Drug-Free University Community and Workplace Annual Notice

In accordance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, this serves as the University of San Francisco’s annual notice to all students, faculty, and staff, that the unauthorized purchase, manufacture, distribution, possession, sale, storage or use of alcohol, illegal drugs, or controlled substances while on duty, while in or on premises or property owned or controlled by the University, or while in vehicles used for University business is prohibited.

USF complies with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the State of California Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990, and the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act Final Regulations of 1989. The University has a standard of conduct that prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on University property or as a part of University activities.


The abuse of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs by members of the University of San Francisco community are incompatible with the goals of the University. In order to further the University’s commitment to provide a healthy and productive educational environment, it is the policy of the University of San Francisco to comply with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (United States Code Title 20 § 1011i). The Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Regulations (EDGAR Part 86) require universities receiving any form of federal funding to develop and implement a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees.

In addition, USF’s Drug-Free Workplace and School Program for students states:

Alcohol Violations for Students

The following conduct as it relates to alcohol is prohibited on University premises or at University sanctioned events, wherever they may occur. The same conduct though occurring off University premises and not at University events may nonetheless be subject to University sanctions when it adversely affects the University, its educational mission or its community and may result in the initiation of the student conduct process in accordance with the Student Conduct system:

  • Underage possession and/or consumption of alcohol.
  • Possession of an open container of alcohol in public. Public areas include common areas in the residence halls and condo buildings, unit balconies or patios, public balconies or patios, courtyards, hallways, parking lots, sidewalks and streets.
  • Hosting, organization of, or participation in a student group event where alcohol is being unlawfully consumed.
  • Furnishing alcohol to those under the age of 21.
  • Intoxication (regardless of age).

Students hosting guests are responsible for their guests’ adherence to University alcohol policy.

Alcohol Violations for Students living in University-operated Housing

  • Alcoholic beverages may only be consumed by residents and their guests who are 21 years of age or older, in the privacy of their residence hall living unit with the door closed and, in an atmosphere which does not foster excessive consumption or create significant noise or other disturbances.
  • Students hosting guests, (including other USF students and non-USF guests) are responsible for their guests’ adherence to the policy.
  • Any person under the age of 21 who is in possession of alcohol or is in a room where alcohol is present will be assumed to have been consuming alcohol, as it is difficult to determine who was drinking and who was not.
  • Possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas is prohibited. Public areas are all areas other than individual living spaces. Rooms with open doors, rooms with closed doors to which public attention is attracted by excessive noise, hallways, lounges, restrooms, and outdoor areas are considered public areas.
  • No kegs, beer bongs, or other equipment for the sole use of consuming alcohol will be allowed in the residence halls or apartments.
  • Empty alcohol containers and/or packaging within a student’s room will be considered the property of the student.
  • Construction and/or use of drinking game playing surfaces (e.g. beer pong tables) is prohibited.
  • Intoxication (regardless of age).

Drug Violations for Students

The following conduct as it relates to drugs is prohibited on University premises or at University sanctioned events, wherever they may occur. The same conduct, though occurring off University premises and not at University events, may nonetheless be subject to University sanctions when it adversely affects the University, its educational mission or its community and may result in the initiation of the student conduct process in accordance with the Student Conduct system:

  • Use, possession, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of marijuana, heroin, narcotics, or any other controlled substance that is prohibited by law. Possession of, intentionally or recklessly inhaling or ingesting substances (including but not limited to bath salts, salvia, K2/spice, nitrous oxide, glue, paint) that will alter a student's mental state is also prohibited.
  • The attempted sale, distribution, or manufacture of any controlled substance, illegal drug, and/or drug paraphernalia on University property or at official University functions.
  • Use of a prescription drug if the prescription was not issued to the student, or the distribution or sale of a prescription drug to a person to whom the prescription was not originally issued.
  • Use or possession of equipment, products, or material that is used or intended for use in manufacturing, growing, using, or distributing any drug or controlled substance, including but not limited to bongs, pipes, vaporizers, grinders, scales.
  • Being present while others are using or are in possession of illegal drugs.
  • The medically unsupervised use of drugs that may involve medical or psychological hazards to individuals on University property or at official University functions that is unlawful or otherwise prohibited, limited, or restricted by University policies or regulations, or may lead to interference with the rights and privileges of others.

