Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention
Delaware County Community College is committed to the establishment and maintenance of a drug-free workplace and learning environment to protect the health, safety and welfare of all its College community members. Therefore, the College establishes the following policy regarding drug and alcohol abuse prevention.
The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance including alcohol in any facility owned, leased or used by the College. Alcoholic beverages shall not be bought, consumed, or sold at the College except as authorized by the Board of Trustees.
The College will comply with all laws and regulations required by the federal government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or local governing bodies and will cooperated with local, state and federal authorities to ensure compliance with laws for unlawful use, possession, manufacturing, distribution or sale of illegal drugs or alcohol. Students are advised that violations of the laws can lead to fines and/or imprisonment.
Violations of the Student Code of Conduct could result in sanctions up to and including expulsion from Delaware County Community College. Any potentially dangerous situation should be reported immediately to the Department of Safety and Security.
The College will conduct a review of this policy every two years. This biennial review will include an evaluation of the effectiveness of this policy and programs related to it and ensure that the policy has been consistency enforced. The College will implement changes to the policy through its normal procedures. Biennial review documents will remain on file for compliance purposes.
As required by federal law, the College will notify students annually about the College’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy including standards of conduct, possible sanctions that may be imposed by the College and law enforcement agencies, the health risks associated with drug and alcohol use, and counseling and treatment available.
Drug and Alcohol Counseling and Other Supports Available to Students
Counselors are available for students at the College’s campuses and centers, on a confidential basis, to respond to student needs and concerns related to drug and alcohol use. Information about counseling services at the Career and Counseling Center is available at dccc.edu/personal-counseling.
Two other community resources available to students are:
Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health
20 South 69th Street
Upper Darby, PA 19082
Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services
Government Services Center
601 Westtown Road, Suite 325
West Chester, PA 19380-0990
Drug and Alcohol Counseling and Supports for Employees
Besides the community resources listed above, employees who need help in dealing with alcohol or drug abuse should contact their health care provider or the (EAP) Employee Assistance Program (Carebridge at 1-800-437-0911 Access Code: CR9my) or Human Resources for information on treatment facilities.
The Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer or designee will notify parents/guardians of students under the age 21 of alcohol and drug violations involving the student.
Preventing Drug Abuse and Excessive Alcohol Use
According to a report from the Surgeon General, preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use increases people’s chances of living long, healthy, and productive lives. Excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking (i.e., five or more drinks during a single occasion for men, four or more drinks during a single occasion for women), underage drinking, drinking while pregnant, and alcohol impaired driving. Drug abuse includes any inappropriate use of pharmaceuticals (both prescription and over-the counter drugs) and any use of illicit drugs. Alcohol and other drug use can impede judgment and lead to harmful risk-taking behavior. Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use improves quality of life, academic performance, workplace productivity, and military preparedness; reduces crime and criminal justice expenses; reduces motor vehicle crashes and fatalities; and lowers health care costs for acute and chronic conditions.
Summary of Health Risks from Alcohol and Drug Abuse
The National Institute of Drug Abuse website has a summary of health risks associated with alcohol abuse and use of specific drugs.
Alcohol: Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. A standard drink equals 0.6 ounces of pure ethanol, or 12 ounces of beer; 8 ounces of malt liquor; 5 ounces of wine; or 1.5 ounces (a "shot") of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey). NIDA does not conduct research on alcohol; for more information, please visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Effects: Alcohol affects every organ in the drinker's body and can damage a developing fetus. Intoxication can impair brain function and motor skills; heavy use can increase risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver disease. Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a diagnosable disease characterized by a strong craving for alcohol, and/or continued use despite harm or personal injury. Alcohol abuse, which can lead to alcoholism, is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one's health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work.
