refer them to appropriate resources within their area. The staff of the Counseling Center will provide information about the effects of drug and alcohol use, will help students examine the extend of any potential problem and will develop a plan of action that might involve counseling, education, or referral to other resources as needed. To protect students' privacy, information obtained regarding a student during participation in any related program is treated as confidential. La Verne campus students can contact the Counseling Center by calling (909) 593-3511, ext. 4831.
The University of La Verne will impose sanctions on individuals and organizations who violate this policy. These sanctions will be consistently enforced and penalties will depend on the severity of the offense. Penalties can include expulsion from the University and referral for prosecution for violations of the law. A student who is found selling illegal drugs will probably be suspended or expelled from the University, even for a first offense.
Sanctions for less severe offenses may include the following: verbal and written warnings, community service, the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program, social probation for an individual, persona non grata status, and suspension for the repeat offender. Social restrictions will be applied to organizations that flagrantly or frequently violate policy. An event may be closed immediately or other intervention may be taken to correct the violation. Disciplinary action may be invoked entirely apart from any civil or criminal penalties that the student might incur. For a more complete explanation of University policies and disciplinary procedures, please refer to the University catalog.
The above statements are intended to inform our student body about the University's standards in relation to drug and alcohol use, to make the student body more aware of the health risks, legal liabilities associated with illegal drugs and alcohol, and to comply with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act of 1989, Public Law 101-226. Please contact the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (909) 593-3511, ext. 4050, if you have any questions or need clarification regarding the University's Substance Abuse Prevention Program.