Alcohol and Other Drugs
Part 1: Policy Statement
The City University of New York (“CUNY”) is an institution committed to promoting the physical, intellectual, and social development of all individuals. As such, CUNY seeks to prevent the abuse of drugs and alcohol, which can adversely impact performance and threaten the health and safety of students, employees, their families, and the general public. CUNY complies with all federal, state, and local laws concerning the unlawful possession, use, and distribution of drugs and alcohol.
Federal law requires that CUNY adopt and implement a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol by students and employees. As part of its program, CUNY has adopted this policy, which sets forth (1) the standards of conduct that students and employees are expected to follow; (2) CUNY sanctions for the violation of this policy; and (3) responsibilities of the CUNY colleges/units in enforcing this policy. CUNY’s policy also (1) sets forth the procedures for disseminating the policy, as well as information about the health risks of illegal drug and alcohol use, criminal sanctions for such use, and available counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation programs, to students and employees; and (2) requires each college to conduct a biennial review of drug and alcohol use and prevention on its campus. This policy applies to all CUNY students, employees and visitors when they are on CUNY property, including CUNY residence halls, as well as when they are engaged in any CUNY-sponsored activities off campus.
Part 2: Code of Conduct
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of drugs or alcohol by anyone, on CUNY property (including CUNY residence halls), in CUNY buses or vans, or at CUNY-sponsored activities, is prohibited. In addition, CUNY employees are prohibited from illegally providing drugs or alcohol to CUNY students. Finally, no student may possess or consume alcoholic beverages in any CUNY residence hall, regardless of whether the student is of lawful age, except for students living in the Graduate School and University Center’s graduate housing facilities who may lawfully possess and consume alcoholic beverages. For purposes of this policy, a CUNY residence hall means a residence hall owned and/or operated by CUNY, or operated by a private management company on CUNY’s behalf. In order to make informed choices about the use of drugs and alcohol, CUNY students and employees are expected to familiarize themselves with the information provided by CUNY about the physiological, psychological, and social consequences of substance abuse.
In addition, the college expects all members of the college community to comply with all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the possession, use, manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of alcohol and drugs.
Part 3: Sanctions
Employees and students who violate this policy are subject to sanctions under University policies, procedures and collective bargaining agreements, as described below. Employees and students should be aware that, in addition to these CUNY sanctions, the University will contact appropriate law enforcement agencies if they believe that a violation of the policy should also be treated as a criminal matter.
Students are expected to comply with the CUNY and college policies with respect to drugs and alcohol. Any student found in violation may be subject to disciplinary action under Article 15 of the Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, which may result in sanctions up to and including expulsion from the University. In addition, any student who resides in a CUNY residence hall and who is found to have violated any CUNY or college policy with respect to drugs and alcohol may be subject to sanctions under the CUNY Residence Hall Disciplinary Procedures, up to and including expulsion from the residence hall. In lieu of formal disciplinary action, CUNY may, in appropriate cases, seek to resolve the matter through an agreement pursuant to which the student must see a counselor or successfully participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program. In accordance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”), CUNY may also chooseâ€”when appropriateâ€”to contact parents or legal guardians of students who have violated the CUNY policy on drugs and alcohol.
Any employee found to have violated this CUNY policy may be subject to disciplinary action, in accordance with the procedures set forth in applicable CUNY policies, rules, regulations, and collective bargaining agreements. Sanctions may include a reprimand, suspension without pay, or termination of employment. In lieu of formal disciplinary action, CUNY may, in appropriate cases, seek to resolve the matter through an agreement pursuant to which the employee must successfully participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program.
Part 5: Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Drugs
The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Academic Life
Drug and alcohol use on college campuses is universal. Students articulate many reasons why they do it, but most neglect to consider both the long-term and [short-term] consequences of their actions. How wide-spread is drug and alcohol abuse? Teenagers today admit to extensive experimentation. According to one study, 90 percent of teens said that they have used alcohol, over 50 percent have used marijuana, 17 percent have used cocaine and 13 percent have used some form of hallucinogenic drug. Drug use has been classified as a major problem of students as early as in the fourth grade. Consequently, it is no surprise that substance use is prolific on college campuses, where many young adults are free from adult supervision for the first time in their lives.
Alcohol use accounts for over 100,000 deaths per year in [the United States]. It contributes to over 50 percent of all suicides, violent crimes, emergency room admissions, traffic accidents, substandard job performances and industrial accidents, and 80 percent of all domestic violence incidents. You may falsely believe that you are “safe” because you live in the small community of [Largo, MD] and that these issues don’t really affect you. To be more specific, how can drug and alcohol abuse affect a healthy young college student like you? The statistics are staggering:
So why do college students continue to drink and use drugs?
