Substance Abuse Policy

Lycoming College's mission statement states that the "College exists to provide a distinguished baccalaureate education for academically motivated students within a coeducational and friendly residential setting. Each student is encouraged..."to strengthen those virtues and traits of character that ennoble, enable, and emancipate the human spirit while deepening commitment to values that undergird civilization." This understanding of the purpose of a liberal education underscores the rationale for the College policy on substance abuse and misuse of alcohol and controlled substances. The abuse of controlled substances and alcohol in whatever form is inconsistent with this fundamental commitment of the College to provide said education. It is the purpose of this policy to inform students about the standards of conduct, counseling and educational services, and the health risks associated with substance abuse. This notification is pursuant to the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act of 1990.

Standards of Conduct

Alcohol

The College encourages and supports students who abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages. It also acknowledges that we live within a social environment which establishes by law a minimum age of 21 years for the use of alcohol. The College does, however, permit the use of alcohol on campus in a manner consistent with the law. It also attempts to encourage responsible attitudes and behavior regarding the use of alcohol. We recognize the need for order and regulation in this process and will not tolerate disruptive behavior or conduct which infringes upon the rights of those who wish to pursue their academic interests as responsible members of this community.

The Code of Conduct. The Code prohibits but is not limited to, the following: (a) unauthorized or illegal use of any alcoholic beverages, (b) use or possession of alcohol by those under legal drinking age, (c) use or possession of alcohol by anyone (regardless of age) in freshman residence hall areas, (d) sale or furnishing of any liquor to a student who is less than the legal drinking age, (e) disorderly conduct or impairment of judgment due all or in part to being under the influence of alcohol, (f) possession of alcohol in rooms assigned to students under 21 years of age or in common areas without authorization, (g) use or possession of grain alcohol, (h) use or possession of kegs, beer balls, beer bongs, funnels, and similar products, (i) possession of open containers of alcohol in public areas, (j) excessive quantities of alcohol.

Sanctions. Punishment for violating College policies regarding alcohol will be imposed based on the circumstances of the current violation and any previous violations of the alcohol policies. Generally, violations of alcohol policies are considered cumulatively during the entire time the student attends Lycoming College. Students should be aware that the following guidelines are typically followed in adjudication of policy violations involving alcohol:

  • Students found responsible for possession of kegs, beer balls, and/or excessive amounts of alcohol may be subject to suspension from the residence halls for up to two weeks as well as a $250 fine per individual.
  • The resolution of the third and fourth alcohol offenses will normally be resolved by the College-Wide Conduct Board. Students should note that the College-Wide Conduct Board has the authority to suspend or expel students.
  • Lycoming College notifies parents/guardians in the case of second or subsequent violations of the Code of Conduct policies involving alcohol.
  • Students found responsible for more than one (1) alcohol violation in a particular incident will receive sanctions for each violation.

Minimum sanction guidelines for violations of the alcohol policy: (At the discretion of the disciplinary officer or disciplinary board, these sanctions can be modified or increased.)

Minimum Sanctions for First Offense

  • Minimum $75 fine which will support the alcohol education program.
  • Official warning for at least a semester and no more than one (1) year.

Minimum Sanctions for Second Offense

  • Minimum $125 fine which will support the alcohol education program.
  • Completion of a comprehensive educational activity.
  • Disciplinary probation for at least a semester.
  • Letter detailing disciplinary action to parents/guardian with a copy of the letter sent to the student.
  • When appropriate, referral for substance abuse counseling and/or a substance abuse assessment with a designated off-campus professional agency. the costs of any substance abuse counseling, a substance abuse assessment, and resulting treatment conducted off campus are the student's responsibility.
  • When appropriate, restrictions of participation in extracurricular activities or other loss of privileges.

Minimum Sanctions for Third Offense

  • Minimum $150 fine which will support the alcohol education program.
  • Referral for a substance abuse assessment by a designated off-campus professional agency. The costs of the assessment and resulting treatment are the student's responsibility. The student is required to follow any and all recommendations that result from the assessment and/or counseling.
  • Disciplinary probation for at least one (1) year.
  • Letter detailing disciplinary action to student with a copy of the letter sent to parents/guardian.
  • Student(s) are subject to voluntary or involuntary separation from the College, including suspension, dismissal, or expulsion. Minimum Sanctions for Fourth Offense Student(s) are subject to voluntary or involuntary separation from the College including suspension, dismissal, or expulsion.

Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Regarding Alcohol

Lycoming College is subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding the consumption, purchase, possession, and transportation of any alcoholic beverage and related regulations. Students are reminded that the laws of the Commonwealth specify that:

  1. A person who misrepresents his/her age in order to purchase alcohol, who possesses an identification card misrepresenting his/her age, or who possesses or transports alcoholic beverages while under the legal age (21) will lose driving privileges for 90 days (first offense) and subjected to fines up to $500. Subsequent violations can bring suspension of driving privileges for up to two (2) years.
  2. A person commits a misdemeanor of the third degree if he intentionally and knowingly sells or intentionally or knowingly furnishes, or purchases with the intent to sell or furnish, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to a person who is less than 21 years of age. The penalty is a fine of $1000 for the first violation and $2500 for each subsequent violation. Please note that each individual served could be construed as a separate offense and fines levied accordingly. You should also note that "furnish" is defined in the law as supplying, giving, or providing to, or allowing a minor to possess on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged.
  3. An adult (over 21) may be convicted of operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or intoxicating liquor when the concentration of alcohol in the adult's blood or breath is .08% (BAC) or higher. A minor (under the age of 21) may be convicted of operating or being in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol when the concentration of alcohol in the minor's blood or breath is .02% (BAC) or higher. The penalty imposed for a first DUI conviction depends on the individual's BAC level, but usually includes imprisonment for at least 48 or 72 consecutive hours, a minimum fine of $300 - $500, and suspension of one's driver's license for one year. Subsequent convictions within a ten year period carry increased penalties.

In addition, all members of the Lycoming College community should be aware of Pennsylvania's social host liability law, which makes clear from case law that a host who renders substantial assistance to, or provides an environment hospitable to a minor's consumption of alcoholic beverages may be held liable for injuries caused to third parties (Fassett v Delta Kappa Epsilon, 807F 2d 1150 (3rd Cir. 1986) and Macleary v. Hines, 817 F 2d 1081 (3rd Cir. 1987).

Controlled Substances

In compliance with the provisions of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the College will not tolerate the illegal possession and/or use of, or the sale or distribution of dangerous drugs and/or narcotics. Students known to be possessing or using illegally or selling or distributing such drugs are not only subject to serious disciplinary sanctions by College authorities but also to civil liability or criminal prosecution.

The Code of Student Conduct. The Code prohibits: a) the use or possession of any controlled substance, illegal drug, or drug paraphernalia and b) the unauthorized distribution or possession for purpose of distributing any controlled substance or illegal drug.

Sanctions. Students should be aware that the following guidelines are typically followed in sanctioning for policy violations involving controlled substances or illegal drugs:

  • The resolution of the College's policies on controlled substances or illegal drugs will normally be resolved by the College-Wide Disciplinary Board. Students should note that the College-Wide Disciplinary Board has the authority to suspend or expel students.
  • Lycoming College notifies parents/guardians in the case of Code of Conduct violations involving controlled substances or illegal drugs.

Federal and State Laws Concerning Controlled Substances. It is a violation of federal, state, and local laws to use, manufacture, sell, or distribute any controlled substance. Additionally, it is against state and local laws to have drug paraphernalia in your possession for use, intended use, or sale. Specified penalties range from fines, imprisonment or both, to the federally mandated death penalty depending on the offense.

In Pennsylvania , all drug violations come under the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act. All controlled substances are listed in Section 4 (Schedules of Controlled Substances). Section 13a (Prohibited Acts; Penalties) lists the 35 prohibited acts; 13b lists the specific penalties for any violation. Some examples of prohibited acts and penalties are:

  • Possession with intent to use and/or sell drug paraphernalia. Upon conviction, an individual may be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding one (1) year, pay a fine not exceeding $25,000, or both.
  • Possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule I, II, or III is considered a felony offense, and upon convication, an individual shall be sentenced to imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years, or pay a fine not exceeding $15,000, or both.
  • Conviction for possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule IV may result in imprisonment of up to three (3) years, a fine up to $10,000, or both.
  • Conviction for possession of a controlled substance classified in Schedule V may result in imprisonment of up to one (1) year, a fine of up to $5,0000, or both.

HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH ALCOHOL AND CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

Alcohol

Although many people do not think of it as such, alcohol is a powerful, mood-altering drug. It is a central nervous system depressant that falls into a class of drugs known as sedative-hypnotics. Like all drugs, alcohol's effects are dose dependant. Typically, a "dose" of alcohol is measured in terms of standard drink." A "drink" is defined as a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or one shot of hard liquor. These all contain approximately one ounce of alcohol. On the average, it takes one hour for a 150 pound man to metabolize one ounce of alcohol. This metabolic rate is affected by weight, body size, sex, rate of consumption, and presence of food in stomach. The way in which the effect of alcohol is experienced is modified by the individual's expectations, mood, setting, and past experience.

