Each year college students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol – three times the amount spent on books. Students under age 21 violate the law when they drink. Besides breaking the law, many students abuse alcohol, endangering their health and safety. This excessive drinking is hazardous to non-drinkers too. They suffer from lack of sleep and study time, vandalism, physical assault, unwanted sexual advances and rape. Studies show that alcohol is involved in 95% of all campus violent crimes and 90% of all rapes (alcohol used by the assailant, victim or both). If you drink, you must be over 21 and be responsible – don’t abuse alcohol.
The immediate effects of alcohol depend on how much and how fast you drink and other factors. Effects may include loss of muscle control, poor coordination, impaired judgment and reasoning and loss of inhibitions. The long-term results of alcohol use may include brain and liver damage, malnutrition, personality disorders, increase risk of heart disease, heart attacks, cancers of the liver, mouth, throat and stomach, and alcohol dependency. Nearly half of all fatal vehicle crashes involve someone who has been drinking. Mixing drugs and alcohol can have unpredictable and dangerous results.
Illegal drug use can result in a jail sentence or other legal problems. People who use drugs may have automobile accidents, commit crimes, become violent, get sick, lose friends, overdose or become “hooked” (chemically dependent), be expelled from school, have financial problems, or receive poor grades.
“Date rape drugs” include GHB with a street name of “Liquid X,” Rohypnol with street names “Roofies/Roche,” and Ketamine with street name of “Special K.” They can be put into drinks to cause intense drunkenness and memory loss, leaving you vulnerable to rape and theft. Protect yourself when you are out. Do not leave your drink unattended. Do not drink something you did not open yourself or did not watch someone open. Go with a friend who has your best interest in mind and will look out for you.
Obey state laws and campus rules about alcohol and other drug use. REMEMBER DRINKING IS ILLEGAL FOR PEOPLE UNDER AGE 21.
The College abides by the laws of the State of Alabama while the student is in the State of Alabama. No student under 21 years of age is allowed to drink alcoholic beverages in the State of Alabama.
The manufacture, possession, consumption, use, sale, and transfer of alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs by any student in connection with or affecting any College-related activity (on campus or off campus), is strictly prohibited Students are subject to suspension or expulsion for a violation of this regulation by themselves or by their guests.
The sale or raffle of alcohol for the purpose of raising funds for projects, etc., is strictly forbidden. Ordering any alcoholic beverage for delivery to a College residence is forbidden. Discordant behavior that results from excessive drinking and that infringes upon the rights of others shall not be tolerated.
Possession of alcohol in violation of campus regulations and/or state law regardless of the offender’s age will be dealt with as a serious violation of College policy. Additionally, alcohol-related behavior that causes physical harm to persons or damage to property or is unreasonably disruptive will be subject to major disciplinary sanctions. Violations of College alcohol regulations will constitute cause for disciplinary action including the possible dismissal from College-operated housing or other disciplinary action considered appropriate by College officials.
Students in violation of Huntingdon College Alcohol and Drug Policy may be referred for prosecution to the State of Alabama. Enforcement of this policy will be the responsibility of the Dean of Students, the Director of Residence Life, Residence Hall Directors, Campus Security, and all other members of the College.
Additionally, the following supplemental conditions may be included as part of the student’s sanctions:
- Mandatory counseling referrals;
- Attendance at alcohol education programs;
- Community service work;
- Immediate eviction from campus housing;
- Monetary fines including restitution; and,
To achieve its educational aims, and to create an environment conducive to the full physical, intellectual and personal development of students, the College discourages the misuse or abuse of potentially harmful materials or substances. Huntingdon College does not allow the possession of alcoholic beverages and illegal and unauthorized drugs within the bounds of the campus. Additionally, it echoes the warning of the Surgeon General on the dangers of tobacco usage.
Any student who is found in possession of or using alcoholic beverages on the campus, or who damages property or disturbs others on- or off-campus due to the effects of alcohol may be subject to immediate suspension. Student organizations that violate city, state or federal laws or regulations promulgated by the Dean of Students, the SGA, IFC, or Panhellenic – whether on- or off-campus – are subject to disciplinary action and a review of their charter and/or campus authorization.
Possession of narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs and other agents having potential for abuse, except on a physician’s prescription, is strictly prohibited. Any student found to be in possession of, using, distributing, manufacturing, or dispensing such drugs may be suspended from the campus immediately and face possible expulsion from the College. Huntingdon College is in full compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226).
