Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Response Program
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign promotes an environment that discourages substance misuse, informs university community members about resources for preventing or treating substance misuse and promotes healthy decisions about alcohol and other drugs.
University community members should familiarize themselves with the university’s standard of conduct relating to alcohol and other drugs, the disciplinary sanctions applicable to students and employees who violate that standard, and relevant state and federal criminal laws.
The information that follows is provided in support of the university’s commitment to the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
The university is concerned about your health and safety. Abuse of alcohol and controlled substances can seriously impair your health and ability to work and study. It can also endanger the safety and well-being of others.
The university seeks to prevent substance misuse by:
- Promoting accurate information on drug use;
- Encouraging healthy use of leisure time through recreation and other activities;
- Enhancing skills for dealing with stress; and,
- Working through campus leaders and influencers to establish a healthy environment.
How drug use affects your health
Adverse health effects can range from nausea and anxiety to coma and death. There are risks associated with the chronic use of all psychoactive drugs, including alcohol. A pregnant woman who uses alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs exposes her fetus to serious risks, including miscarriage, low birth weight and brain damage.
Substance abuse may involve controlled substances, illegal drugs and alcohol—all of which pose a health risk. When drugs are used in combination with each other, their negative effects on the mind and body are often multiplied beyond the effects of the same drugs taken on their own.
Alcohol is the drug most frequently misused on college campuses. Even small amounts of alcohol significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car, increasing the chances of having an accident. Consumption of alcohol may be a factor in the incidence of aggressive crimes, including acquaintance sexual assault and domestic violence. Moderate to large amounts of alcohol severely impair the ability to learn and remember information. Because alcohol is a depressant, very large amounts can cause respiratory and cardiac failure, resulting in death.
Marijuana impairs short-term memory and comprehension. It can cause confusion, anxiety and, for some, lung damage and abnormalities of the hormonal and reproductive system. Hours after the feeling of getting high fades, the effects of the drug on coordination and judgment remain, heightening the risk of driving or performing other complex tasks. Cannabis, a fat-soluble substance, may remain in the body for weeks, and overuse can cause paranoia, panic attacks or psychiatric problems.
Club drugs refer to a wide variety of drugs including MDMA (Ecstasy), GHB, rohypnol, ketamine, methamphetamine and LSD, and are often used at raves, dance clubs and bars. No club drug is safe due to variations in purity, potency and concentration, and they can cause serious health problems or death. They have even more serious consequences when mixed with alcohol.
Depressants such as barbiturates, Valium and other benzodiazepines, quaaludes and other depressants cause disorientation, slurred speech and other behaviors associated with drunkenness. The effects of an overdose of depressants range from shallow breathing, clammy skin, dilated pupils, and weak and rapid pulse to coma and death.
Hallucinogens such as LSD, MDA, PCP (angel dust), mescaline and peyote can cause powerful distortions in perception and thinking. Intense and unpredictable emotional reactions can trigger panic attacks or psychotic reaction. An overdose of hallucinogens can cause heart failure, lung failure, coma and death.
Narcotics like heroin, codeine, morphine, methadone and opium cause such negative effects as anxiety, mood swings, nausea, confusion, constipation and respiratory depression. Overdose may lead to convulsions, coma and death. The risk of being infected with HIV/AIDS or other diseases increases significantly if you inject drugs and share needles, and there is a high likelihood of developing a physical and psychological dependence on these drugs.
Stimulants – cocaine, amphetamines and others – can cause agitation, loss of appetite, irregular heartbeat, chronic sleeplessness and hallucinations. Cocaine and crack cocaine are extremely dangerous and psychologically and physically addictive. An overdose can result in seizures and death.
Tobacco, with its active ingredient nicotine, increases heart rate and raises blood pressure. The tar in cigarette smoke is a major cause of cancer and other respiratory problems. Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke can promote arteriosclerosis, and long-term effects of smoking include emphysema, chronic bronchitis, heart disease and lung cancer.
Drug and alcohol programs
The university provides educational programs and counseling to students who are substance abusers and those affected by the substance abuse of others. Substance abuse may involve not only controlled substances and illegal drugs, but also alcohol and other substances that may be detrimental to health, even though not subject to state and federal laws. For confidential help with substance-related problems, students should contact the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704. Additional university and community resources are also available.
- The University of Illinois Counseling Center offers the following workshops:
- Challenging Alcohol Attitudes Positively
- Marijuana Information Class
- Self-Assessment Workshop
For more information, visit the Outreach and Prevention Services section of the Counseling Center’s website.
- ACE IT
In an effort to provide a safe community for students, the university requires all first-year students to attend ACE IT, an orientation program using video and discussion led by fellow students to examine what new students may encounter in the campus drinking culture.
In a 75-minute workshop, students watch video scenes about drinking and campus life with a group of other new students. After each scene, students have the opportunity to express their thoughts and hear what peers have to say about drinking situations, attitudes and choices.