University Employees

In addition, USF’s Drug-Free Workplace and Schools Program for faculty and staff states:

Employees - Alcohol and Drugs

USF prohibits all employees from manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing or using an illegal drug in or on University premises or while conducting University business. Employees who unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess or use controlled substances or unlawfully use, possess, or distribute alcohol in the workplace, on the campus, or as part of any University activity will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment. This applies to student employees as well. Employees are also prohibited from misusing legally prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Law enforcement personnel shall be notified, as appropriate, when criminal activity is suspected. In addition to corrective action, the University may also require the employee to participate in and satisfactorily complete an approved drug-abuse assistance or treatment program.

If convicted of any criminal drug statute violation or if an employee pleads no contest to a criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace, the employee is obligated to notify Human Resources in writing within five (5) calendar days after conviction. Failure to notify the University of a conviction may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

Smoke and Tobacco-Free Campus

Smoking, vaping, and the use of any tobacco products (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipes, cigars, water pipes, vape pens, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems, smokeless tobacco, etc.) are not permitted anywhere within the boundaries of university-owned or leased property and vehicles. More information is available on the Smoke and Tobacco Free Campus Policy web page.


The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, and/or use of illicit drugs or alcohol are regulated by a number of federal, state and local laws. These laws impose legal sanctions for both misdemeanor and felony convictions. Criminal penalties for convictions can range from fines and probation to denial or revocation of federal benefits (such as student loans) to imprisonment and forfeiture of personal and real property. Federal sanctions can be found on this website.

Following is a list of some of the laws pertaining to the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of an illicit substance or alcohol. The information provided below is illustrative, not exhaustive.

Generally, it is a criminal offense:

  • To illegally manufacture, sell, distribute, or possess controlled substances (those listed in Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812)) (21 U.S.C. 828, 841, 844, 859, 860);
  • To unlawfully possess or possess for sale controlled substances (those listed in Cal. Health & Safety Code 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, 11058);
  • To possess, cultivate, sell or possess for sale marijuana (Cal. Health & Safety Codes 11357, 11358, 11359);
  • To use or be under the influence of a controlled substance (Cal. Health & Safety Code 11550);
  • To transport, sell, or distribute marijuana to a minor or to use a minor to transport, sell, or distribute marijuana (Cal. Health & Safety Code 11361);
  • To possess, furnish or manufacture drug paraphernalia (Cal. Health & Safety Code 11362, et seq.);
  • To provide any alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 or to any obviously intoxicated person (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 25658; 25602);
  • To be under the influence of alcohol in a public place and unable to exercise care for one’s own safety or that of others (Cal. Penal Code 647(f));
  • For persons under 21 to have any container of alcohol in any public place or any place open to the public (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 25662);
  • To operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants or with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher (Cal. Veh. Code 23152);
  • For any person under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .05% or higher (Cal. Veh. Code 23140);
  • To have an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle and for persons under 21 to drive a vehicle carrying alcohol or to possess alcohol while in a motor vehicle (Cal. Veh. Code 23223; 23224);
  • To have in one’s possession or to use false evidence of age and identity to purchase alcohol (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 25661);
  • For any person under age 21 to purchase alcohol (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code 25658.5).

