Policy Statement on the Prevention of Alcohol Abuse and Other Drug Use or Abuse

The health and wellbeing of students in our community is paramount. Therefore, Quinnipiac University empowers students to make healthy and responsible decisions about their behaviors, including alcohol and other drug use, that affect them and the Quinnipiac community as a whole. University prevention programs, policies and resources focus on reducing high-risk behaviors and promoting safe, legal and responsible student choices. For more information about prevention programs and resources, contact the Prevention and Wellness Educator at 203-582-7436.

Behavioral Expectations

The behavioral expectations that Quinnipiac University has for all students—whether on or off campus—are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct, including specific codes pertaining to alcohol and drugs, can be found in this Student Handbook. Additionally, policies that outline expectations for student organizations as they relate to alcohol and/or other drugs can be found in the Student Organizations and the Fraternity and Sorority Life sections of the Student Handbook.

Promoting Responsible Action in Health and Safety Emergencies  

Quinnipiac University encourages students and student organizations to make responsible decisions and to take responsible action whenever they are concerned about the health and safety of themselves or others. Accordingly, the university expects that in emergencies related to alcohol or other drug use, students will seek help for those at risk.

If a student or student organization seeks assistance from university staff, local police, or emergency medical services for themself or for another person due to concerns about someone’s health and safety, this responsible action taken on their part will be taken into consideration in the university’s response to any policy violations related to alcohol and/or controlled substances.

Under the terms of this policy:

  1. Students or student organizations who seek assistance for themselves, another student(s), a visitor/guest or any other individual in medical need due to intoxication generally will not be charged with any alcohol or controlled substances violation as described in the Student Code of Conduct.
  2. This policy does not apply in cases where a student is discovered to be intoxicated by university staff or other local authorities, or if the university is made aware of the student’s intoxicated condition by means other than a student-initiated report or communication.
  3. Students or student organizations involved in such an incident may still be required to meet with one or more university staff members for education, assessment, and possible referral for treatment as may be appropriate.
  4. If a student or student organization fails to attend the meeting(s) referenced above, chooses not to participate in the steps recommended by university staff, or has repeated concerns involving alcohol and/or other drugs, this policy may no longer apply.

This policy does not preclude student conduct action regarding other violations of the Quinnipiac University Student Code of Conduct that may be discovered at the time of the incident, such as causing or threatening physical harm, sexual misconduct, damage to property, disorderly conduct, etc.

This policy does not prohibit action by local, state and federal authorities as may be applicable.

Student Disciplinary Sanctions

Students found responsible for violations of the Student Code of Conduct may result in one or more sanctions. A list of possible sanctions can be found in the student conduct section of the Student Handbook.

Legal Sanctions

Quinnipiac students are subject to local, state and federal laws concerning the use and possession of alcohol and other drugs. These local, state and federal laws and applicable legal sanctions are outlined below.