ACE IT does not endorse complete abstinence. Rather, it seeks to ensure all students stay safe and healthy and succeed academically.
- The University of Illinois Counseling Center offers the following workshops:
The university encourages employees who have a problem with the use of controlled substances or alcohol to seek professional advice and treatment. A list of sources for counseling, rehabilitation and assistance programs may be obtained confidentially by calling the Faculty/Staff Assistance Services at 217-244-5312 or by visiting their website. Individuals may request this information themselves, or be directed to do so by a supervisor.
Standards of Conduct
The University of Illinois is committed to maintaining a drug- and alcohol-free environment for its students and employees in compliance with applicable state and federal laws. Students or employees who violate federal or state laws concerning drugs or alcohol are subject to criminal prosecution; those who violate university policies also are subject to institutional sanctions.
Students – Student Code
- § 1-305 Policy on Drugs
- § 1-306 Alcoholic Beverages – Preamble
- § 1-307 Alcoholic Beverages – General Rules
Among other things, this section specifies that "possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by students under twenty-one years of age is prohibited."
- § 1-308 Alcoholic Beverages – Special Rules Relating to University Property
- § 1-311 Certain Consequences of Disciplinary Action
This section includes the range of disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed for drug and alcohol related violations of the Student Code.
- §3-603 Access to Student’s Personally Identifiable Education Records
This section specifies that the university may contact the parents of students under the age of 21 for violations of the Student Code relating to the use of alcohol or a controlled substance.
Employees – Campus Administrative Manual
Imposition of disciplinary sanctions
Student disciplinary action
Students who violate university policies concerning drugs or alcohol are subject to university sanctions. The illegal possession, use, distribution, sale, making or manufacture of drugs by a university student raises the question of a student's fitness to continue at the university. University disciplinary action may be initiated for any of the aforementioned activities.
Employee disciplinary action
Employees are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal, for unauthorized consumption of intoxicating liquors on institutional time or property, inability to perform satisfactorily assigned duties as a result of drinking alcoholic beverages, illegal or excessive use of drugs, narcotics, or intoxicants or the unauthorized sale or distribution of drugs, narcotics, or intoxicants.
Legal sanctions under federal and state law
State law - alcohol
In Illinois, it is against the law to sell or deliver alcohol to anyone under 21 or to any intoxicated person. Violations can result in fines of up to $1,000 and one year in jail. It is also illegal for a person under 21 to present false identification in an attempt to purchase alcohol. On-campus violations are strictly enforced by University Police, and additional penalties may be imposed.
- The Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke without a hearing the driver’s license or instruction permit of a person under 21 who has purchased or attempted to purchase alcohol from a duly licensed establishment or who has consumed alcohol on licensed premises.
- Local liquor commissioners have the duty to report to the Secretary of State any conviction for a violation of the Liquor Control Act, or a similar provision of a local ordinance, prohibiting a person under 21 from purchasing, accepting, possessing or consuming alcohol and prohibiting the transfer or alteration of identification cards, the use of the identification card of another or a false or forged identification card, or the use of false information to obtain an identification card.
- The Secretary of State is authorized to suspend or revoke the driver’s license or learner’s permit of any person convicted of violating any of the prohibitions listed above or similar provisions of local ordinances.
Substantial penalties exist in Illinois for the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 or greater. Arrests are also possible at lower alcohol levels if driving is impaired. The first offense can result in a $1,000 fine, incarceration for up to one year, and suspension or revocation of the offender’s driver’s license. Subsequent offenses entail penalties of significantly greater severity. Transporting open alcohol containers in a motor vehicle is also punishable under Illinois law.
State law - drugs
Possession and delivery of illicit drugs are prohibited in Illinois through the Cannabis Control Act [740 ILCS 40/0.01 et seq.] and the Controlled Substances Act [720 ILCS 570/100 et seq. and 720 ILCS 570/401 et seq.]. Penalties vary with the amount of the drug confiscated; the type of drug found; the number of previous offenses by the individual; and whether the individual intended to manufacture, sell or use the drug.
A first-time conviction of possession of a controlled substance can result in a one- to three-year prison sentence, plus a fine of up to $15,000. More severe penalties may be imposed for conviction of class 2, 3 or 4 felonies involving manufacture or delivery to a minor. Vehicles used with knowledge of the owner in the commission of any offense prohibited by the Cannabis Control Act or Controlled Substances Act can be seized by the government, and all ownership rights are forfeited.
Under federal sentencing guidelines, federal courts can sentence simple-possession first offenders to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Penalties for subsequent convictions are significantly more severe. A sentence of life imprisonment can result from a conviction for possession of a controlled substance that results in death or bodily injury. Possession of more than five grams of cocaine can trigger an intent-to-distribute penalty of 10 to 16 years in prison.
For additional information on federal drug trafficking penalties, visit the Drug Enforcement Administration website.