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Student Handbook

Substance Abuse Policy

The use of drugs by students can create conditions that are contrary to those deemed necessary for the maintenance of an optimal academic environment. Monmouth University affirms its responsibility to secure this optimal educational atmosphere by establishing the following policy: 

The use, possession, or sale of alcohol, illegal drugs, or narcotics, and/or paraphernalia by a student will subject that individual to disciplinary action and legal prosecution under federal, state, or local statutes. The decision rendered shall be determined by the circumstances of the student’s involvement. In addition, the presence of the odor of marijuana, and the possession of drug paraphernalia or any device used to ingest marijuana in any campus residence hall, building, etc., may also subject students to internal disciplinary action. 

A. Drug Laws

According to the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice pertaining to controlled substances, students should be aware of the following: 

  1. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to manufacture, distribute or dispense, possess or have under his/her control with the intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog. 
  2. It is unlawful for any person, knowingly or purposely, to obtain or to possess a controlled dangerous substance unless the substance was obtained directly by a valid prescription from a practitioner (physician, dentist, etc.) 
  3. Anyone convicted of distributing a controlled substance to a person under age 18 will be subject to twice the term of imprisonment, fine, and penalty. 
  4. New Jersey law provides strict liability for drug-induced deaths. Even if the victim voluntarily takes the drug, the person who distributes or dispenses the controlled substance can be prosecuted for a homicide. Anyone convicted of any drug offense, including use, will have to pay a special penalty which starts at $500 and goes up to $32,000. 
  5. Anyone convicted of any drug offense will automatically lose his or her driver’s license for at least six months. It doesn’t matter if a car was used in committing the offense. 

B. Health Risks

The health risks most commonly associated with the use of alcoholic beverages, drugs and narcotics are described below: 

Drugs and Narcotics

We live in a drug-oriented society. Drugs have saved lives, reduced pain, and improved the quality of our lives. However, misuse and abuse of drugs can cause critical injury or death. 

Marijuana – Marijuana is a drug taken to produce a high or euphoric feeling and a state of relaxation. The short-term effects of marijuana include distortion of time perception, increased heart rate, dilation of the blood vessels, and loss of short-term memory. Visual perception and psychomotor skills are also decreased which have adverse effects on driving ability. The effects of long-term use include loss of motivation, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung capacity, and an increased risk of lung cancer. In men, marijuana use can result in reduced levels of testosterone. 

Cocaine – Cocaine is a powerful stimulant. It is most often inhaled (snorted) into the nose. It can also be smoked or injected. No matter how it is taken, the drug’s immediate effect is to create a high that is often described as orgasmic or euphoric. It creates increased alertness, suppresses appetite, and temporarily relieves depression. 

Studies indicate that cocaine’s effect on the body and psyche is dangerous. It is thought that some of the damage caused by cocaine is irreversible. The least harmful effects are nosebleeds and nasal erosions that result from irritation of the lining of the nose. Most dangerous are the “coke blues” which are intense downs that often occur after a high, which results in the user trying other drugs to relieve the psychological and emotional discomfort. There is a strong psychological dependency on “coke” which slowly increases as tolerance develops. 

Stimulants – Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant, and can be found in coffee, tea, cola, and cold medications. Amphetamines are also stimulants. They are also referred to as “speed and uppers.” Stimulants increase awareness, keep people awake and depress the appetite. Short-term effects include elevated blood pressure, nervousness, and hyperactivity. Long-term effects include insomnia, malnutrition, and acute psychosis. 

Depressants – Depressants, also called “downers,” include Quaaludes, barbiturates, and tranquilizers. These drugs reduce anxiety, induce sleep, and promote relaxation. Used together, they can be extremely dangerous and can suppress the central nervous system enough to cause death. Downers cause slower response time, loss of rational judgment, decreased coordination, and loss of motor skills. Driving skills are seriously affected. Tolerance and physical dependence often develops. 

Hallucinogens – Hallucinogens include LSD, mescaline, and PCP. They produce dream-like perceptions and/or panic reactions that produce horrifying perceptions. PCP is a hallucinogen, which is particularly dangerous and can cause a person to become violent to himself/herself and others. Ecstasy (MDA) is a drug that became popular in the 1980s. It has been billed as “the perfect drug” by enhancing thinking, coordination, and empathy. The use of “Ecstasy” also results in irreversible brain damage. Although most hallucinogens do not result in physical or psychological dependence, tolerance to them can develop. 