  • Alcohol: Section 30-89(a) of Connecticut statutes states that it is unlawful for a minor (under the age of 21) to purchase, attempt to purchase, or make a false statement in connection with the attempted purchase of alcohol. Section 30-89(b) states that possession of alcohol by a minor anywhere is illegal, except where the minor is accompanied by a parent, guardian or spouse over the age of 21. The fine ranges from $200–$500.
  • Social Host: Public Act No 06-112 (a) No person having possession of,
or exercising dominion and control over any dwelling unit or private property shall (1) knowingly permit any minor to possess alcoholic liquor in violation of subsection (b) of section 30-89 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in such dwelling unit or on such private property, or (2) knowing that any minor possesses alcoholic liquor in violation of subsection (b) of section 30–89 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in such dwelling unit or on such private property, fail to make reasonable efforts to halt such possession. For the purposes of this subsection, “minor” means a person under 21 years of age.
  • Drugs: Connecticut statutes cover a wide range of drug offenses, including the offer, sale, possession with intent to sell, gift and mere possession of various types of drugs (21a CONN GEN STAT Section 277, 278, 279 and PA 15-2). NOTE: PA 15-2 “June Special Session” replaced the prior penalty structure for drug possession crimes, which punished possession of most types of illegal drugs as felonies. Refer to summary of Connecticut Drug Offenses for Possession and Sale as well as the cited Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) relative to each at cga.ct.gov/2015/rpt/pdf/2015-R-0219.pdf or can also be found in the Quinnipiac University Annual Security Report. Federal Law (Controlled Substances Act 21 U S C Section 841, 843b, 844, 845, 846, (1988)) states that it is unlawful (1) to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance; or (2) to create, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense, a counterfeit substance. Additional information on federal crimes and penalties related to all sections of the Controlled Substances Act can be found at deadiversion.usdoj.gov or can also be found in the Quinnipiac University Annual Security Report.
  • Medical Marijuana: Connecticut state law permits the use of medical marijuana, however, in accordance with federal law and as a recipient of federal funding, the university does not permit the possession, use or distribution of marijuana. As such, students in possession of medical marijuana (issued in Connecticut or any other state) are not permitted to use or possess marijuana in any form on university owned or leased property, or at any university sponsored programs, internships, externships, or clinical assignments.

Health Risks of Alcohol and Other Drug Use or Abuse

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “harmful and underage college drinking are significant public health problems, and they exact an enormous toll on the intellectual and social lives of students on campuses across the United States.” Moreover, “drinking too much—on a single occasion or over time—can take a serious toll on your health” including but not limited to:

  • Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
  • Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including: cardiomyopathy—stretching and drooping of heart muscle, arrhythmias—irregular heartbeat, stroke and high blood pressure.
  • Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including: steatosis, or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis.
  • Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
  • Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver and breast.
  • Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.

Visit niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body for more information.

In addition to the health risk posed by alcohol, those posed by use of other drugs are also of concern. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “drug use can have a wide range of short- and long-term, direct and indirect effects. These effects often depend on the specific drug or drugs used, how they are taken, how much is taken, the person’s health and other factors. Short-term effects can range from changes in appetite, wakefulness, heart rate, blood pressure and/or mood to heart attack, stroke, psychosis, overdose and even death. These health effects may occur after just one use. Longer-term effects can include heart or lung disease, cancer, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and others. Long-term drug use can also lead to addiction.” Furthermore, “drug use can also have indirect effects on both the people who are taking drugs and on those around them. This can include affecting a person’s nutrition; sleep; decision-making and impulsivity; and risk for trauma, violence, injury and communicable diseases.” Visit drugabuse.gov/related-topics/health-consequences-drug-misuse for additional information on how various drugs affect the body and disease risk.

Alcohol and Other Drug Support Resources

On-Campus:

  • Counseling Services: 203-582-8680 or Request an appointment at myq.quinnipiac.edu/Counseling
  • Student Health Services: Mount Carmel, 203-582-8742 or York Hill, 203-582-3890
    • Prevention and Wellness Educator: 203-582-7436
  • CARE Team: care@qu.edu, 203-582-CARE (2273)

Off-Campus:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous Connecticut Statewide 24-Hour Hotline: 866-783-7712, aa.org
  • Connecticut Region of Narcotics Anonymous Statewide phone line: 1-800-627-3543, ctna.org
  • Wheeler Clinic - Navigation Center: 860-793-3500, wheelerclinic.org
  • Rushford Clinic: 877-577-3233, rushford.org, 883 Paddock Ave, Meriden, CT
  • Turnbridge: 877-581-1793, tpaddictiontreatment.com, 189 Orange St., New Haven, CT

Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations: Biennial Review

In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations, Quinnipiac University conducts a review of its alcohol and other drug programs every two years to determine effectiveness and the consistency of sanction enforcement, to identify and implement any necessary changes. The most recent Quinnipiac University Biennial Review can be found on the Student Consumer Information page under the Health and Safety section.