Bath Salts: The term “bath salts” refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the Khat plant. Bath salts typically take the form of a white or brown crystalline powder and are sold in small plastic or foil packages labeled “not for human consumption.” Sometimes also marketed as “plant food”—or, more recently, as “jewelry cleaner” or “phone screen cleaner”—they are sold online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of brand names, such as “Ivory Wave," "Bloom," "Cloud Nine," "Lunar Wave," "Vanilla Sky," "White Lightning," and “Scarface.” Bath salts are typically taken orally, inhaled, or injected, with the worst outcomes being associated with snorting or needle injection.
- Effects: Reports of severe intoxication and dangerous health effects associated with use of bath salts have made these drugs a serious and growing public health and safety issue. The synthetic cathinones in bath salts can produce euphoria and increased sociability and sex drive, but some users experience paranoia, agitation, and hallucinatory delirium; some even display psychotic and violent behavior, and deaths have been reported in several instances.
Club drugs: These are a pharmacologically heterogeneous group of psychoactive drugs that tend to be abused by teens and young adults at bars, nightclubs, concerts, and parties. Club Drugs include Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Rohypnol, ketamine, as well as MDMA (ecstasy), LSD (Acid) and methamphetamine.
- Effects: Club drugs have various effects. GHB is a sedative and at high doses may result in sleep, coma or death. Rohypnol and GHB have been used to commit sexual assaults (date rape, acquaintance rape, etc.) due to their ability to sedate and incapacitate unsuspecting victims, preventing them from resisting sexual assault. Rohypnol can be lethal when mixed with alcohol or other depressants. Ketamine distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment from the environment and self. High doses can cause delirium and amnesia.
Cocaine: A powerfully addictive stimulant drug made from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. Cocaine which can be snorted smoked or injected is a strong central nervous system stimulant. Crack is a form of cocaine that has been processed to make a rock crystal (also called “freebase cocaine”) that can be smoked.
- Effects: It produces short-term euphoria, energy, and talkativeness in addition to potentially dangerous physical effects like raising heart rate and blood pressure. Most seriously, people who use cocaine can suffer heart attacks or strokes, which may cause sudden death.
Fentanyl: Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate analgesic similar to but more potent than morphine. It is typically used to treat patients with severe pain, or to manage pain after surgery. It is sometimes used to treat people with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to opiates. It is a schedule II prescription drug.
- Effects: Like heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs, fentanyl works by binding to the body's opiate receptors, which are highly concentrated in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. When opiate drugs bind to these receptors, they can drive up dopamine levels in the brain's reward areas, producing a state of euphoria and relaxation. Mixing fentanyl with streetsold heroin or cocaine markedly amplifies their potency and potential dangers. Effects include: euphoria, drowsiness/respiratory depression and arrest, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, unconsciousness, coma, tolerance, and addiction.
Heroin: An opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant and usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.” It is injected, smoked or snorted.
- Effects: After an intravenous injection of heroin, users report feeling a surge of euphoria (“rush”) accompanied by dry mouth, a warm flushing of the skin, heaviness of the extremities, and clouded mental functioning. Following this initial euphoria, the user goes “on the nod,” an alternately wakeful and drowsy state. Heroin abuse is associated with a number of serious health conditions, including fatal overdose, spontaneous abortion, and infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV.
Inhalants: Many products readily found in the home or workplace—such as spray paints, markers, glues, and cleaning fluids—contain volatile substances that have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties when intentionally inhaled.
- Effects: Chemicals found in different types of inhaled products may produce a variety of other short-term effects, such as nausea or vomiting, as well as more serious long-term consequences. These may include liver and kidney damage, hearing loss, or bone marrow damage. Effects may also include loss of coordination and limb spasms due to damage to myelin—a protective sheathing around nerve fibers that helps nerves transmit messages in the brain and peripheral nervous system. Inhalants can also cause brain damage by cutting off oxygen flow to the brain or even be lethal. Sniffing highly concentrated amounts of the chemicals in solvents or aerosol sprays can directly cause heart failure within minutes.
LSD (Acid): This club drug distorts perceptions of reality and causes hallucinations. LSD is sold in tablets, capsules, and, occasionally, liquid form; thus, it is usually taken orally.