Alcohol and Other Drugs and Their Specific Effects
In compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226), this section provides certain information for the use of members of the College community. Included in this section are three subsections:
- Alcohol and Other Drugs: Their Specific Effects;
- Alcohol and Other Drugs: Legal Ramifications of Illegal Use;
- Alcohol and Other Drugs: Additional Resources.
Alcohol is the major active ingredient in wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Alcohol is a “psychoactive” or mind-altering drug, as are heroin and tranquilizers. It can alter moods, cause changes in the body, and become habit-forming. Alcohol is called a “downer” because it depresses the central nervous system. That’s why drinking too much causes slowed reactions, slurred speech, and sometimes even unconsciousness (passing out). Alcohol works first on the part of the brain that controls inhibitions. As people lose their inhibitions, they may talk more, get rowdy, and do foolish things. After several drinks they may feel “high,” but their nervous systems actually are slowing down. A person does not have to be an alcoholic to have problems with alcohol. Every year, for example, many young people lose their lives in alcohol-related automobile accidents, drownings, and suicides. Serious health problems can and do occur before drinkers reach the stage of addiction or chronic use. In some studies more than 25 percent of hospital admissions were alcohol-related. Some of the serious diseases associated with chronic alcohol use include alcoholism and cancers of the liver, stomach, colon, larynx, esophagus, and breast.
Contrary to the beliefs of many young people, marijuana is a harmful drug, especially since the potency of the marijuana now available has increased more than 275 percent over the last decade. For those who smoke marijuana now, the dangers are much more serious than they were in the 1960s. Preliminary studies have shown chronic lung disease in some marijuana users. There are more known cancer-causing agents in marijuana smoke than in cigarette smoke. In fact, because marijuana smokers try to hold the smoke in their lungs as long as possible, one marijuana cigarette can be as damaging to the lungs as four tobacco cigarettes.
Even a small dose of marijuana can impair memory function, distort perception, hamper judgment, and diminish motor skills. Chronic marijuana use can cause brain damage and changes in the brain similar to those that occur during aging. Health effects also include accelerated heartbeat and, in some persons, increased blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. More importantly, there is increasing concern about how marijuana use by children and adolescents affects both their short and long-term development. Mood changes occur with the first use. Driving under the influence of marijuana is especially dangerous. Marijuana impairs driving skills for at least 4 to 6 hours after smoking a single cigarette. When marijuana is used in combination with alcohol, driving skills become even more impaired.
Cocaine is one of the most powerfully addictive of the drugs of abuse—and it is a drug that can kill. No individual can predict whether he or she will become addicted or whether the next dose of cocaine will prove fatal. Cocaine can be snorted through the nose, smoked, or injected. Injecting cocaine—or injecting any drug— carries the added risk of contracting AIDS if the user shares a needle with a person already infected with HIV, the AIDS virus. Cocaine is a very strong stimulant to the central nervous system, including the brain. This drug produces an accelerated heart rate while at the same time constricting the blood vessels, which are trying to handle the additional flow of blood. Pupils dilate and temperature and blood pressure rise. These physical changes may be accompanied by seizures, cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, or stroke. Nasal problems, including congestion and a runny nose, occur with cocaine use, and with prolonged use the mucus membrane of the nose may disintegrate. Users often report feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety, and cocaine can trigger paranoia. Users also report being depressed when they are not using the drug and often resume use to alleviate further depression. In addition, cocaine users frequently find that they need increasingly more cocaine more often to generate the same level of stimulation. Therefore, any use can lead to addiction. “Crack” is the street name given to one form of freebase cocaine that comes in the form of small lumps or shavings. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound made when the mixture is smoked (heated). Crack has become a major problem in many American cities because it is cheap—selling for between $5 and $10 for one or two doses—and easily transportable—being sold in small vials, folding paper, or tinfoil.
PCP is a hallucinogenic drug; that is, a drug that alters sensation, mood, and consciousness and that may distort hearing, touch, smell, or taste as well as visual sensation. It is legitimately used as an anesthetic for animals. When used by humans, PCP induces a profound departure from reality, which leaves the user capable of bizarre behavior and severe disorientation. These PCP-induced effects may lead to serious injuries or death to the user while under the influence of the drug. PCP produces feelings of mental depression in some individuals. When PCP is used regularly, memory, perception functions, concentration and judgment are often disturbed. Used chronically, PCP may lead to permanent changes in cognitive ability (thinking), memory, and fine motor function.
