Drug and Alcohol Policies
a. Standards of Conduct
As stated in the Student Handbook: "In enrolling at Middlesex Community College, a student agrees to abide by College regulations which are described below. Violations of these regulations or the aiding, abetting, inciting, encouraging or supporting such violations constitute an offense for which students may be subject to disciplinary action."
b. Drugs on Campus
"Any student found possessing, using, selling, or involved in any way with narcotics, psychedelic drugs or chemicals, or dangerous drugs on this campus, unless prescribed by a physician, will be subject to disciplinary action. In addition, the College remains cognizant of its responsibilities to the civil authorities. Operating within this framework, students who seek information, advice or counseling regarding drugs are urged to contact members of the Student Services staff or MCC Health Services. Complete confidentiality will be maintained. Also, the Student Services staff is prepared to refer students to appropriate professionals (medical, legal, psychiatric, etc.) according to the needs of the individual student. Contact will be held in complete confidence.
c. Alcoholic Beverages
"Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited anywhere on Middlesex Community College property including the parking lots. If any student under age 21 is found in violation of this policy, parents/legal guardians may be notified."
d. Sanctions for Violation of College Policies
Also, as stated in the Student Handbook:
"A student who ignores opportunities for help and assistance and who willfully violates College regulations and the law faces disciplinary action."
The College will impose disciplinary sanctions on students (consistent with local, state, and federal law) which may include discipline up to and including expulsion and referral to appropriate authorities for prosecution. The disciplinary procedure for due process is outlined in the Student Handbook.
e. Health Risks Associated with Use of Drugs and Alcohol
It is a known fact that a person's physical and emotional Health can be affected by the abuse of drugs. Stimulants (such as cocaine/crack or amphetamines) and depressants (such as alcohol and tranquilizers) are the most commonly abused drugs.
Alcohol, even in small amounts, can slow reflexes, reduce coordination, impair judgment and cause mood changes. CORE Survey statistics have shown that the majority of violent behaviors exhibited by college students including vandalism, acquaintance rape, fights, driving accidents has involved alcohol. Prolonged alcohol consumption can result in brain damage, heart problems, and liver damage. Alcohol use during pregnancy may cause birth defects in the child.
Marijuana may affect short-term memory, coordination, depth perception, male sperm production, and the immune system. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is stored in the body's fat cells and testing will still show residue evidence even after a month. (THC can also be recovered in hair when tested as long as six months after use.)
Tranquilizers (such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines) are prescribed to relieve anxiety, tension, and sleep problems; however, when taken in excessive amounts, can cause impaired judgment, slurred speech, and loss of motor control. Tranquilizers are highly addictive, even at lower doses, and in combination with alcohol or other drugs may cause coma or death.
Cocaine/Crack, though effects are unpredictable, may cause confusion, hallucinations, destruction of nasal membranes, and when smoked, lesions in the lungs. Addiction to cocaine occurs rapidly. Cocaine withdrawal results in severe depression and fatigue. Convulsions, coma and death are possible with even small amounts.
Hallucinogens (PCP, LSD, and Mescaline/Peyote) cause illusions and hallucinations, poor perception of time and distance, paranoia, anxiety and loss of control. Since the drugs block pain receptors in the brain, violent episodes of self-inflicted injury may result. "Flashbacks" may also occur even after use of the drugs has stopped.
f. Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program
Middlesex Community College provides programs and services that stress prevention of drug and alcohol abuse through education and outreach activities. Workshops, guest speakers, informational materials dealing with health related issues and behavioral risks associated with drugs and alcohol are presented throughout the school year at both campuses.
Appropriate referrals to community service agencies and treatment programs are available through the Counseling Department and Health Services for students and employees who have alcohol and/or drug related problems and who need help, confidential support services, and counseling.
In acknowledgment of its role in the larger community, Middlesex hosts weekly meetings of Narcotics Anonymous, ALANON, and Alcoholics Anonymous on campus.
g. Summary of Legal Sanctions for Alcohol and Drug Abuse
The illegal use of drugs and alcohol is a serious crime under local, state, and federal laws. Courts do not lift a prison sentence so that a convicted person may attend college or continue a job. A felony conviction for a drug or alcohol offense can also prevent a person from entering many professions or other areas of employment.
State and Local ordinances in Massachusetts prohibit public consumption of alcohol and impose fines for violation. Massachusetts laws prohibit the sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to a person under age 21. A fine and/or imprisonment may be imposed. Misrepresenting one's age or falsifying an identification to obtain alcoholic beverages is also punishable by a fine. Fines, revocation of driver's license, possible prison sentence, and mandatory alcohol rehabilitation may be imposed for a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Penalties in Massachusetts for the illegal use of controlled substances or drugs vary with the type of drug. In general, narcotic, addictive, and drugs with a high potential for abuse have heavier penalties.
Possession of drugs is illegal without valid authorization. Even though penalties for possession are generally not as severe as those for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, possession of a relatively large quantity may be considered distribution. Under both state and federal laws, 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.
It is illegal in Massachusetts to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be "in company" of a person known to possess heroin. Anyone in the presence of heroin at a party or dormitory suite risks a serious drug conviction. The sale and/or possession of "drug paraphernalia" are illegal under Massachusetts law.
A person convicted of drug possession under state or federal law is ineligible for federal student grants and loans up to one year after the first conviction and five years after a second conviction, and permanent loss after a third conviction.
In or within 1000 feet of a college or school, under federal law, distribution of drugs to a person under age 21 is punishable by twice the normal penalty with a mandatory sentence of one year in prison. A third conviction is punishable by mandatory life imprisonment.
Severe prison sentences are set under federal law for the manufacture and distribution of drugs if death or serious injury results for the use of the substance.
h. Resources for Substance Abuse Issues
MCC Personal Counseling & Consultation Services
- Bedford Campus, Enrollment Center, 2nd Floor: 781-280-360
- Lowell Campus, City Building, 3rd Floor: 978-656-3258
Daily listing of AA meetings by town
Daily listing of NA meetings by town
Merrimack Valley HUB Community Services Directory
Comprehensive list of area community mental health and non-profit services in the Merrimack Valley (including Substance Abuse Counseling)
Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline
800-327-5050 TTY: 888-448-9321
Information, referrals, language interpreters always available
Massachusetts Addiction Support Lines:
As required by the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and the Clery Act, this information is provided to all enrolled students and current employees of Middlesex Community College.