- Effects: The effects of LSD depend largely on the amount taken. LSD causes dilated pupils; can raise body temperature and increase heart rate and blood pressure; and can cause profuse sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. If taken in large enough doses, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. The user’s sense of time and self is altered. Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings of despair, fear of losing control, or fear of insanity and death while using LSD.
Marijuana: Marijuana is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. In a more concentrated, resinous form, it is called hashish, and as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. Marijuana is the most common illicit drug used in the United States. Marijuana is usually smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints) or in pipes or water pipes (bongs).
- Effects: Short-term effects include euphoria, distorted perceptions, memory impairment and difficulty thinking and solving problems. Because it seriously impairs judgment and motor coordination, marijuana contributes to risk of injury or death while driving a car.
MDMA (Ecstasy): This club drug is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA is taken orally, usually as a capsule or tablet.
- Effects: It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception. Other effects include increases in heart rate and blood pressure, which are particularly risky for people with circulatory problems or heart disease. MDMA users may experience other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.
Methamphetamine: This extremely addictive, stimulant, club drug is chemically similar to amphetamine and takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder. Methamphetamine is taken orally, smoked, snorted, or dissolved in water or alcohol and injected. It is long lasting and toxic to dopamine nerve terminals in the central nervous system.
- Effects: Smoking or injecting the drug delivers it very quickly to the brain, where it produces an immediate, intense euphoria. Because the pleasure also fades quickly, users often take repeated doses, in a “binge and crash” pattern. People who use methamphetamine long-term may experience anxiety, confusion, insomnia, and mood disturbances and display violent behavior. They may also show symptoms of psychosis, such as paranoia, visual and auditory hallucinations, and delusions.
PCP: It is a white crystalline powder that is readily soluble in water or alcohol. It has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. It is sold on the illicit drug market in a variety of tablet, capsule, and colored powder forms that are normally snorted, smoked, or orally ingested. For smoking, PCP is often applied to a leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana.
- Effects: PCP is a “dissociative drug,” meaning that it distorts perceptions of sight and sound and produces feelings of detachment from the environment and self. Other effects include symptoms that mimic schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thinking, and a sensation of distance from one’s environment as well as mood disturbances.
Prescription Drugs: The classes of prescription drugs most commonly abused are: opioid pain relievers, such as Vicodin or Oxycontin; stimulants for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall, Concerta, or Ritalin; and central nervous system (CNS) depressants for relieving anxiety, such as Valium or Xanax. The most commonly abused OTC drugs are cough and cold remedies containing dextromethorphan.
- Effects: Taking high doses of a stimulant can dangerously raise body temperature and cause irregular heartbeat or even heart failure or seizures. Also, taking some stimulants in high doses or repeatedly can lead to hostility or feelings of paranoia. Opioids can produce drowsiness, cause constipation, and—depending upon the amount taken—depress breathing. The latter effect makes opioids particularly dangerous, especially when they are snorted or injected or combined with other drugs or alcohol. More people die from overdoses of prescription opioids than from all other drugs combined, including heroin and cocaine. Central nervous system depressants slow down brain activity and can cause sleepiness and loss of coordination. Continued use can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms if discontinuing use.
Salvia: Salvia (Salvia divinorum) is an herb in the mint family native to southern Mexico. It is used to produce hallucinogenic experiences. Traditionally, S. divinorum has been ingested by chewing fresh leaves or by drinking their extracted juices. The dried leaves of S. divinorum can also be smoked in rolled cigarettes or pipes or vaporized and inhaled.
- Effects: Subjective effects of salvia use have been described as intense but short-lived, appearing in less than 1 minute and lasting less than 30 minutes. They include psychedelic-like changes in visual perception, mood and body sensations, emotional swings, feelings of detachment, and a highly modified perception of external reality and the self, leading to a decreased ability to interact with one's surroundings. This last effect has prompted concern about the dangers of driving under the influence of salvinorin.
