Alcohol and Other Drugs

University Administration | Student Handbook

The abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs by members of the Barry University community are incompatible with the goals of the institution. The university does acknowledge the problem of substance abuse in our society and perceives this problem as a serious threat to employees and students. The university does hold its students and employees responsible for the consequences of their decisions to use or distribute illicit drugs or to serve or consume alcohol. It is the intent of the university to establish and maintain a drug-free workplace. It is the university's further intent to comply in every respect with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 (Public Law 101-226) as presently constituted to be amended in the future.


Barry University condemns the possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol and drugs/substances, whether prescriptive or non-prescriptive. Any student or employee found to be in the possession of, using, selling, trading, or offering for sale illicit drugs or alcohol on the University's property or as part of the University's activities will be subject to disciplinary action as well as applicable local, state, and federal laws.

As a condition of employment, all employees and students must abide by the terms of this policy. Under federal law, any employee working under, or student receiving funds from a federal grant or contract, must report his/her criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the University to the administration not later than five (5) days after such conviction. If said employee/student is receiving federal grant or contract funds, the university is required to give notice of the conviction to the contracting agency within ten (10) days after learning of it. Employees/students convicted must, under the terms of this policy, have sanctions imposed within thirty days of the date the university Administration learns of the conviction.

Health Risks

It is important for all students and employees to be aware of health risks related to drug and alcohol abuse.


Alcohol consumption, even in low amounts, causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology. The physical effects related to alcohol abuse include increased heart rate, loss of muscle control, slurred speech, poor coordination and hangover miseries. The mental effects of alcohol use are impaired judgment, impaired thinking and reasoning processes, poor concentration and loss of inhibitions. Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses, including acquaintance rape, vandalism, fights, and incidents of drinking and driving. Continued abuse may lead to dependency, toxic psychosis, and permanent neurological and organ damage. Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. 

Drug abuse in general causes a lowered resistance to disease. I.V. drug abuse can lead to exposure to the AIDS virus and other diseases. Stimulants can cause individuals to go beyond their physical limits. Heart disease, infections, malnutrition, and death are also attributable to their abuse. Withdrawals from stimulants is accompanied by sever depressions and suicidal ideation; therefore, physical supervision is recommended. Depressant abuse can result in respiratory arrest, convulsions coma and death. Withdrawal from depressants can be very dangerous is not done under a physician's care.


Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish): The use of marijuana may impair or reduce short term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days. 

Heroin:  Heroin affects the central nervous system by relieving pain and inducing sleep.  It activates brain regions that produce euphoric sensations and brain regions that produce physical evidence, thus its ability to produce both psychological and physical addiction.  

Designer Drugs

Illegal drugs are defined in terms of their chemical formulas.  To circumvent legal restrictions, underground chemists modify the molecular structure of certain drugs to produce analogs known as designer drugs.  Analogs of amphetamines and methamphetamines cause nausea, blurred vision, chills or sweating, and faintness.  Psychological effects include anxiety, depression and paranoia.  As little as one dose can cause brain damage. 


Stimulants can cause increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils and decreased appetite.  In addition, users may experience sweating, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, sleeplessness and anxiety. 

Cocaine/Crack:  Cocaine is the most potent stimulant of natural origin.  Cocaine can produce psychological and physical dependency; tolerance develops rapidly.  Injecting cocaine with unsterile equipment can cause AIDS, hepatitis and other diseases.  Crack, or freebase rock cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death. 


The effects of depressants are, in many ways, similar to the effects of alcohol.  Small amounts can produce calmness and relaxed muscles, but larger doses can cause slurred speech, staggering and altered perception.  Very large doses can cause respiratory depression, coma and death.  The combination of depressants and alcohol can multiply the effects of the drugs, thus multiplying the risks.  Regular use over time may result in a tolerance to the drug, leading the user to increase the quantity consumer.  Examples include

Rohypnol:  a very potent tranquilizer.  The drug produces an amnesia like effect, muscle relaxation and a slowing of psychomotor responses.  This is also called the “date rape drug” or “roofies”.  Use may lead to respiratory depression, aspiration or death. This drug is often given to individuals, without their consent, in order to produce confusion and lower inhibitions.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is an increasing concern in the United States, with two leading abused prescription drugs being OxyContin and Ritalin.

OxyContin:  a morphine-like narcotic that contains a high dose of oxycodone and is prescribed to treat chronic pain.  Other drugs containing oxycodone include Percodan and Percocet, which also have a history of abuse.  Users tend to mix OxyContin with other painkillers, marijuana, or alcohol.  Short term effects including blocked pain messages and drowsiness.  Large does can cause server respiratory complications and even death. 

Methylphenidate (Ritalin):  a prescribed stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity disorder.  Although the drug is prescribed to be used orally, users will also snort and inject Ritalin.  Very high doses of Ritalin can lead to irregular heartbeat, high body temperature, cardiovascular system failure, and seizure.  If it is dissolved in water and injected, it can block small blood vessels, damage lungs, and impair eyesight. 


Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Because the drug blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries. 