Heroin is an illegal opiate drug. Its addictive properties are manifested by persistent, repeated use of the drug (craving) and by the fact that attempts to stop using the drug lead to significant and painful physical withdrawal symptoms. Heroin use causes physical and psychological problems, such as shallow breathing, nausea, panic, insomnia, and a need for increasingly higher doses of the drug to get the same effect. Heroin exerts its primary addictive effect by activating many regions of the brain; the brain regions affected are responsible for producing both the pleasurable sensation of “reward” and physical dependence. Together, these actions account for the user’s loss of control and the drug’s habit-forming action. The signs and symptoms of heroin use include euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression (which can progress until breathing stops), constricted pupils, and nausea. Withdrawal symptoms include watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, tremors, panic, chills, sweating, nausea, muscle cramps, and insomnia. Elevations in blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, and temperature occur as withdrawal progresses. Symptoms of a heroin overdose include shallow breathing, pinpoint pupils, clammy skin, convulsions, and coma.
By modifying the chemical structure of certain drugs, underground chemists have been able to create what are called “designer drugs” – a label that incorrectly glamorizes them. They are, in fact, analogs of illegal substances. Frequently, these drugs can be much more potent than the original substances, and can therefore produce much more toxic effects. Health officials are increasingly concerned about “ecstasy,” a drug in the amphetamine family that, according to some users, produces an initial state of disorientation followed by a rush and then a mellow, sociable feeling. We now know, however, that it also kills certain kinds of brain cells. These “designer drugs” are extremely dangerous. Taken from Drug-Free Communities: Turning Awareness Into Action (DHHS Publication No. ADM 89- 1562) a 1989 pamphlet distributed by the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information.
Alcohol and Other Drugs: Legal Ramifications of Illegal Use
The Criminal Code of the State of Alabama includes a description of behavior that would be considered unlawful. The Criminal Code also outlines sanctions that would apply to those guilty of unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. A summary of sanctions is provided here for reference purposes.
- Class A felony – Imprisonment for life or not more than 99 years or less than 10 years, a fine of not more than $20,000.
- Class B felony – Imprisonment for not more than 20 years or less than 2 years; a fine of not more than $10,000. **
- Class C felony – Imprisonment for not more than 10 years or less than 1 year; a fine of not more than $5,000. **
- Class A misdemeanor – Imprisonment for not more than one year; a fine of not more than $2,000. **
- Class B misdemeanor – Imprisonment for not more than six months; a fine of not more than $1,000. **
- Class C misdemeanor – Imprisonment for not more than three months; a fine of not more than $500.**
- Violations – Imprisonment for not more than thirty days; a fine of not more than $200. **
**Note: The fine may not exceed this amount or twice the financial gain derived from commission of the crime, whichever is greater.
Drug and alcohol offenses are outlined in Article 1 of Chapter 11 and Article 5 of Chapter 12 of Title 13A of the Criminal Code and a copy of the Criminal Code is retained in the Security Office. The following is a brief summary of illegal behavior related to illicit drugs and alcohol as well as applicable sanctions.
- Unlawful distribution of controlled substances. Generally, anyone who sells, furnishes, gives away, manufacturers, delivers or distributes a controlled substance is guilty of a Class B felony.
- Unlawful possession or receipt of controlled substances. Generally, anyone who possesses a controlled substance, or obtains such by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge or by providing false information, is guilty of Class C felony.
- Unlawful possession of marijuana in the first degree. Generally, anyone who possesses marijuana for other than personal use on a first offense is guilty of a Class C felony.
- Unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree. Generally, anyone who possesses marijuana for personal use only, on a first offense, is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
- Sale, furnishing, etc., of controlled substances by persons over age 18 to persons under age 18. Generally, anyone over the age of 18 who sells, furnishes, or gives a controlled substance to a person under the age 18 years is guilty of a Class A felony. Furthermore, imposition or execution of the sentence shall not be suspended and probation shall not be granted.
- Trafficking in cannabis, cocaine, etc.; mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment; trafficking in illegal drugs; habitual felony offender act.Generally, anyone who knowingly sells, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state large quantities of controlled substances (more than 2.2 pounds of marijuana; 28 grams or more of a mixture containing cocaine; 4 grams or more of a mixture containing morphine, opium, or heroin; 1,000 or more pills or capsules or methaqualone; 500 or more pills or capsules of hydromorphone; 28 grams or more of a mixture containing, 4-methylenedioxy amphetamine; 28 grams or more of a mixture containing 5-methoxy-3,4-methylenedioxy amphetamine; 4 grams or more of a mixture containing phencyclidine; 4 grams or more of a mixture containing lysergic acid diethylamide) is guilty of a Class A felony. In the case of trafficking offenses, penalties are specified ranging from a minimum mandatory prison term of 3 calendar years and a $25,000 fine to a mandatory term of imprisonment of life without parole.