Some feel pressured to use drugs or alcohol at social gatherings either because everyone else seems to be doing it, or because they believe it’s the cool thing to do. Others believe that drug or alcohol abuse offers a way to escape from school or work-related stress, financial worries or relationship problems. Some feel that alcohol or drugs provide a way to compensate for feelings of shyness or low self-esteem. Sometimes, these drugs act as a substitute for satisfying relationships, educational accomplishments or self-fulfillment.
College students often forget why they are supposed to be in school. Is the purpose of university life to party all the time or to get the most out of the learning environment? Substance abuse can seriously affect academic performance. Aside from long-term addiction (or possible emptying your bank account) it can cause grades to plummet. How? Substance use affects your entire body, including your brain, in a variety of ways. Judgment is often the first attribute to be affected. You may find it difficult to make good decisions, to make them quickly or to be realistic when you make them. Suddenly, it becomes much easier to wait until the last minute to cram for that exam or to crank out that paper. You may also find yourself having difficulty concentrating and paying attention, especially when you are in class or trying to study. Nutritional deficits can result from extended or heavy substance use, and these deficiencies can affect your attention, concentration and ability to get along with others, as well as lead to memory loss and difficulty coping with everyday stressors.
Even if you think that these long-term effects of substance abuse don’t apply to you, think about how much study time you have lost because you were out partying all night and were too hung-over the next day to go to class or to work on your lab report. Are you worried that substance abuse may be affecting you, your grades or your relationship? Have you noticed that your grades are dropping? Are classes that used to be enjoyable now very difficult or tedious? Does it seem that you never have enough time to study or get your assignments done, yet you are always at every party? You may want to consider how substance abuse could be affecting your academic performance.
What is drug abuse?
Drug abuse, also called substance abuse or chemical abuse, is a disorder that is characterized by a destructive pattern of using a substance that leads to significant problems or distress. It affects more than 7% of people at some point in their lives. Teens are increasingly engaging in prescription drug abuse, particularly narcotics (which are prescribed to relieve severe pain), and stimulant medications, which treat conditions like attention deficit disorder.
What is drug addiction?
Drug addiction, also called substance dependence or chemical dependency, is a disease that is characterized by a destructive pattern of drug abuse that leads to significant problems involving tolerance to or withdrawal from the substance, as well as other problems that use of the substance can cause for the sufferer, either socially or in terms of their work or school performance. More than 2.6% of people suffer from drug addiction at some time in their life.
What is a "drink"?
In the United States, a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol. Generally, this amount of pure alcohol is found in:
12-ounces of beer (5% alcohol content)
8-ounces of malt liquor (7% alcohol content)
5-ounces of wine (12% alcohol content)
1.5-ounces of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, whiskey)
What is excessive drinking?
Excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21.
Binge drinking, the most common form of drinking, is defined as consuming:
For women, 4 or more drinks during a single occasion.
For men, 5 or more drinks during a single occasion.
Heavy drinking is defined as consuming:
For women, 8 or more drinks per week.
For men, 15 or more drinks per week.
Most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent.
What are the dangers associated with alcohol use?
Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.
Short-Term Health Risks
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. These are most often the result of binge drinking and include the following:
Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns.
Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.
Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.
Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.
Long-Term Health Risks
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:
High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.
By not drinking too much, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks.
For more information on the science of drug abuse and addiction visit
For more information on signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse visit
Part 6: Support Services and Treatment
While substance abuse is a serious problem that can affect your academic, personal and professional life very seriously, it is also a treatable problem. Many sources are available to provide you with the help you or a friend may need. Counseling and Psychological Services, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, your local spiritual leader or your family doctor can all provide you with the information needed to obtain the services that are best suited to your needs.
On Campus Resources:
Off Campus Resources:
Policy or Resource Contact Information Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, 20 USC 1145g and Drug Free Workplace Act, 41
Click here Healthy Campus Community – NYS College Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Manual Click here College Alcohol Risk Assessment Guide Click here Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention on College Campuses- Model Programs Click here College AIM Resources Click here AUCCD Annual Survey Click here CUNY Alcohol Initiatives Click here CDC Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use Click here NYC WELL
Mental health and substance abuse services
- 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355)
- 1-888-692-9355 (Español)
- 1-888-692-9355 ()
- 711 (TTY for hearing impaired)
- Text WELL to 65173
- Go to NYC Well
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) http://www.drugabuse.gov/ National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) www.niaaa.nih.gov Al-Anon Family Groups (formerly Al-Anon and Alateen) Mutual support and information for friends and relatives of alcoholics
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) www.na.org
Telephone: 1-818-773-9999 or 212-929-6262
Cocaine Anonymous (CA) www.ca.org
Telephone: 1-800-347-8998 or 310-559-5833
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) www.aa.org
New York City: 1-212-870-3400
The New York State Addictions HOPEline (OASAS) 1-877-8-HOPENY (846-7369) Marijuana Myths & Facts Click here Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Telephone: 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
Treatment Program Locator: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
New York AreaLong Island Area
New York City/Westchester/Rockland/Surrounding Counties Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
Long Island Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
Partnership for Drug Free Kids http://www.drugfree.org/