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic Steroids are often misused in an attempt to increase muscle strength or bulk.  Even use of small amounts may result in serious health consequences such as liver problems, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries.  Males who use steroids may suffer from premature baldness, decreased testicle size and function, lower sperm counts, decreased sex drive, and unwanted body hair.

Guidelines for Students

Students who need assistance will be evaluated by one of the professional counselors on campus, and, if necessary, appropriate referrals will be made. Students who are found to be in violation of the university's policy and/or local, state or federal law will be subject to sanctions as stated in the Student Handbook.

Federal and State Laws

The Florida State Statutes on drug and alcohol abuse are based upon and are consistent with current federal statutes, which are found in Title 21 and 27 of the United States Code.

A conviction for a possession offense will result in a 2-year driver’s license revocation, even if an automobile was not involved in the offense.  

Students who are convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs (not including alcohol and tobacco) during a period of higher education enrollment for which they were receiving federal student aid (grants, loans, and/or work-study) will lose eligibility for federal student aid. (Excluding convictions that have been removed from their record and convictions that occurred before the student turned 18, unless they were tried as an adult. 

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for Federal Student Aid funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
3+ offense indefinite period Indefinite period

If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

Federal & State Laws for:

  • Barry University adheres to Florida Statutes Chapter 562 which details the Florida laws on alcoholic beverages and related penalties (misdemeanor, felony). These statutes include selling, giving or serving alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age (562.111) and for possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age (562.11). It is unlawful for any person to misrepresent or misstate his or her age. This includes the manufacture or use of false identification. Use of altered identification for the purpose of procuring alcoholic beverages is a felony.   Effective October 1, 1997, Florida’s “fake ID” laws, possession of any driver’s license or state identification card not produced by the appropriate governmental agency is a felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. (322.212).

    It is unlawful for any person to consume or possess open containers of alcoholic beverages while in municipal parks, playgrounds, sidewalks, or streets. It is unlawful for a person to be found in the state of intoxication on a street or public place while within the city limits. It is unlawful for a person to drive while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Penalties include: (a) a mandatory revocation of license for 180 days for the first conviction; (b) fines of up to $1,000 to $2,000 for the first offense depending on Body Alcohol Level; (d) imprisonment of not more than six months.

    In Florida, DUI is determined is the person has a blood or breath alcohol level of 0.08% or higher, or if the person is driving under the influence of other controlled substances by which his/her faculties are impaired. 

  • The Florida statutes, to which Barry University adheres with regard to drug abuse, are found in Florida Statutes Chapter 893.02.  This chapter includes definitions of what constitutes illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia, prohibited activities, and related penalties. Conviction for the possession or distribution of illegal alcohol or drugs will result in various penalties according to the nature of the offense. This can include imprisonment, fines, confiscation of property, and other related penalties. 

    According to Section 893.13 Florida statutes, “it is unlawful for any person to sell, purchase, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the real property comprising a public or private collage, university, or other postsecondary educational institution." Individuals who violate this law commit a felony of the first degree, and shall be sentenced to a minimum term of "imprisonment for up to 30 calendar years and shall not be eligible for parole or release under the control release authority pursuant to s.947.146 or statutory gain-time under s.944.275 prior to serving such minimum sentence."

    Federal penalties and sanctions for the illegal possession of a controlled substance include imprisonment up to 1 year and/or minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction; imprisonment for 15 days to 2 years and a fine of at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000 for a second conviction; and imprisonment for 90 days to 3 years and a minimum fine of $5,000 for a third or subsequent drug conviction. 

    For possession of a mixture or substance which contains a cocaine base, federal sanctions include one year in prison and a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction if the mixture or substance exceed 5 grams, for a second conviction if the mixture or substance exceed 3 grams, and for a third or subsequent conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 1 gram. (21 U.S.C. 844(a). 

    Under federal law, a person with no prior federal or state conviction of possession of any narcotic who is convicted of a first offense of cocaine possession may be sentenced to not more than one year in prison, fined not less than $1,000 or both.  A person convicted of cocaine possession after a prior conviction of possession of cocaine or any other narcotic in either federal or state court may be sentenced to not less than 15 days and not more than two years in prison, fined not less than $2,500, or both.  Two or more prior convictions of possession of any narcotic in federal or state court may lead to a sentence of not less than 90 days in prison, a fine of not less than $5,000 or both.  The term of imprisonment and the amount of the fine may be affected by the quantity of the drug seized.  A charge of possession with intent to distribute (sell cocaine greatly increases the penalties. 

    Additional possible penalties for the illegal possession of drugs are forfeiture of real or personal property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if the offense is punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment (21 U.S.C. 853(a)(2) and 881 (a)(7); forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance (21U.S.C. 881(a) (4); civil fine of up to $10,000 (pending adoption of final regulation 21 U.S.C. 844a); denial of Federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to 1 year for first offense, up to 5 years for second and subsequent offenses (21 U.S.C. 853a); and, ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm (18 U.S.C. 922(g)).

Biennal Review

A biennial review of these policies/guidelines will be conducted to ensure their effectiveness, consistent enforcement, and to implement any necessary changes. 

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