Spice/K2 (Synthetic Marijuana): Spice refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as "safe," legal alternatives to that drug. Sold under many names, including K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and others — and labeled "not for human consumption" — these products contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects.
- Effects: Spice users report experiences similar to those produced by marijuana—elevated mood, relaxation, and altered perception—and in some cases the effects are even stronger than those of marijuana. Some users report psychotic effects like extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.
Tobacco: Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco—including cigars, pipe tobacco, snuff, and chewing tobacco—contain the addictive drug nicotine. Nicotine is readily absorbed into the bloodstream when a tobacco product is chewed, inhaled, or smoked. A typical smoker will take 10 puffs on a cigarette over a period of 5 minutes that the cigarette is lit. Thus, a person who smokes about 1½ packs (30 cigarettes) daily gets 300 “hits” of nicotine each day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking results in more than 443,000 premature deaths in the United States each year— about 1 in every 5 U.S. deaths—and an additional 8.6 million people suffer with a serious illness caused by smoking.
- Effects: Nicotine is very addictive. Cigarette smoking accounts for about one-third of all cancers, including 90 percent of lung cancer cases. Smokeless tobacco (such as chewing tobacco and snuff) also increases the risk of cancer, especially oral cancers. In addition to cancer, smoking causes lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and increases the risk of heart disease, including stroke, heart attack, vascular disease, and aneurysm. Smoking has also been linked to leukemia, cataracts, and pneumonia. On average, adults who smoke die 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
Steroids (Anabolic): “Anabolic steroids” is the familiar name for synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone. Anabolic steroids can be legally prescribed to treat conditions resulting from steroid hormone deficiency, such as delayed puberty, as well as diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass, such as cancer and AIDS. But some athletes, bodybuilders, and others abuse these drugs in an attempt to enhance performance and/or improve their physical appearance. Anabolic steroids are usually either taken orally or injected into the muscles, although some are applied to the skin as a cream or gel. Doses taken by abusers may be 10 to 100 times higher than doses prescribed to treat medical conditions.
- Effects: Steroid abuse may lead to serious, even irreversible, health problems. Some of the most dangerous consequences that have been linked to steroid abuse include kidney impairment or failure; damage to the liver; and cardiovascular problems including enlargement of the heart, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol leading to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack (even in young people).
Legal Sanctions Involving Possession, Use or Sale of Alcoholic Beverages and Illegal Drugs
In addition to College sanctions in the Student Code of Conduct, any student who violates this policy will be subject to criminal prosecution and penalties under applicable local, state, and federal laws. Where appropriate or necessary, the College will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board explains alcohol and the law in the state of Pennsylvania, programs and resources available, and provides information for parents. Below are the applicable restrictions on alcohol in the state of Pennsylvania.
- The Pennsylvania Liquor Code, 47 Pa., C.S.A., 1-101 et seq., controls the possession and sale of alcoholic beverages within the Commonwealth. The Code as well as portions of the Pennsylvania Statutes pertaining to crimes and offenses involving minors, 18 Pa., C.S.A. 6307 et seq., provides the following:
- It is a summary offense for a person under the age of twenty-one to attempt to purchase, consume, possess or knowingly and intentionally transport any liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty for a first offense is suspension of driving privileges for 90 days, a fine up to $300 and imprisonment for up to 90 days; for a second offense, suspension of driving privileges for one year, a fine up to $500, and imprisonment for up to one year; for subsequent offense, suspension of driving privileges for two years, a fine up to $500 and imprisonment for up to one year. Multiple sentences involving suspension of driving privileges must be served consecutively.
- It is a crime intentionally and knowingly to sell or intentionally and knowingly to furnish or to purchase with the intent to sell or furnish, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to any minor (under the age of twenty-one). “Furnish” means to supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged. Penalty for a first violation is $1,000; $2,500 for each subsequent violation; imprisonment for up to one year for any violation
- It is a crime for any person under twenty-one years of age to possess an identification card falsely identifying that person as being twenty-one years of age or older, or to obtain or attempt to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages by using a false identification card. Penalties are stated in (2) above.
