Drug-Free Campus Policy
*This policy is currently under review.
The University of New Orleans prohibits the abuse of drugs, including alcohol. It
is unlawful to possess, use, or distribute illicit drugs on UNO property or at any
University sponsored event, whether or not the event occurs on campus. In addition,
UNO prohibits the use of alcohol on campus, except in the designated areas described
in this manual.
The University provides counseling, referral services and other assistance to students,
faculty and staff who seek help with substance abuse problems.
Alcohol and drugs can seriously damage physical and mental health, as well as jeopardize
personal and public safety. For these reasons, violators of the UNO drug policy will
face judicial action, as outlined in the University of New Orleans Judicial Code. Penalties
for students who are substance abusers include suspension or expulsion. Penalties
for faculty and staff members include termination of employment, as outlined in the
DrugFree Workplace Policy, which is found in AP 5.3.
As with all illegal activities, substance abuse can result in criminal prosecution
as well, under state and federal laws, including section 22 of the DrugFree Schools
and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 (Public Law 101226). This brochure outlines
some of the basic information you may need to understand the health risks and legal
risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse. It also explains some aspects of the
UNO drug policy, the various penalties that apply to substance abusers, and where
to go for help. Phone or visit Student Health Service (UC 244) if you have any further
questions about these drugs and their effects on you, your family or your friends.
Alcohol is the most widely used drug and most widely abused drug in the United States. Problem
drinkers and alcoholics suffer from extremely high rates of disease and death, and
they kill large numbers of their fellow citizens each year in automobile accidents
and in violent acts. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, impairing reflex
skills for activities such as driving. Low doses may relax a person. Increasing doses
impair judgment and produce emotional instability. The seriousness of the result depends
upon the metabolism of the drinker as well as the amount consumed. Chronic use of
alcohol causes irreversible damage to body tissues, such as the brain and liver, nutritional
deficiencies and memory problems. Scientific studies have linked alcoholism with several
kinds of cancer and also with cirrhosis of the liver. There is also a high risk of
addiction, especially for people with a family history of alcoholism. Alcohol works
by removing oxygen from the bloodstream. This in turn kills brain cells (even in relatively
moderate doses), and this is why high doses produce coma and death. It is extremely
important that pregnant women avoid using alcohol, because the oxygen deprivation
occasioned by alcohol use affects the developing brain of the baby and can produce
mental retardation and other abnormalities, a condition known medically as "fetal
Cocaine and its derivative, crack, have become an increasing source of addiction,
hospital emergencies, and death. These drugs act as an anesthetic and a stimulant
for the central nervous system. They cause increased heart and respiration rates,
as well as elevated blood pressure. An overdose can cause heartrhythm abnormalities,
heart attacks, and rapid death.
Cocaine and crack are highly addictive. Withdrawal causes intense cravings. When used
during pregnancy, they can cause miscarriage, malformation, retardation, low birth
weight, and withdrawal syndrome in the newborn. In adolescents and adults, chronic
use often leads to deterioration of nasal tissues, chronic lung disease, heart problems,
paranoia and psychosis. People who use these drugs may need help and support to stop.
Marijuana and hashish have been widely used in the United States, frequently with
little regard for the legal penalties imposed for their use. Using marijuana can cause
various reactions, ranging from euphoria to depression and hallucinations. Only recently
have medical studies demonstrated the physical and psychological consequences of longterm
use of marijuana. These include low sperm counts, impaired immune system functioning,
chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive lung disease, impaired memory, and motivational
syndrome. There is clear evidence that marijuana is a psychologically addictive drug.
Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, ecstasy, mushrooms, etc.) are very unpredictable substances. They
cause hallucinations and abnormal sensory feelings involving colors, lights, and sounds,
which are influenced by the environment in which the user takes the drug. After use,
frightening flashbacks can occur, and during use, impaired mental function can cause
accidents involving injury or death. Users can experience panic attacks ("bad trips")
and these trips can trigger longterm psychotic behavior. Psychological dependence
may also develop. Treatment consists of reassurance counseling and certain medications.
Narcotics like heroin, codeine, morphine, demerol, and talwin, are highly addictive
drugs. They act on the central nervous system to reduce sensitivity to pain. They
produce a "rush" and then euphoria. Some of the risks are death from overdose, and
AIDS and hepatitis (from sharing needles). Withdrawal is painful and dangerous. In
a short period of time, users develop physical addictions that require feeding their
habit every three to six hours to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Treatment can consist
of nonaddicting medications to help users detoxify.
