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Alcohol and Other Drug Policy

alcohol and drug education program

The Boston College Student Guide is produced by the Office of the Dean of Students.  The following information is a copy of the Boston College policies pertaining to alcohol and drug use.  Click here to view the complete Student Guide.



Boston College abides by all local, state, and federal laws with regard to alcohol and drug use. The University prioritizes the health, safety, and wellbeing of every member of the community and requires that individuals who choose to use alcohol and drugs do so in a responsible manner. All members of our community have the right to an academic and residential environment free from the abusive effects of alcohol and drug use.

4.3.1    Alcohol Policy

Students under the age of 21 years are prohibited from possessing, using, purchasing, transporting, selling, and/or distributing alcohol.

Regardless of legal drinking age, all students are prohibited from:

  • possessing or consuming an open container of alcohol in on- or off-campus public or common areas (e.g., Campus Green, outdoors, lounges, hallways, etc.).
  • engaging in drunkenness and disorderly conduct.
  • possessing, furnishing, consuming or serving from a large quantity or common source of alcohol (i.e. kegs, beer balls, punch bowls).
  • Hosting or participating in the rapid consumption of alcohol, including high-risk drinking games. 
  • Enabling underage alcohol consumption. A student will be considered to be enabling the underage consumption of alcohol if he/she possesses or has alcohol present in their residence for use by others, regardless of who purchased or acquired the alcohol. The student is also responsible for misconduct if he/she passively allows illegal alcohol or drug use to occur within his/her residence hall room or off campus residence, or otherwise provides a setting that allows for the underage consumption of alcohol. For information about social host liability, please visit

Alcohol consumption resulting in the need for medical attention is a threat to the safety and wellbeing of the individual and the larger community and is strictly prohibited regardless of whether the individual is of legal drinking age. Situations where an individual seeks medical attention for him/herself or for another Boston College student will be handled according to the Seeking Help for Alcohol and Drug Related Medical Emergencies policy.

For specific guidelines pertaining to alcohol use and abuse within the residence halls, refer to the Conditions of Residency

4.3.2    Drug Policy

The University prohibits the possession, use, consumption, manufacturing, sale or distribution of drugs, as well as the possession, use, manufacturing or sale of drug paraphernalia. Additionally, the possession of drugs with intent to deliver, sell or manufacture is prohibited.

The term “drugs” broadly includes, without limitation, any stimulant, intoxicant (other than alcohol), nervous system depressant, hallucinogen, or other chemical substance, compound or combination when used to induce an altered state, including any otherwise lawfully available product used for any purpose other than its intended use (e.g., the misuse of prescription drugs, over the counter drugs, or household products).

The institution classifies drugs into three broad categories:

  • marijuana,
  • illicit drugs, and
  • misuse of prescription drugs

Marijuana: The federal government regards marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance, and possession of marijuana remains illegal in Massachusetts. However, society currently has a complex and rapidly shifting relationship with marijuana, and perspectives around the dangers and potential medical uses for marijuana are evolving. While Boston College prohibits the possession and use of marijuana, the University’s response is reflective of the particularly complex and changing societal view of marijuana.

Illicit Drugs: Cocaine, heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), amphetamines, methamphetamines, hallucinogens (i.e. LSD, psilocybin mushrooms), and similar substances are considered to be illicit drugs due to the severe negative health and safety outcomes associated with their use. Illicit drug use is illegal and can lead to serious harm to physical and mental health, emotional wellbeing, and relationships; it can also lead to dangerous physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, and put individuals at high risk for tolerance and dependence.

Misuse of Prescription Drugs: Misuse of prescription drugs, including opiates/pain-killers (i.e. morphine, oxycodone), stimulants (i.e. Ritalin), sedative-hypnotics (i.e. barbiturates, anxiolytics) and other psychoactive drugs, is prohibited. This includes taking a medication that is not prescribed to you, taking more than the prescribed dose of a medication, or taking a prescription medication for a reason other than the intended use (i.e. to produce a “high”).

The University takes the use of illicit drugs, misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, and possession and distribution of drugs very seriously and will respond accordingly.

The term “drug paraphernalia” broadly includes any material, product, instrument or item used to create, manufacture, distribute, use or otherwise manipulate any drug and includes, but is not limited to hypodermic needles, syringes, bongs or pipes.

4.3.3    Seeking Help for Alcohol- and Drug-Related Medical Emergencies

The health and safety of Boston College students is of paramount concern.  As a result, all students are expected and encouraged to seek immediate assistance for themselves or others in situations where help is needed due to intoxication or drug ingestion.

Students should actively seek assistance for themselves or others, as a result of impairment due to alcohol and/or drug use.  Boston College will support and encourage this help-seeking behavior by treating the situation as a health and safety matter, rather than a conduct matter, when students contact emergency responders or university officials (e.g., Resident Assistant, Boston College Police).  Additionally, anyone who seeks help or calls for help on behalf of another student will not be subject to action through the conduct system.

Students who seek and receive medical attention in such situations will be required to complete certain educational and/or counseling interventions and will also be subject to all fees related to their medical care.  Failure to complete these referrals would be treated as a conduct matter.

Students who demonstrate consistent and repeated patterns of seeking help for alcohol and drug related medical emergencies may require further medical review and/or treatment up to mandated medical leaves of absence.

Regardless of help-seeking behavior, students will be held accountable for misconduct accompanying or incidental to the use and/or abuse of alcohol or other substances.  For example, disorderly behavior, violence, property damage, or distribution or intent to distribute will be treated as conduct violations and will be responded to accordingly.

For immediate medical assistance, contact the BC Police at (617) 552-4444.