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Drug & Alcohol Policy

Alcohol and Drugs

Southern New Hampshire University is committed to maintaining an environment of teaching and learning that is free of illicit drugs and alcohol. The Drug-Free Schools and Community Act Amendments of 1989 require that Southern New Hampshire University, as a recipient of federal funds, including federally provided student financial aid, notify its students and employees annually that the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on university property or property rented for the purpose of holding classes is prohibited. In compliance with the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, all students and employees of Southern New Hampshire University are notified of the following:

  1. The unlawful possession, use, and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on any University property or property being used for classes or during university-sponsored activities are prohibited.
  2. Students and employees who are found to be in violation of this stated prohibition may be subject to arrest and conviction under the applicable criminal laws of local municipalities, the State of New Hampshire, or the United States. Conviction can result in sanctions including probation, fines, and imprisonment.
  3. Students who are found to be in violation of this stated prohibition are subject to discipline in accordance with established university procedures. Discipline may include disciplinary probation or dismissal from the university.
  4. Faculty and staff employees who are found to be in violation of the stated prohibition are subject to discipline in accordance with the applicable university employment rules and procedures. Discipline may include probation, suspension, or termination of employment.

In addition to the above requirements, and in accordance with the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, all employees are notified that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance by university employees on university premises, or off our premises while conducting university business, is prohibited. Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and may have further legal consequences.

Description of Health Risks Associated with Alcohol and Drugs

Serious health and personal risks are associated with the use of illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol. They may include temporary or permanent physical or mental impairment, and injury or death. Use and abuse of such substances may also give rise to conduct which causes injury, death or damage to the user/abuser or to the person or property of others, resulting in criminal or civil prosecution and liability. Use and abuse of such substances may also lead to unsafe and/or nonconsensual sex, unwanted pregnancy, and may cause defects, injury or death in unborn children. Consequences may also include temporary or permanent loss of educational or employment opportunities.

Alcohol and its Effects on the Body
  • Impairment of brain function, judgment, alertness, coordination, and reflexes.
  • Attitude and/or behavioral changes, such as uncharacteristic hostility, or increased risk taking, such as driving recklessly.
  • Alcohol taken with other drugs can intensify the effects of the drug, alter the desired effect of the drug, cause nausea, sweating, severe headaches and convulsions.
  • Addiction or chemical dependency.
  • Memory blackouts.
  • Uncharacteristic family, school, work and/or legal problems.
  • Health problems such as cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Birth defects and mental retardation in users children.
Drugs and Their Effects on the Body

Narcotics (Heroin):

  • Initial euphoria followed by drowsiness and nausea.
  • Constricted pupils, watery eyes, dazed look.
  • Overdose may produce slow, shallow breathing, clammy skin, loss of appetite and weight, and possible death.

Depressants (Barbiturates, Tranquilizers):

  • Relaxed muscles, calmness, and drowsiness.
  • Confusion, disorientation, slurred speech.
  • Overdose may produce shallow breathing, clammy skin, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death.

Stimulants (Cocaine, Methamphetamine):

  • Increased heart and respiratory rate, elevated blood pressure, decreased appetite.
  • Blurred vision, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety.
  • High doses can cause physical collapse, irregular heartbeat, stroke, and possible death.

Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, Mushrooms):

  • Illusions and Hallucinations.
  • Confusion, panic, anxiety, depression, and poor perception of time and distance.
  • Respiratory failure, death due to careless behavior.

Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish):

  • Increase in heart rate, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat, and increased appetite.
  • Interferes with memory, speech, coordination, and perception of time.
  • Increased risk of lung cancer, weakened immune system, and affects reproductive system.

Alcohol/Drug Assistance Services

Due to the nature of the University, we utilize a system of community referrals if a learner is in need of services. Staff members are key links in the communities where we are located and a network of medical, psychological, and human service agencies are accessible in local areas. Contact your academic advisor if you need assistance.

Please also visit the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to connect with the following resources:

  • The Resource Guide for Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Treatment Services provides a listing of state-funded alcohol and drug abuse prevention and treatment programs and other resources related to alcohol and other drugs.
  • Drugfree NH is designed to help individuals, families, and communities to get informed, get involved, and get help.

Federal Drug Laws

The possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs is prohibited by federal law. Strict penalties are provided for drug convictions, including mandatory prison terms for many offenses. The following information, although not complete, is an overview of federal penalties for first convictions. All penalties are doubled for any subsequent drug conviction.

