Unlawful Use of Drugs and Alcohol


The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Public Law No. 101-226) require colleges and universities to adopt a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees.

See Drug-Free Workplace policy.

All Colleges and universities must give notice to each student and employee that unlawful use of drugs and alcohol is prohibited, describe applicable legal sanctions and health risks, list counseling programs available, and advise students and employees that violation of this policy could lead to penalties up to and including expulsion from the College, termination of employment, and/or referral to civil authorities for prosecution.

The College is committed to maintaining a campus and workplace environment where members may live, learn, and work free of the deteriorating effects of drug and alcohol abuse. To this end the College carries out drug and alcohol abuse education and prevention programs.

Policy Requirements

The unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by faculty, staff, or students on College property or as part of any of its activities is absolutely prohibited. Carleton College grants permission for reasonable and lawful consumption of alcohol at registered College events when served by a licensed caterer such as Bon Appétit. 

Legal Sanctions

In addition to disciplinary sanctions by the College, students and employees who violate the law maybe subject to criminal prosecution under federal, state and local laws that specify imprisonment and fines for conviction of alcohol and drug-related offenses. The seriousness of the offense and penalty imposed generally depends on the type and amount of substance involved.  The following links are provided to ensure awareness of legal sanctions:

College Consequences

Any faculty, staff, or student found in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary actions by the College up to and including expulsion from the College, termination of employment, and/or referral to civil authorities for criminal prosecution. The College may also require participation in an appropriate drug or alcohol assistance or rehabilitation program.

Risks to Life and Health

Abuse of drugs and alcohol leads to impaired behavior and judgment, a jeopardizing of relationships, and the likelihood of deteriorated work performance. Associated health risks include increased risk of accidental injury or death, depression, suicide, brain damage, heart and respiratory failure, liver damage, and sexually transmitted disease due to impaired sexual decisions.

Counseling, Treatment and Rehabilitation

Drug or alcohol counseling, treatment and rehabilitation/re-entry programs for faculty, staff, and students are available from a variety of sources. Anyone who recognizes a personal drug or alcohol problem, is concerned about another student or co-worker, or who may wish to know more about drug and alcohol abuse may contact:

Internal Sources


  • Dean of Students Office, ext. 4248 or 4075
  • Residential Life, ext. 5465
  • Student Health and Counseling, ext. 4080
  • Office of Health Promotion, ext. 5246 or 5587 

Faculty and Staff

External Sources

Biennial Review

Human resources, the dean of students, and the provost will conduct a biennial review of the College’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program to determine its effectiveness, implement needed changes, and ensure consistent enforcement of disciplinary sanctions.

Last Revised: January 1, 2003

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: January 13, 2020

Maintained by: Human Resources