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Alcohol and Other Drugs Program

OSU-OKC believes that student success and achievement requires vigilance and effort on the part of the University to promote healthy living and learning. We affirm that we have a role in promoting an environment conductive to education and that actively discourages drug and alcohol abuse. We commit to prevention, development student conduct, and effective intervention for students at risk for these behaviors. 

Take a free confidential screening here: http://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/oksuokc

Mental health is a key part of your overall health. Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional - they are a checkup from your neck up. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources. Screenings are available for the following:

  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Eating Disorder
  • Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol Use 
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder

OSU-OKC is committed to compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, and a campus culture that reduces alcohol and drug use, abuse, and illegal conduct. This commitment includes the development, enforcement, and continual evaluation of policy and programming and promotion of awareness.

Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Policy

A. Purpose

The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, Amendments of 1989 require an institution of higher education certify to the U.S. Department of Education that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees in order to remain eligible for federal financial assistance of any kind. This policy is adopted by the Oklahoma State University system to comply with this statutory directive.

B. Policy

As set forth in local, state, and federal laws, and the rules and regulations of the University, OSU-Oklahoma City prohibits the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees in buildings, facilities, grounds, or other property owned and/or controlled by the University or as part of University activities.

C. Internal Sanctions

Any student or employee of the University who has violated this prohibition shall be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension, expulsion, termination of employment, referral for prosecution and/or completion, at the individual’s expense, of an appropriate rehabilitation program.

D. External Sanctions

Local, state, and federal laws provide for a variety of legal sanctions for the unlawful possession and distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. These sanctions include, but are not limited to, incarceration and monetary fines.

Federal law provides rather severe penalties for distributing or dispensing, or possessing with the intent to distribute or dispense a controlled substance and penalties of a less severe nature for simple possession of a controlled substance. The type and quantity of the drug, whether the convicted person has any prior convictions, and whether death or previous injury resulted from use of the drug in question (this, however, is not a factor in a case of simple possession) all affect the sentence. For example, if less than 50 kilograms of marijuana are involved and it is your first office (no prior convictions0, then you are subject to imprisonment of not more than 5 years, a fine of $250,000 or both. If however, 50-100 kilograms of marijuana are involved instead of less than 50, and all other factors are the same as in the preceding example, you are subject to imprisonment of not more than 20 years, unless death or serious injury results from the marijuana use, then you are subject to not less than 20 years or life, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. While the penalties for simple possession are less severe, the first conviction still carries a sentence of up to a year imprisonment, a fine of a least $1.000 but not more than $100,000, or both. With regard to simple possession, the number of convictions makes both the minimum period of imprisonment and fines greater. Under special provisions for possession of crack, a person may be sentenced to a mandatory term of at least 5 years in prison and not more than 20 years, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Starting July 1, 2000, conviction under Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall make a student ineligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance beginning with the date of conviction and ending as follows: (1) conviction for possession of a controlled substance: first offense – one year; second offense – two years; third offense – indefinite (2) sale of a controlled substance: first offense – two years; second offense – indefinite. Students may regain eligibility earlier than specified by satisfactorily completing a rehabilitation program or other requirement as specified in the regulations.

State Law provides similar penalties with regard to the simple possession, distribution, or possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance. Simple possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor and carries a punishment of up to one year in the county jail. A second or subsequent conviction for simple possession of marijuana carried two – ten years in the state penitentiary. Possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute is a felony and carries a punishment of two years to life in the penitentiary and a fine of up to $20,000 for the first conviction. A second or subsequent conviction carries a punishment of four years to life in prison and a fine of up to $40,000. Depending upon the quantity involved, a convicted individual could be sentenced under the Oklahoma “Trafficking in Illegal Drugs Act” which provides for much harsher penalties.

In addition, state law provides that possession of, or possession with intent to consume, 3.2 beer by someone under 21 years old in a public place is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $1000.00 or by appropriate community service not to exceed 20 hours. Possession of other alcoholic/intoxicating beverages by someone under 21 years old in a public place is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days, a fine not to exceed $100., or both. There are also state laws concerning driving under the influence of alcohol and using a false driver’s license to obtain 3.2 beer or other alcoholic beverages. Depending upon the number of previous convictions or gravity of the circumstances you may be convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for such an offense. It is most likely that you will also forfeit your driving privileges in the event you are convicted of such an offense.

There are also Oklahoma City laws similar to those described above. If drugs are involved the city will, most likely, defer to the state or federal authorities because their penalties are more severe. If alcohol is involved, you may be convicted of violating both local and state law and punished according to both laws. Courts do not excuse individuals convicted of these offenses from a prison sentence to go to college or work. A conviction for such an offense is a serious blemish on your record which could prevent you from entering many careers or obtaining certain jobs.

The above-referenced examples of penalties and sanctions are based on the relevant laws at the time of adoption of this policy statement. Such laws are, of course, subject to revision or amendment by way of the legislative process.

E. Health Risks

Alcohol and other drug use can represent serious threats to health and quality of life. Alcohol and other drug use increase the risk of accidents, birth defects, HIV/AIDS, and other disease. Combining drugs may lead to unpredictable effects and many prescription and nonprescription drugs are potentially addictive and dangerous. Major categories of drugs and probable effects are below.

