Department of Public Safety

Drug & Alcohol Education

Berea College complies with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Drug-Free Workplace Act and prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance on Berea College Campus.

In informative reports such as this one, Public Safety endeavors to provide information in reference to alcohol and drug use. Crimes, injuries, and accidents are commonly associated with the use of alcohol and/or other drugs. Besides the connection between alcohol/drugs and crime, use of these substances causes many other problems.

Marijuana use may damage reproductive organs, brain functions, and lungs. It impairs physical reflexes, mental powers, and memory. The ability to judge time and space is impaired.

Cocaine damages the immune system and lungs. It can cause nutrition and brain disorders, convulsions, and sometimes, death. Cocaine use is characterized by emotional highs and lows and a temporary sensation of great power, causing poor judgement and decisions.

Alcohol can cause permanent damage to the liver, brain and heart. It impairs concentration, coordination, judgement, learning, and memory. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can damage an unborn child. Drinking too much alcohol in a brief period of time can result in death.

Smoking tobacco is considered to be the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Some debilitating effects are cancer and heart and lung disease.

Other illegal drugs such as amphetamines, sedatives, inhalants, and steroids are also harmful causing brain, kidney, and liver damage. These drugs decrease mental processes, impair vision, and can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and death.

Federal, state, and local laws prohibit non-medical use and trafficking in drugs, hallucinogens, and narcotics. Kentucky state laws prohibit persons under 21 years of age from using or possessing alcoholic beverages. Providing alcohol to persons under 21 years of age is illegal. In Kentucky, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any other substance is against the law.

The use of drugs and alcoholic beverages is inimical to the aims and purposes of our educational community. It can also be detrimental to individual members of the community. For both these reasons, Berea College prohibits the use of drugs and the use or possession of alcoholic beverages on campus or other College-owned property or when engaged in College-related activities. Smoking tobacco is prohibited on campus grounds and in buildings except in certain designated areas.

Policies and laws on drug use and use of alcohol on campus property applies to all students, faculty and staff persons. Any student, faculty or staff person found to be in possession of or using drugs or alcohol will be subject to judicial action through the appropriate judicial body or disciplinary personnel actions. One suspected to be in possession of illegal drugs might be detained until authorization is given to search. Students selling or trafficking these drugs are liable for the most serious judicial actions—dismissal from the College. Students, faculty or staff persons who possess or use drugs in violation of state and federal laws are also in jeopardy of criminal prosecution.

Because of the serious problems which can arise from alcohol and drug use, the College provides educational programs for the student community on these matters. The Counseling and Psychological Services and Wellness Program offer alcohol education for students who elect to participate and for those who are referred from elsewhere. Sessions are scheduled whenever there is a need. All students are required to take a basic wellness course which includes units on drugs and alcohol. Various brochures include information about local counseling and self-help services such as A.A., Al-Anon, ACoA, etc.

No person should hesitate to seek answers to questions relating to drugs or to seek help from the College’s counseling or medical service if that person becomes involved in the use of drugs. Students who seek counseling or medical assistance on campus as a result of use of drugs or alcohol can do so with the assurance that strict counseling and medical confidentiality will be observed. No campus disciplinary action will result from information which is disclosed within the bounds of mental health counseling or College Health Services medical confidentiality. Drug and alcohol services are also available on campus through the Wellness Program, residence hall staff and Campus Ministry.

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