Alcohol and Drugs on Campus – Employment Policy

Middlesex Community College is committed to the health and well-being of its employees. As part of this commitment, MCC complies with and upholds all federal, state and local laws that regulate or prohibit the possession, use or distribution of alcohol or illicit drugs.

The presence, possession and/or consumption of any alcoholic beverages on campus is prohibited anywhere on Middlesex Community College property, including the parking lots. Alcoholic beverage containers are not allowed on College property (whether empty or full) and will be confiscated. Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including discharge and may include notifying the local police.

Any employee 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:

  • Employees who seek information, advice or counseling regarding drugs are urged to contact the MCC Health Service or the off-campus College Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 1-800-327-6721.
  • An employee who ignores opportunities for help and assistance, and who willfully violates College regulations and the law, faces disciplinary action.


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 judgement and cause mood changes. Research statistics have shown that the majority of violent behaviors exhibited by people, 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 and benzodiazepines, are prescribed to relieve anxiety, tension and sleep problems; however, when taken in excessive amounts, can cause impaired judgement, slurred speech and loss of motor control. Tranquilizers are highly addictive, even at lower doses, and in combination with alcohol and 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 on 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, 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 occur even after use of the drugs has stopped.


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 Health Services and the off-campus Employee Assistance Program for employees who have alcohol and/or drug related problems, and who need help, confidential support services, and counseling.

In acknowledgement of its role in the larger community, Middlesex Community College hosts weekly meetings of Narcotics Anonymous, ALANON and Alcoholics Anonymous on campus.


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 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 or loans up to one year after the first conviction and five years after a second conviction, and permanent loss after a third conviction.

Under federal law, distribution of drugs to a person under the age of 21, in or within 1000 feet of a college or school, 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 from the use of the substance.

Last Modified: 8/4/23