Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Program
office of the financial vice president & treasurer
Drug-Free Schools and Campuses
On December 12, 1989, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 were signed into law. Boston College is committed to reducing and preventing drug- and-alcohol related problems within the University community. It is important that all members of the University community understand the health risks and legal consequences of substance abuse.
Information and Resources for Students – Alcohol and Drug Education Program
Information and Resources for Faculty & Staff – Human Resources: Work Environment
Standards of Conduct
Boston College prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on University premises or property or as part of its activities. Students, faculty, and staff should become familiar with the University’s policies regarding alcohol and drugs.
Boston College expects its students and employees to comply with local, state and federal laws relating to the possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol when they are on University property or taking part in University activities. It is impractical to list all the alcohol and drug related crimes and penalties here, but students and employees should be aware that conviction under the applicable laws can lead to imprisonment, fines, and assigned community service, as well as the loss of professional licenses and employment opportunities.
Boston and Newton have ordinances forbidding the possession of an open container of alcohol on any public street by a person of any age. These ordinances are vigorously enforced—anyone choosing to violate them can expect to be arrested.
Massachusetts law prohibits the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to persons under age 21 with a fine of up to $2,000 or one year imprisonment, or both. State law also prohibits the transportation of alcohol in excess of the following quantities: 1.) nine cases or twenty gallons of beer; 2.) three gallons of any other alcoholic beverage.
Possession of drugs is illegal without valid authorization. Possession of a relatively large quantity may be considered distribution. Under both state and federal law, penalties for possession, manufacture, and distribution are much greater for second and subsequent convictions. Many laws dictate mandatory prison terms and the full minimum term must be served.
Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be “in the company” of a person known to possess heroin at a private party on or off campus risks a serious drug conviction. Sale and possession of “drug paraphernalia” is illegal in Massachusetts.
Boston College has established clear and specific sanctions for violations of its standards of conduct. These sanctions, ranging from warnings and mandatory referral to substance abuse awareness programs for minor offenses, to dismissal and/or referral to civil authorities for major and/or multiple offenses, are applied consistently and fairly.
For a more detailed list of potential sanctions please visit the Alcohol and Other Drug Policy page.
Employees and Faculty should become familiar with the Drug-Free Workplace Act requirements provided below, as well as with the Human Resources: Work Environment.
The consumption of drugs and alcohol can have significant negative effects on health. Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. High doses of alcohol may cause respiratory depression and death. Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence, and cause serious damage to the nervous and circulatory systems, mental disorders, and other health problems. Consumption of alcohol by women during pregnancy may lead to fetal alcohol syndrome.
Drugs and alcohol are chemicals, and any chemical is potentially harmful. Drugs by their very nature cause reactions in the body. Possible effects from non-therapeutic drug use include: convulsions, memory loss, psychosis, anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, and even death.
For more information regarding specific health risks please visit our page on Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Other Drug Use.
Counseling, Treatment and Rehabilitation Programs
Boston College provides individual and group counseling to students with concerns about their use and abuse of substances. Consultation is also provided to those who have concerns about the abuse of substances by friends, family or others. Referrals for specialized treatment are arranged as appropriate. The following on-campus offices provide assistance with drug and alcohol counseling and education:
University Counseling Services (617-552-3310)
Office of Health Promotion (617-552-9900)
University Health Services (617-552-3225 outpatient; 617-552-3227 inpatient)
The Employee Assistance Program provides professional counseling and referral as well as consultation and information to Boston College employees and their families. For issues of drug and alcohol abuse, short-term counseling is available through this program. If necessary, referrals can be made to private counselors or community agencies. Treatment is also available to employees and family members through their health coverage. All services of the Employee Assistance Program are confidential.
For more information contact: Employee Assistance Program (617-552-3340)
Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 was signed into law by President Reagan on November 18, 1988, and regulations that implement the Act were published on May 25, 1990. A component of the omnibus Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, the Drug-Free Workplace Act enlists federal contract and grant recipients in the battle against unlawful drugs by requiring employers who contract with, or receive grants from, federal agencies to certify that they will meet certain requirements for providing a drug free workplace, and, in the case of grantees who are individuals, by requiring each individual to certify that his or her conduct of grant activity will be drug free. The U.S. Department of Education has interpreted the Act to include Federal aid recipients. All grantees who fail to meet the drug-free workplace requirements may lose current funding and/or become ineligible to receive further contract or grants.
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires the University to provide the following information to all employees engaged in the performance of work under a federal contract or grant:
In striving to maintain a drug-free workplace, Boston College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance* in and on University-owned or controlled property. Any Boston College employee determined to have violated this policy may be subject to appropriate personnel action up to and including termination.
All employees engaged in the performance of work under a federal contract or grant who are convicted of any drug-related criminal offense occurring in the workplace are required to notify the Office of Human Resources, in writing, no later than five (5) calendar days following conviction.
An individual grantee convicted of a criminal drug offense resulting from a violation occuring during the conduct of any grant activity is to report the conviction, in writing, within ten (10) calendar days of the conviction, to his or her federal agency officer, or other designee, unless the federal agency has designated a central point for the receipt of such notices.
The University's ongoing Employee Assistance Program offers a drug-free awareness program, as well as information regarding the availability of professional drug abuse counseling, consultation, and referral. Employees of the University who have concerns about substance abuse or dependency are encouraged to utilize the resources of the Employee Assistance Program. This service is confidential.
The employment of those engaged in the performance of work under a federal contract or grant is conditional on their willingness to abide by the terms of this policy.
*This includes both illegal drugs and presciption drugs taken in nontherapeutic doses.
To request a paper copy of this document, please call the Office of the Financial Vice President and Treasurer at (617) 552-3197, or send your request in writing to:
Office of the Financial Vice President and Treasurer
129 Lake Room 540
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467