- Additional penalty if unlawful sale on or near school campus. An additional penalty of 5 years incarceration in a state corrections facility with no provision for probation will be imposed if the location of an unlawful sale was on the campus or within a three-mile radius of the campus boundaries of any public or private educational institution in the State of Alabama.
- Drug paraphernalia; use or possession. Generally, anyone who uses or possesses with the intent to use, any item or piece of equipment in illegal drug-related activity is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
- Drug paraphernalia; delivery or sale. Generally, anyone who delivers or sells, or possesses with the intent to deliver or sell, any item or piece of equipment for use in illegal drug-related activity is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor on the first offense and a Class C felony on subsequent violations. Generally, anyone over the age of 18 who violates this regulation by delivering drug paraphernalia to a person less than 18 years of age is guilty of a Class B felony.
- Public intoxication. Generally, anyone who appears in a public place under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, or other drugs to the degree that he or she endangers self or other person or property, or by boisterous and offensive conduct annoys another person is guilty of the crime of public intoxication, a violation. Ordinances for the City of Montgomery outline certain other behaviors that would be considered unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol. Anyone participating in these activities is guilty of a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of $0–500 and/or a period of 1 day to 11 months in jail. Following is a brief summary of behavior related to alcohol that city ordinances identify as illegal:
- Generally, it is unlawful for anyone without the appropriate license to sell or dispense alcoholic beverages of any type.
- Generally, it is unlawful for anyone to drink, sell, dispense, give away, or attempt to do so upon any street, in any public building, or in any public place in the city. As used in this section, the term “public place” includes any place or gathering which the public generally attends or is admitted to, either by invitation, common consent or right, or by payment of an admission or other charge; except in those cases in which such location is duly licensed by the city.
- Generally, it is unlawful for anyone to serve a person under the legal drinking age (21), or allow such a person to be served, any alcoholic beverage in any place where such beverages are sold.
- Generally, it is unlawful for anyone to give or attempt to give to a person under the legal drinking age, or allow such a person to be given, any alcoholic beverage.
- Generally, it is unlawful for anyone under the legal drinking age to purchase or have in his or her possession any alcoholic beverage.
- Generally, it is unlawful for anyone of legal drinking age to give anyone not of legal drinking age any alcoholic beverage.
- Generally, any alcoholic beverage that is seized by the police department in an incident that results in conviction will be considered contraband and destroyed.
The Alabama Code – Section 13A-11-10.1: Open House Parties states that No adult having control of any residence, who has authorized an open house party at the residence and is in attendance at the party, shall allow the open house party to continue if all of the following occur:
(1) Alcoholic beverages or controlled substances are illegally possessed or illegally consumed at the residence by a person under the age of 21.
(2) The adult knows that an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance is in the illegal possession of or is being illegally consumed by a person under the age of 21 at the residence.
(3) The adult fails to take reasonable action to prevent illegal possession or illegal consumption of the alcoholic beverage or controlled substance. (Alabama defines “reasonable action” as “ejecting a person from a residence or requesting law enforcement officials to eject a person from a residence.” Ironically, the law requires that potentially intoxicated persons be ejected, thereby promoting intoxicated driving or riding with intoxicated drivers.)
Providing Alcohol to Minors
Alabama law strictly forbids serving alcohol to minors for any reason. This prohibition extends to parents as well as establishments, such as stores or restaurants. Furthermore, under the state’s “Open House Party Law” adults who allow a party to continue on their property knowing that minors are consuming alcohol at the gathering are subject to criminal liability including up to six months imprisonment. Those who serve alcohol to minors are subject to criminal penalties including a $100 to $1,000 fine and six to 12 months imprisonment (as of 2011).
Additional Resources beyond Huntingdon College
If you think you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, or if you just want more information, here are some places you can go:
Chemical Addictions Program, Inc.
1153 Air Base Boulevard
Montgomery, Alabama 36108
Lighthouse Counseling Center, Inc.
111 Coliseum Blvd.
Montgomery, Alabama 36109
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Council on Substance Abuse
828 Forest Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36106