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Drug And Alcohol Free Campus

Merced College is an alcohol and drug free educational institution. In addition to being a violation of state and federal laws, Merced College Board Policies and Administrative Procedures #3550, Drug-free Environment and Drug Prevention Program, and #5500, Standards of Conduct, make the distribution, possession, use, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal controlled substances, or offering, arranging or negotiating the sale of any drug paraphernalia [as defined in California Health and Safety Code Section 11014.5], forbidden on campus, at off-campus centers, or at campus sponsored events or activities [except as noted in Board Policy and Administrative Procedure #3560].

The following information is provided to you to make you aware of the disciplinary and/or criminal actions that can result from violations as stipulated in Board Policies and Administrative Procedures #3550 and #5500. It is also to familiarize you with support resources available.

If you or a fellow student has a drug or alcohol related problem, you are encouraged to meet with the Student Health Nurse (384-6045) or a Personal Counselor (384-6045) so that we may assist you in locating the appropriate resources.

As an educational institution, we recognize the importance of providing all members of the college community with information on the effects of alcohol and drug use. Students may obtain such information through the Student Health Center. Students are asked to review the “Standards of Student Conduct” section in the College catalog for details regarding legal and disciplinary sanctions for violations of these policies.

If there are any questions regarding these regulations, please see the Vice-President of Student Personnel Services, located in the Administration Building.

Health Risks

Substance abuse on college campuses is not new, but it is taking on more extreme and dangerous forms. Higher rates of binge drinking and prescription drug abuse, in addition to the abuse of other substances, is resulting in more negative consequences for students, including arrests and risky sexual behavior. Twenty-three percent of college students meet the medical criteria for substance abuse or dependence. This is about triple the proportion of the general population (Associated Press, 2007, http://www.casacolumbia.org).

Alcohol and drugs can make you sick, damage your body and brain, or kill you. Health risks from excessive use of alcohol and/or controlled substances may include poor vision, loss of coordination, memory loss, loss of sensation, mental and physical disturbances (DT’s), brain damage, liver failure, digestive problems, heart disease, and malnutrition. When alcohol is used with other drugs, there is a greater risk of serious illness or death.

Using drugs or alcohol can make it difficult for you to learn and remember things. When using drugs, you often lose your coordination and can’t think clearly Alcohol or drug use may cause or increase feelings of anxiety, depression, and unhappiness, and may even trigger psychosis (loss of reality). More than half of all teenage suicides are drug related.

Drug and/or alcohol abuse have significant consequences for the health and well-being of those who use, as well as those around them.

Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary action for violation of the Merced College Drug and Alcohol Policies:

In addition to the penalties stated in the Merced College Board Policies and Administrative Procedures #3550 and #5500, the Merced College Police Department will be notified of the offenses and may initiate criminal action with the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.