Alcohol and Other Drugs

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: 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.

Hallucinogens: 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.

Cocaine/Crack: Cocaine users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack, or freebase rock cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death.

Amphetamines: Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.

Heroin: Heroin is an opiate drug that causes the body to have diminished pain reactions. The use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.

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.

Drug Awareness and Education Program

To assist employees and students in understanding and avoiding the perils of drug and alcohol abuse, Barry University has a Drug-Free Awareness Program. The university uses this program in an ongoing educational effort to prevent and eliminate drug and alcohol abuse that may affect the campus. The Drug-Free Awareness Program includes information about (1) the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace; (2) the university's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy; (3) the availability of treatment and counseling; and (4) the sanctions the university will impose for violations of its Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy. The university's Counseling Center also offers assistance to students dealing with drug and/or alcohol abuse.

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.

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. 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.

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)).

Charts detailing Federal penalties for drug trafficking may be found in the Office of the Vice President for Student Services.

Biennial Review

A biennial review of these policies/guidelines will be conducted to ensure their effectiveness, consistent enforcement, and to implement any necessary changes. A copy of this report may be found in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs in the Landon Student Union, Suite 300.

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