- It is a crime intentionally, knowingly or recklessly to manufacture, make, alter, sell or attempt to sell an identification card falsely representing the identity, birthdate, or age of another. Minimum fine is $1,000 for first violation; $2,500 for subsequent violations; imprisonment for up to one year for any violation.
- It is a crime to misrepresent one’s age knowingly and falsely to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalties are as stated in (1) above.
- It is a crime knowingly, willfully and falsely to represent that another is of legal age to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
- It is a crime to hire, request or induce any minor to purchase liquor or malt or beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
- Sales without a license or purchases from an unlicensed source of liquor or malt or brewed beverages are prohibited.
- It is unlawful to possess or transport liquor or alcohol within the Commonwealth unless it has been purchased from a State Store or in accordance with Liquor Control Board regulations. The use in any advertisement of alcoholic beverages of any subject matter, language or slogan directed to minors to promote consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
Drugs and Controlled Substances
Under certain circumstances convictions involving controlled substances may affect or suspend a student’s eligibility for financial aid and assistance. Details are available on the United States Department of Education website. Below are applicable laws relating to drugs and controlled substances.
- The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 Pa. C.S.A. 780-101 et seq., sets up five schedules of controlled substances based on dangerousness and medical uses. It prohibits the manufacture, distribution, sale or acquisition by misrepresentation or forgery of controlled substances except in accordance with the Act as well as the knowing possession of controlled substances unlawfully acquired. Penalties for first-time violators of the Act range from thirty days imprisonment, $500 fine, or both for possession or distribution of a small amount of marijuana or hashish, not for sale, to fifteen years or $250,000 or both for the manufacture or delivery of a Schedule I or II narcotic. A person over eighteen years of age who is convicted for violating The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, shall be sentenced to a minimum of at least one year total confinement if the delivery or possession with intent to deliver of the controlled substance was to a minor. If the offense is committed within 1,000 feet of the real property on which a university is located, the person shall be sentenced to an additional minimum sentence of at least two years total confinement.
- The Pharmacy Act of 1961, 63 Pa. C.S.A. 390-8 makes it unlawful to procure or attempt to procure drugs by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge or by forgery or alteration of a prescription. The first offense is a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both.
- The Vehicle Code, 75 PA, C.S.A. 3101 et seq., which was amended effective July 1, 1977, prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or both, if the driver thereby is rendered incapable of safe driving. A police officer is empowered to arrest without a warrant any person whom he or she has probable cause to believe has committed a violation, even though the officer may not have been present when the violation was committed. A person so arrested is deemed to have consented to a test of breath or blood for the purpose of determining alcoholic content, and if a violation is found it carries the penalties of a misdemeanor of the second degree, which includes imprisonment for a maximum of thirty days.
- The Federal drug laws, The Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., are similar to the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, but contain, for the most part, more severe penalties. Schedules of controlled substance are established, and it is made unlawful knowingly or intentionally to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense a controlled substance. If the quantity of controlled substance is large (e.g. 1,000 kg of a mixture or substance containing marijuana), the maximum penalties are life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, or both. Lesser quantities of controlled substance (e.g. 100 kg of a mixture or substance containing marijuana) result in maximum penalties of life imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both. The distribution of small amounts of marijuana for no remuneration or simple possession of a controlled substance carries a maximum of one year’s imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both, with the penalties for the second offense doubling. Probation without conviction is possible for first offenders. Distribution to persons under the age of twenty-one by persons eighteen or older carries double or triple penalties. Double penalties also apply to the distribution or manufacture of a controlled substance in or on or within 1,000 feet of the property of a school or college.
- Students who have been convicted under state or federal law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance are ineligible for federal student aid for specific periods, ranging from one year to an indefinite period depending on the nature of the offense and whether the student is a repeat offender.