Alcohol impairs judgment and coordination, and in many persons causes a greater likelihood of aggressive and/or violent behavior. Even short-term use may cause respiratory depression and, when consumed by pregnant women, may cause irreversible physical and mental abnormalities in newborns (fetal alcohol syndrome) or even death. Long-term use may lead to irreversible physical and mental impairment, including liver disease, heart disease, cancer, ulcers, gastritis, delirium tremens, and pancreatitis. Alcohol interacts negatively with more than 150 medications. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is particularly dangerous and is a major cause of traffic-related deaths.

Barbiturates (depressants, Quaaludes, Valium, Zanax, etc.) depress central nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory functions. Barbiturate use may lower blood pressure, slow reactions, and distort reality. Convulsions, coma, and death are outcomes associated with barbiturate use. Combining the consumption of barbiturates with alcohol or 3.2 beer is especially dangerous.

Cocaine/Crack are powerful central nervous system stimulants that construct blood vessels, dilate pupils, increase blood pressure, and elevate heart rate. Cocaine use may induce restlessness, irritability, anxiety, paranoia, seizures, cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, and death. Cocaine is extremely addictive, both psychologically and physically. Great risk exists whether cocaine is ingested by inhalation (snorting), injection, or smoking., Compulsive cocaine use may develop even more rapidly is the substance is smoked, and smoking crack cocaine can produce particularly aggressive paranoid behavior in users.

Date Rape Drugs (Rohypnol, rophies, roofies, GBH, Ketamine, etc.) may incapacitate a person, particularly when used with alcohol. Rohypnol and GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) are characterized as “date rape” drugs because they incapacitate victims, thereby increasing vulnerability to sexual assault and other crime. Sedation, relaxation, and amnesia re associated with Rohypnol use. Rohypnol may be psychologically and physically addictive and can cause death if mixed with alcohol or other depressants. GHB usage may result in coma and seizures and, when combined with methamphetamine, appears to cause an increased risk of seizure. Combining use with other drugs such as alcohol can result in nausea and difficulty in breathing. GHB may also produce withdrawal effects, including insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. Ketamine may induce feelings of near-death experiences.

Ecstasy (S, Adam, MDMA, XTC, etc.) has amphetamine-like and hallucinogenic properties. Its chemical structure is similar to other synthetic drugs known to cause brain damage. Ecstasy use may cause psychological difficulties, including confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, severe anxiety, paranoia and even psychotic episodes. Similar difficulties may occur weeks after taking MDMA. Physical symptoms such as increases in heart rate and blood pressure may result from use of such substances. Other physical symptoms include muscle tension, blurred vision, nausea, rapid eye movement and involuntary teeth clenching.

Hallucinogens (acid, PCP, LSD, psilocybin [mushrooms]) are among the most potent mood-changing chemicals and may produce unpredictable effects that may impair coordination, perception, and cognition. Some LSD users experience flashbacks, often without warning, with the user having taken the drug again. Violence, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, convulsions, coma, cardiac arrest, and respiratory failure may result from hallucinogen use.

Marijuana (pot, grass, hash, cannabis sativa, etc.) may impair memory, attention, coordination, and learning. Short term effects of smoking marijuana may include problems with memory, learning, distorted perception, difficulty in thinking, and problem solving, loss of coordination, increased heart rate, anxiety, and panic attacks. Persons who smoke marijuana regularly may have many of the same respiratory problems as tobacco smokers, including daily cough and phlegm, chronic bronchitis, and more frequent chest colds. Because users of marijuana deeply inhale and hold marijuana smoke in their lungs, they incur a higher risk of getting lung cancer.

Narcotics (heroin, pain medication [Demerol, Percodan, Lortab, etc.]) may produce temporary euphoria followed by depression, drowsiness, cognitive impairment and vomiting. Narcotic use may cause convulsions, coma, and death. Tolerance and dependence tend to develop rapidly. Using contaminated syringes to inject drugs may result in contracting HIV and other infectious diseases such as hepatitis.

Nicotine (tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, nicotine chewing gum and patches) is highly addictive, and according to the Surgeon General, is a major cause of stroke and is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Over time, higher levels of nicotine must be consumed in order to achieve the same effect. Nicotine consumption results in central nervous system sedation and, after initial activation, may cause drowsiness and depression. If women smoke cigarettes and also take oral contraceptives, they are more prone to cardiovascular and cerebro-vascular diseases than are other smokers. Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes run an increased risk of having stillborn or premature infants or infants with low birth weight.

Steroids (anabolic-androgenic) may permanently damage liver, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. Possible side effects include liver tumors, cancer, jaundice, fluid retention, and hypertension. In men, steroids may cause shrinking of testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, breast development and increased risk for prostate cancer. In women, steroid use may cause growth of facial hair, male-pattern baldness, menstrual changes, enlarged clitoris, and deepened voice.

Stimulants (amphetamine, methamphetamine, speed, crystal, crank, Ritalin, caffeine, various over-the-counter stimulants and diet aids) are powerful central nervous system stimulants that may increase agitation, physical activity, and anxiety. Stimulants may decrease appetite, dilate pupils, and cause sleeplessness. Dizziness, higher blood pressure, paranoia, mood disturbance, hallucination, dependence, convulsions, and death due to stroke or heart failure may also result from use.

Reference: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, www.nida.nih.gov

F. Alcohol/Drug Treatment Resources

  • Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Information and Referral Line 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Cocaine Helpline 1-800-COCAINE (262-2563) www.drughelp.org
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hope Line 1-800-622-2255, 24 hours a day
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse National Institute of Health 888-NIH-NIDA (toll-free) www.nida.nih.gov
  • Reach-Out Hotline 1-800-522-9054 Alcohol, drug, domestic violence, sexual assault, rape crisis, intervention and mental health referral.