In general, low doses of alcohol produce slight sedation, lowering of inhibitions, and impairment of judgment and fine motor coordination. As the level of alcohol present in the blood increases, (.08-.09%) motor skills, balance, and speech become impaired. A feeling of euphoria is produced and the individual becomes unaware of the impairment in his/her functioning. At the .10-.12% level, emotions are exaggerated, impotence may occur, and driving becomes extremely dangerous. Beyond this level, blackouts result (the person continues to be conscious but has no memory of events) and there is significant loss of control over behavior. If blood levels continue to rise, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and dysphoria occur. If the person becomes unconscious, there is increased risk of asphyxiation from choking on their own vomit. If blood levels reach or exceed .30, the person may die from respiratory arrest as the center which controls breathing become anesthetized.

Chronic use of alcohol can lead to psychological and physical dependence, elevated blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, cancer of the mouth and throat, cancer of the digestive system, pancreatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver. In males, chronic heavy usage is associated with testicular atrophy and breast enlargement. The risk of breast cancer in women is sharply increased by consuming as little as one drink per day. Women who drink while pregnant risk the occurrence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in their unborn children.

Controlled Substances

Barbiturates

The use of barbiturates can result in slowed heart rate and breathing, slowed reactions, confusion, weakened emotional control, distortion of reality, reduced awareness, and intoxication.

Tranquilizers

Tranquilizers (such as valium, librium, ativan, and tranzene) effects include slowed heart rate and breathing, lowered blood pressure, relaxation, drowsiness, confusion, loss of coordination, intoxication, and changes in personality.

Cannabis

The active ingredient in marijuana, hashish, and hashish oil is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. Use of THC results in an increase in heart and pulse rate, reddening of the eyes, dryness in the mouth, lowered body temperature, stimulated appetite, loss of coordination, brief sense of well-being, intoxication, possible confusion, distortion of reality, impaired short-term memory, restlessness, and hallucinations. Other possible effects of abuse include depression, panic , varying degrees of tolerance, and psychological and physical dependence. Overuse may cause paranoia. Long-term heavy use is associated with chronic lung disease and possibly lung cancer.

Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens, such as LSD and PCP, are substances capable of distorting perceptions, sensations, self-awareness, and emotions.

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) induces increased heartbeat, blood pressure, blood sugar, irregular breathing, euphoria, loss of ability to separate fact and fantasy, distortion of senses, hallucinations, paranoia, panic, and violence. Hazards include: (l) quick development of tolerance; (2) increased risk of birth defects in user's children; (3) the recurrence of effects (flashbacks) even without further use; and (4) death due to accident or suicide.

PCP's effects (phencyclidine, angel dust) are unpredictable but include brief euphoria, distorted perceptions, depression, hallucinations, confusion, drowsiness, depersonalization, loss of coordination, and irrational behavior.

Stimulants

Stimulants increase central nervous system activity. Amphetamine use results in increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, increased activity levels, feeling of alertness, and self-confidence followed by depression. Heavy usage can result in hallucinations, paranoia, and drug-induced psychosis. Long-term use can result in psychological and physical dependence; withdrawal can result in suicidal depression.

Cocaine, another stimulant drug, may cause quickened pulse and circulation, sharpened reactions, restlessness, feelings of well-being, alertness, overconfidence, confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, nervous exhaustion, and hallucinations. Hazards associated with cocaine use include physical and psychological dependence, destruction of nasal tissue from snorting the drug, lesions in lungs caused by smoking the drug, convulsions, respiratory paralysis, cardiac arrest, and death can result from overdose.

Narcotics

Narcotics are opiate drugs, which relieve pain and induce sleep. Drugs included in this category are heroin, morphine, opium, codeine, meperidine, and methadone. Effects of usage include shallow breathing, reduction in appetite and thirst, reduction in sex drive, drowsiness, brief euphoria, lethargy, heaviness of limbs, apathy, loss of ability to concentrate, loss of judgment, and self control. Hazards of abuse include physical and psychological dependence and painful withdrawal. Overdose can cause coma, convulsion, respiratory arrest, and death. Associated risks include malnutrition infection, hepatitis, and increased risk of contracting AIDS if needles are shared.

Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse

Over-the-counter drugs, especially cough and cold medications are becoming very popular as recreational drugs.  Hospitals have reported dozens of overdoses in the past two years, including five deaths where the abuse of over-the-counter medicines was a factor. Cold medicines such as Robitussin, Nyquil, Vicks Formula 44, and Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold tablets contain a chemical called Dextromethorphan (DXM), which is found in more than 120 non-prescription cough and cold medications.  The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies DXM as a “drug of concern” because if misused it can be very dangerous.  DXM is a synthetic drug that is chemically similar to morphine and has been added to cough syrups and some cold medications since the 1970’s.  Medications containing DXM are not the only over-the-counter drug that are abused. Other medications invlufr diet pills, sleep aids, and motion sickness medication.