Legal sanctions for violations of alcohol and/or illicit drugs may include:

  • A violation of California law for the unlawful sale of alcohol may include imprisonment in the county jail for six months, plus fines and penalties.
  • A violation of California law for the use of alcohol by obviously intoxicated individuals will vary with the particular circumstances but may include imprisonment in the county jail and substantial fines and penalties. Additionally, minors who are arrested for violations concerning the use of alcohol run the risk of having their driving privileges suspended or revoked until they are 18.
  • A violation of California law for the possession, use and/or sale of narcotics, marijuana and/or other illicit drugs includes imprisonment in the county jail or state prison for one to nine years, plus fines up to $100,000 for each count.
  • A violation of federal law for the possession, use and/or sale of narcotics, marijuana and/or other illicit drugs may include imprisonment in the federal penitentiary for one to fifteen years plus substantial financial penalties.
  • A violation of the law involving an individual being under the influence of a combination of alcohol and other drugs (itself potentially deadly), may result in an increase in criminal sanctions and penalties.



  • Short Term: affects moods, dulls the senses and impairs coordination, memory, reflexes, judgment, behavioral changes, self-destructive urges, irritation of the esophagus and stomach (nausea), death
  • Long Term: central nervous system damage, memory loss, cancer of the mouth, stomach ulcers, inflammation/cancer of the liver, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, angina, heart attack, malnutrition 

Amphetamines (speed, meth, ice, dex, Ritalin, uppers)

  • Short Term: increased breathing and heart rate, high blood pressure, increased alertness and energy, impaired judgment, impulsiveness, death
  • Long Term: severe anxiety, chronic sleeplessness, malnutrition, heart problems, agitation

Cocaine (coke, nose, rock, blow, crack)

  • Short Term: anxiety, delusions, headache, nausea, impaired judgment, death
  • Long Term: loss of appetite, dehydration, constipation, impotence, nose and nostril damage, heart problems, psychosis

Designer Drugs (MDMA, X, ecstasy, cat, AMF, TMF, MPPP)

  • Short Term: euphoria, dizziness, nausea, sweating, increased blood pressure, extreme wakefulness, hyperactivity, loss of appetite, death
  • Long Term: aggression, depression, mood and sleep changes

Hallucinogens (LSD, acid, shrooms, special K)

  • Short Term: impaired coordination, increased heart rate and temperature, nausea, detachment, fatigue, hallucinations, paranoia, mental confusion
  • Long Term: generally unknown, flashbacks, depression

Inhalants (nitrous oxide, whip-its, paint, glue)

  • Short Term: irregular heart rate, depressed respiratory rate, nose and eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, spasms, headache, suffocations, death
  • Long Term: brain damage, tremors, poor coordination, speech problems, lung, liver and kidney damage, chromosomal abnormalities

Marijuana (pot, weed, dope, ganja, chronic, purp, grapes, kush, ents, etc.)

  • Short Term: reddening of eyes, dry mouth, increased heart rate and body temperature, hunger, dizziness, drowsiness
  • Long Term: upper respiratory problems, lung damage, lower immune system responses, memory loss, concentration impairment

Opiates (Heroin, smack, morphine, black tar, prescription opioids, fentanyl)

  • Short Term: pain relief, mental confusion, drowsiness, nausea, constipation, muscle constriction, low blood pressure and heart rate, respiratory arrest, death
  • Long Term: chronic constipation, vision impairments, hallucinations

Sedatives (Blues, roofies, GHB, seconal, reds, barbs)

  • Short Term: dizziness, lethargy, drowsiness, lack of coordination, nausea, death
  • Long Term: chronic fatigue, vertigo, reduced sex drive, visual disturbances


  • Short Term: increased heart rate and blood pressure, adrenaline production, muscle relaxation, tobacco/nicotine withdrawal
  • Long Term: lung problems, chronic cough, blockage of blood vessels, chronic respiratory infections and problems, reduced fertility, lung cancer, death


Behavioral and Educational Programs for Students

The University of San Francisco provides programming about substance abuse for students through Health Promotion Services, Student Housing and Residential Education, Counseling and Psychological Services, Public Safety, and the Division of Student Life. Additionally, the University offers ongoing alcohol screening and education; confidential evaluations; referrals to 12-step and other recovery groups; counseling groups; in-service training; and outreach programs. Some of these programs include the following:

Recovery Living by The Haven

As part of a national recovery movement across U.S. college campuses, USF offers The Haven, a unique residential community for USF students in recovery from substance use issues, or for those who simply desire to live a sober, healthy lifestyle in recovery.

