Alcohol and Substance Abuse Consequences

The unlawful use of alcohol, marijuana, or controlled substances exposes students and employees to criminal prosecution by local, state, or federal authorities. Immediate penalties may range from fines, to loss of driving privileges, to jail time. In addition, criminal proceedings and criminal sanctions interrupt normal educational or employment activities and may result in individuals being required to withdraw from the university or a termination of employment. A criminal record is permanent and available in background checks. Existence of a criminal record may affect future employment, scholarship opportunities, certification or licensure requirements, or opportunities to serve the community.

The recreational abuse of alcohol, marijuana, or controlled substances may cause or contribute to physical impairment or psychological dependency. Using or abusing substances can cause loss of memory, chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, frequent absence from classes or work, and other effects that prevent achievement of educational, social, or employment goals. Moreover, individuals who abuse alcohol or drugs in early adulthood may also establish patterns of behavior that later disrupt their careers and limit their ability to maintain normal family life.

The university is committed to decreasing high risk and illegal drug and alcohol use by our students through wellness education and university policies. Additionally, the School of Mines is a tobacco-free campus. Education begins for new students during summer and fall orientation programs that familiarize students with campus policies and abuse issues through group discussions and skits.

Residence Life takes a proactive role in training resident assistants in responding to alcohol poisoning, illegal drug use, identifying problems students are experiencing, referring students, peer counseling, legal issues, and confrontation skills. They provide information about campus rules and discipline procedures related to alcohol and drug use during wing meetings with residents and through bulletin boards and publications.

Counseling and ADA services and student health services provide screening, information, referral, and counseling on substance abuse. Each February the campus sponsors a Health and Wellness Expo that provides information on local resources and educational materials related to substance abuse.

The Campuses Community Wellness Coalition (CCWC) was established in 2005 and The Tobacco Prevention program in 2006. Both programs offer a wide range of educational services including alcohol, tobacco, and other drug-use surveys, social norming information, bystander training, wellness activities, counseling and referral, and alcohol and drug prevention classes such as Choices and Understanding Addiction.

Greek organizations have written agreements with the university that include a uniform alcohol policy and disciplinary guidelines. Student development staff members are regularly involved with statewide campus networks, initiatives, and trainings related to substance abuse prevention. The student conduct administrator makes every effort to encourage growth and learning of new information for those with substance abuse infractions.