Designer drugs are various kinds of street drugs that are developed in illegal laboratories. They
can be similar to narcotics, stimulants or hallucinogens. They may cause neurological
symptoms, like permanent Parkinsonism (a continual trembling) and death. Users never
know quite what they are getting into with these drugs, and diagnosis and treatment
can be very difficult, if not impossible. The consequences are unpredictable and can
Prescription depressants, like Valium and sleeping pills, can cause physical and psychological
dependence with longterm use. Combined with alcohol they are the most common cause
of accidental overdose and suicide. Fatigue, confusion, loss of coordination, and
loss of motivation can be symptoms of abuse. When properly supervised by a physician,
they can be safe medications, but withdrawal can be difficult and long lasting.
Anabolic steroids are sometimes (and inadvisably) used by athletes and body builders. They
are often distributed illegally, exposing users to legal penalties. It is possible
for some athletes to put on extra muscle mass if they use anabolic steroids while
training with weights, but the side effects and longterm consequences are extremely
serious and far outweigh the shortterm gains. Users can exhibit aggressive personality
changes and may also develop acne, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, secondary male sexual
characteristics, and risk for HIV and hepatitis, if injected. Consequences in later
life can include sterility, early heart disease and liver cancer.
UNO Counseling and Career Center counseling staff can play an important role in providing
opportunities for students to discontinue their use of alcohol or illegal drugs. While
the center does not offer substance abuse counseling, counseling staff provide free
confidential evaluation for students who refer themselves, consultation and referral
services for students needing extended evaluation and treatment services for substance
abuse, and information about selfhelp community resources for alcohol and substance
abuse. Additional information is available on the Counseling and Career Center website.
Student Health Services also initiates the formation of committees twice yearly to
provide two annual campuswide prevention programs, the National Collegiate Alcohol
Awareness Week and the National Collegiate Drug Awareness Week. These highly visible,
educational events are well advertised on campus and in the local media. They are
free for all students, faculty, and staff. Events include demonstrations, films, panel
discussions and contests. Educational literature on drug and alcohol use is distributed
throughout the campus. Other special programs are offered throughout the year.
Violations of the University drug policy by students, faculty or staff will result
in disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the offense, this can take the
form of a written reprimand, suspension, demotion, reduction in pay, or termination
of the person's association with UNO. Judicial actions taken against students will
be imposed in accordance with the Judicial Code section of this Policy Manual. Violations
by academic employees will be handled in accordance with the University Policy on
Faculty Conduct section of the Faculty Handbook. Disciplinary actions taken against
classified employees will be conducted in accordance with the State Civil Service
Rules. Nonclassified employees will be disciplined through their direct supervisor,
director or dean. Other employees not listed above are subject to similar types of
For Injuries Caused by Intoxication
Employees injured while intoxicated will not be entitled to workman's compensation,
unless the employee's intoxication resulted from activities which were in pursuit
of the employer's interests or in which the employer procured the intoxicating substance
and encouraged its use.
The employer has the right to administer drug and alcohol testing or to require that
the employee submit to such testing immediately following an accident. Under current
Louisiana law, an employee's failure to submit to testing allows the employer to assume
that the employee is intoxicated.
It is unlawful in Louisiana to produce, manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess
illegal drugs. The most common illegal drugs on college campuses are marijuana, opium
derivatives, hallucinogens, depressants, cocaine, cocaine derivatives, and amphetamines.
The maximum penalty provided by Louisiana law for possession of hallucinogenic drugs,
opium derivatives, and depressants is imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of
probation or suspension of sentence. An additional fine of up to $15,000 may also
The penalty for violating Louisiana laws concerning cocaine, cocaine derivatives,
and amphetamines is not less than five years nor more than thirty years of imprisonment
at hard labor, with a possible $15, 000 fine.
The revised criminal code carries specific penalties for possession of marijuana. A
first conviction warrants up to six months in prison and the possibility of a $5,000
fine. A second conviction earns up to five years' imprisonment and a $2,000 fine. A
third conviction earns up to twenty years' imprisonment. Much more severe penalties
exist for possessing marijuana with intent to distribute or for actual distribution: hard
labor for up to forty years and fines as high as $500,000.
It is unlawful in Louisiana for anyone under 21 years of age to purchase any alcoholic
beverage. It is unlawful in Louisiana for anyone under 21 years of age to "publicly"
possess any alcoholic beverage for any reason, in any place open to the public, including
clubs that are de facto open to the public. Exceptions occur when the alcohol is possessed or
consumed for the following reasons:
- For established religious purposes
- For medical purposes when prescribed by a licensed authority
- When an 1820 year old is accompanied by a parent, spouse or legal guardian at least
21 years of age in private residences, or private clubs or establishments
- When lawfully employed by a licensed enterprise for the lawful sale, handling, transport
or dispensing of alcoholic beverages.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in Louisiana, and anyone with a
blood alcohol level of. 10 or above will be charged with driving while intoxicated
(DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI).
Every two years, the University of New Orleans will require the Student Health Services
Office to reconvene its Drug Free Task Force to review its implementation of the Drug
Free Schools policy on campus, to determine its effectiveness, to make changes and
to ensure consistent enforcement of the judicial sanctions