A. Denial of Federal Benefits 21 U.S.C. 862
A federal drug conviction may result in the loss of federal benefits, including school loans, grants, scholarships, contracts, and licenses. Federal Drug Trafficking convictions may result in denial of federal benefits for up to 5 years for a first conviction, 10 years for a second conviction, and permanent denial of federal benefits for a third conviction. Federal drug convictions for possession may result in denial of federal benefits for up to 1 year for a first conviction and up to 5 years for subsequent convictions.
B. Forfeiture of Personal Property and Real Estate 21 U.S.C 853
Any person convicted of a federal drug offense punishable by more than 1 year in prison shall forfeit to the United States any personal or real property related to the violation, including houses, cars, and other personal belongings. A warrant of seizure is issued and property is seized at the time an individual is arrested on charges that may result in forfeiture.
C. Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties 21 U.S.C. 841
Penalties for federal drug trafficking convictions vary according to the quantity of the controlled substance involved in the transaction. The list below is a sample of the range and severity of federal penalties imposed for first convictions. Penalties for subsequent convictions are twice as severe. If death or serious bodily injury results from the use of a controlled substance which has been illegally distributed, the person convicted on federal charges of distributing the substance faces a mandatory life sentence and fines ranging up to $8 million. Persons convicted on federal charges of drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a university or university (21 U.S.C. 845a) face penalties of prison terms and fines which are twice as high as the regular penalties for the offense, with a mandatory prison sentence of at least 1 year.
D. Federal Drug Possession Penalties
Persons convicted on federal charges of possessing any controlled substance face penalties of up to 1 year in prison and a mandatory fine of no less than $1,000 up to a maximum of $100,000. Second convictions are punishable by not less than 15 days but not more than 2 years in prison and a minimum fine of $2,500. Subsequent convictions are punishable by not less than 90 days but not more than 3 years in prison and a minimum fine of $5,000.

New Hampshire State Laws

The legal drinking age in New Hampshire is 21. If you are under 21, it is illegal to (1) have in your personal possession any alcoholic beverages, (2) misrepresent your age for purpose of obtaining alcoholic beverages, (3) drive in a car having alcoholic beverages except when accompanied by a parent, guardian, or spouse 21 years of age, (4) be in an area where alcoholic beverages are served unless accompanied by person 21 years of age. Penalty for violation/conviction may include a fine and/or time in jail. It is illegal for anyone to (1) sell to, give to, or procure for a minor or an intoxicated individual any alcoholic beverages, (2) charge for alcoholic beverages without a license, (3) manufacture, sell, possess or use a falsified ID, (4) lend a drivers license to be used for an unlawful purpose. Penalty for violation/conviction may include a fine and/or time in jail.

(DWI) Driving While Intoxicated and (DUI) Driving Under the Influence

You may be found guilty of DWI if you drive a vehicle while you have a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration if 21 years of age or 0.04% if under the age of 21 (effective January 1, 1994).

Drug and Alcohol Educational Programming at SNHU

Campus Clarity is an online program aimed at providing students with a comprehensive foundation in four areas: sex in college, partying smart, sexual violence, and healthy relationships. This course prepares students before they begin their experience at SNHU. The program is offered to all first year students prior to their arrival.

Minor One is a course that offers students an overview of the Student Handbook with a particular focus on AOD policies. In addition, the course allows students the opportunity to reflect on their behavior.

Choices is a brief Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program presented to students who violate the AOD policies here at SNHU. Information about alcohol and related risks are embedded within a broader frame of lifestyle behaviors in this group intervention.

BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) is a harm reduction preventative intervention designed for college students 18-24 years old who drink in high risk ways and have experienced negative consequences from their use of alcohol. BASICS uses motivational interviewing and is conducted in two to three individual sessions. It is an intervention strategy that helps a student to look at their high risk behaviors and work toward lowering their risk level.

Prime for Life is a motivational intervention used in a group setting to prevent alcohol and drug problems or provide early intervention. Prime for Life emphasizes changing participants' perceptions of the risks of drug and alcohol use and related attitudes and beliefs. Participants are guided in self-assessing their level of progression toward or into dependence or addiction.

Marijuana Education class is a class that focuses on the effects that marijuana has on the brain and other organs and focuses on the social effects marijuana has on a person.

Alcohol and the Athlete is a program designed specifically for student athletes. The course content includes information about alcohol and its effects on the body, information about social norming, as well as risk factors associated with high risk drinking.

Greek Life is another targeted program developed for students in sororities and fraternities on campus. The program overview includes social norms data, low risk drinking strategies, and outlines consequences associated with high risk drinking, aimed at helping Greeks holistically incorporate their sorority/fraternity mission and purpose.

Mini-Grants for Substance-Free Events are offered to student clubs and organizations who want to host substance-free programs during higher risk drinking times (Thursday - Saturday after 9pm) and need financial assistance.

Tabling Events occur throughout the course of the academic school year. This is an opportunity to highlight a variety of theme weeks associated with alcohol and other drugs including National Collegiate Alcohol Week, Great American Smoke Out, Kick Butts Day, etc.

Safe Spring Break is a comprehensive event aimed at encouraging students to think critically about their spring break vacation plans. During this annual event, students are encouraged to think about sun safety, travel safety, and the challenges associated with high risk drinking particularly if traveling away from home.

Social Norms is a social approach to help students with behavior change by providing students with data that presents the realities of how much students drink and challenging misperceptions that are often obtained through the media. This social norms approach uses data from the University's New Hampshire Higher Education Alcohol and Other Drug bi-annual survey and educates the community through student and staff presentations, poster campaigns, and data on a variety of trinkets distributed to the student body.

Other drug education classes are conducted as needed.