Narcotic Analgesics – These drugs include opium, morphine, heroin, and codeine. They relieve pain. Improper use of narcotics can result in physical dependence in a relatively short period of time. A narcotic overdose can result in death. 

Steroids – Steroids are drugs that resemble the male sex hormone, testosterone. Popular since the 1950s, steroids have been used by athletes and body builders to increase muscle mass and improve athletic performance. The true effectiveness of steroids in improving strength and performance is not known; however, it is known that steroids pose certain health risks. Taken in large doses, steroids can cause psychological dependence, increased anger, aggression, depression, and will stunt growth in adolescents who have not attained their full height. Men may also experience nipple and breast growth, shrunken testicles, and baldness. Intravenous steroid users are at risk for hepatitis, liver cancer, an altered sex drive, and AIDS. 

C. University Resources and Services 

See the University’s Alcoholic Beverages Policy. 

D. Program Review 

See the University’s Alcoholic Beverages Policy. 

Sanctions for Violation of Substance Abuse Policy 

The University reserves the right at any point in the range of offenses to impose sanctions deemed appropriate, in addition to or in place of sanctions listed below. Additionally, the University reserves the right at any point in the range of offenses to request students to seek a formal evaluation or consultation as deemed necessary by the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, Coordinator of Substance Awareness, and/or the Vice President for Student Life and Leadership Engagement. In all cases, the University reserves the right to prosecute criminally for violation of policies concerning alcohol and drugs. 

Use, Possession, or in the Presence of Controlled Dangerous Substances/Paraphernalia 

First Offense: 

  1. Residence hall probation.
    Non-residents found in violation will have privileges of being in any residential facility including the quad, apartments, and parking lots of the residence halls held on a probationary basis. Any subsequent violation of University or residence hall policy will result in suspension from the residence halls. 
  2. Up to $200 fine. 
  3. Possible service work assignment. 
  4. Disciplinary probation for one full semester. 
  5. Possible educational program. 
  6. A mandatory meeting with Monmouth University’s Substance Awareness Coordinator. 
  7. Parental notification. 
  8. Arrest by MUPD. 

Second Offense: 

  1. Suspension from the University for a minimum of one semester. 
  2. A fine up to $400. 
  3. Reinstatement upon approval of Student Life personnel and Director of Counseling and Psychological Services and/or a formal alcohol and other drug evaluation at a licensed treatment facility. 
  4. Disciplinary probation upon return to the Institution for a period of two full semesters. 
  5. Permanent loss of university owned and/or sponsored housing privileges. 
  6. Parental notification. 
  7. Arrest by MUPD. 

Third Offense: 

  1. Expulsion from the University. 
  2. Parental notification. 
  3. Arrest by MUPD. 

Selling or Distribution of Controlled Dangerous Substances 

Expulsion from the University and criminal prosecution. 

Other Significant Laws Pertaining to Substance Abuse 

  • Anyone convicted of distributing a controlled substance to a person under age 18 will be subject to twice the term of imprisonment, fine, and penalty. 
  • New Jersey law provides strict liability for drug-induced deaths. Even if the victim voluntarily takes the drug, the person who distributes or dispenses the controlled substance can be prosecuted for a homicide. Anyone convicted of any drug offense, including use, will have to pay a special penalty which starts at $500 and goes up to $32,000. 
  • Anyone convicted of any drug offense will automatically lose his or her driver’s license for at least six months. It doesn’t matter if a car was used in committing the offense. 

Medical Marijuana Policy 

Medical marijuana, while legally permitted in New Jersey, is prohibited on the Monmouth University campus and on all Monmouth University owned or controlled property. As an institution of higher education and an employer, Monmouth University is required to comply with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act. Since the federal government does not recognize the difference between medical and recreational use of marijuana, Monmouth University must prohibit all marijuana use, possession, or cultivation (including medical marijuana) on its campus and on all University owned or controlled property. Therefore, even a student with a valid medical marijuana prescription will not be permitted to use, possess or cultivate medical marijuana on the Monmouth University campus or on any Monmouth University owned or controlled property. Monmouth University will not pursue charges under the Student Code of Conduct for students who possess a valid medical marijuana prescription and engage in the off-campus use of medical marijuana, which is consistent with their prescription. However, in order to avoid being charged with a violation the Student Code of Conduct, students will be required to produce a valid medical marijuana prescription if they are either suspected or found to be under the influence of marijuana on the Monmouth University campus or on a University owned or controlled property. Health Services, located in Birch Hall, is a confidential resource that is available to all Monmouth University students and can assist with a variety of health related issues and concerns.