In addition to living in furnished, on-campus housing on the beautiful USF campus, The Haven offers recovery support services, recreation and social activities for students who are committed to their college education while learning to lead a full and satisfying recovery lifestyle. Staffed by a dedicated Haven Recovery Coach, who is in recovery themselves,  participating students are living in a safe, supportive and secure environment.

Health Promotion Services (HPS)

HPS offers alcohol education workshops to different groups on campus, such as athletes, classrooms, and general student groups. The workshop learning outcomes are: 

  • Define the standard size of an alcoholic drink.
  • List the factors that influence blood alcohol concentration.
  • Differentiate between responsible drinkers, problem/binge drinkers, and an alcoholic.
  • Discuss the social, emotional, physical, and legal consequences of heavy drinking.
  • List effective active bystander strategies to promote responsible drinking.

Brief Motivational Intervention (BMI)

Peer educators, who are nationally certified through the BACCHUS Initiatives of NASPA’s Peer Education Network, provide Brief Motivational Intervention (BMI) to sanctioned students, athletes, ROTC, and intramural and sport club students. BMI is a conversation or motivational interview about alcohol use. It consists of a 45-minute session, which is designed to be confidential, non-judgmental, and supportive. The goals of BMIs are to educate students on responsible drinking, to reduce alcohol related harm/consequences to self and others, to assist students in clarifying and resolving any ambivalence about their drinking behaviors, and promote active bystander intervention as an effective strategy for responsible drinking.

Drug Education 

In accordance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, Health Promotion Services staff created short drug related educational videos to educate students about the use and misuse of the most commonly abused drugs on college campuses. These videos are played on a loop on TV screens across campus. 

Residence Hall Programming

Optional programs cover topics of alcohol and drug education and prevention.

Community Meetings

Every incoming residential student meets with their Resident Advisor (RA) and is educated about the University’s alcohol and drug policy. Flyers with information about the policy are also put up on every residence hall floor.

First-Year University Nights (FYUN) Optional Residential Program

Includes a program on alcohol education and prevention.

AA Big Book Study Group Meetings

Weekly student-led AA Big Book Study Group meetings open to USF students. In some instances, students may  choose this as their sanction for violations of USF’s drug and alcohol policy.

Marijuana E-CHECK UP

A marijuana-specific brief assessment and feedback tool designed to reduce marijuana use among college students.

Treatment Programs for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff who are concerned about substance use, abuse, and rehabilitation are strongly encouraged to contact their physicians, health plan, the Employee Assistance Program (offered through Concern Behavioral Health) or the Department of Human Resources, which can refer them to appropriate agencies that provide confidential substance abuse counseling.  USF’s health plans also provide coverage for substance abuse programs. 

Employee Assistance and Drug-Free Awareness

The University of San Francisco recognizes drug and alcohol dependency as treatable conditions and offers an employee assistance program for University employees with substance dependency problems. Employees may access the program to learn more about the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol. Employees are encouraged to seek assistance for drug and alcohol-related problems and may request leaves of absence for this purpose, in addition to using approved vacation or sick leave, or attending the employee assistance programs outside regular working hours. Information obtained regarding an employee during participation in an employee assistance program will be treated as confidential. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is available via the employee’s health insurance. Contact benefits@usfca.edu for more information about employee programs.

Outside Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Students

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Everydayhealth.com - Alcoholism Resources

Alcohol.org - Helping an Alcoholic

Find a Treatment Center in Your Community

SAMHSA - Behavioral Health Treatment Center Locator

Alcoholics Anonymous

Al-Anon and Alateen Information

Narcotics Anonymous


The University will impose sanctions on students and employees consistent with local, state, and federal law as described, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral to authorities for criminal prosecution, for violations of the standards of conduct referred to above.