Alcohol and Other Drug Policy
The University Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, like other standards of conduct applicable to the University community, is intended to further the educational mission of the University of Pennsylvania. The University is committed to fostering an environment that promotes the acquisition of knowledge and nurtures the growth of the individual. Each member of our intellectual community is responsible for his or her own actions and is expected to contribute to the Penn community and to respect the rights of others to participate in the academic and social life of the University. The following Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, with its emphasis on individual and shared responsibility, healthy and informed decision-making, maintaining a caring environment, and the promotion of genuine dialogue, is adopted in this spirit. Students, staff and faculty may be subject to additional requirements and procedures set forth by their respective schools or departments, and which may be stated in handbooks generated by those entities.
II. Standards of Conduct
Drugs [See Summary of Controlled Substance Statutes in Appendix]
The University of Pennsylvania prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, possession or use of any drug by any of its students, employees in its workplace, on its premises or as part of any of its activities. This includes the unlawful sale, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of any prescription drug. Use or possession of marijuana is prohibited on University premises, per federal law, which supersedes Pennsylvania laws governing the use and possession of marijuana and marijuana products on university campuses. This policy is intended to supplement and not limit the provisions of the University's Drug-Free Workplace policy.
Alcohol [See Summary of Alcohol Statutes in Appendix]
A. General Rules Governing the Use of Alcohol
The University of Pennsylvania seeks to encourage and sustain an academic environment that respects individual freedom and promotes the health, safety and welfare of all members of its community. In keeping with these objectives, the University has established the following policy governing the possession, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages by members of the University community, and conforming to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Penn's alcohol policy and programs are intended to encourage its members to make responsible decisions about the use of alcoholic beverages, and to promote safe, legal, and healthy patterns of social interaction.
1. The University of Pennsylvania prohibits:
a. The possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of twenty-one on property owned or controlled by the University or as part of any University event or meeting organized by a University department, organization or group.
b. The intentional and knowing selling, or intentional and knowing furnishing (as defined by Pennsylvania law) of alcoholic beverages to persons under the age of twenty-one or to persons obviously inebriated on property owned or controlled by the University or as part of any University event or meeting organized by a University department, organization or group. Pennsylvania law currently defines "furnish" as "to supply, give, or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged."
c. The consumption of alcoholic beverages by all University students and employees so as to adversely affect academic or job performance and/or endanger the physical well- being of other persons and/or oneself, and/or which leads to damage of property.
d. The possession, sale, distribution, promotion, or consumption of an alcoholic beverage in a manner that constitutes a violation of federal, state or local law, including the sale, directly or indirectly, of any alcoholic beverages at a premises or by an entity not licensed for such sales on property owned or controlled by the University or as part of any University event or meeting organized by a University department, organization or group.
e. When an entity without a liquor license is providing service of alcohol, the following is prohibited per Pennsylvania law:
- Sales of alcoholic beverages at a cash bar
- Sales of tickets or entrance fees to an event where alcohol is served
- Donations or reimbursements to support the cost of an event where alcohol is served
- Sales of drink tickets or inclusion of drink tickets in entry fees at events where alcohol is served
2. The University of Pennsylvania permits the lawful keeping and consumption, in moderation, of alcoholic beverages on its property or property under its control by persons of legal drinking age (21 years or older).
3. In cases of intoxication and/or alcohol poisoning, the primary concern is the health and safety of the individual(s) involved. Individuals are strongly encouraged to call for medical assistance for themselves or for a friend/acquaintance who is dangerously intoxicated. No student seeking medical treatment for an alcohol or other drug-related overdose will be subject to University discipline for the sole violation of using or possessing alcohol or drugs. This policy shall extend to another student seeking help for the intoxicated student.
4. Vice Provosts, Vice Presidents, Deans, and heads of administrative and residential units have the authority and responsibility to govern the use of alcohol in areas they control, both indoors and out, and to approve or disapprove of plans designed to ensure that (at events where alcohol will be served in such areas) only legal age individuals will have access to such alcohol. Further, those hosting such events must take reasonable steps to ensure that the acquisition, distribution and consumption of alcohol otherwise complies with applicable law and University policy.
5. At any event at which alcohol will be served, sufficient quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and food must also be available to guests without cost.
6. Consistent with Pennsylvania law, advertisements of social events shall not promote nor describe the availability of alcoholic beverages; nor shall such advertisements promote the consumption of alcohol by minors.
7. Ordinarily, consumption of alcoholic beverages in outdoor public areas such as walkways, building steps and porches, unenclosed patios, green spaces, and the like is not permitted regardless of the age of the drinker. However, appropriate administrators and University of Pennsylvania Police (UPPD) may grant exceptions to this guideline on an event-by- event basis. Exceptions will be granted only for those events where an overwhelming majority of those reasonably expected to attend an event are of legal drinking age. Events for which exceptions have been granted must be limited to areas that are clearly demarcated and in which it is possible to exercise adequate control of access to and consumption of alcohol. Event hosts must ensure that barriers and other alterations to the outdoor venue which are required by the UPPD and/or the manager of the venue are in place.
8. Kegs of any amount of beer are not permitted at student-run events and are not allowed in any University-managed undergraduate residence. Kegs are permitted at University-sponsored, staff-run events only.
B. Rules Governing Alcohol Use at Registered Undergraduate Social Events
In order to minimize the risk of alcohol abuse, promote compliance with the law, and encourage students to make responsible decisions about the use of alcohol, the following rules are designed to control the volume and nature of alcohol products available and, ultimately, reduce the risk of alcohol-related incidents that pose a threat to the health and welfare of students and colleagues.
1. Undergraduate student groups—those recognized, registered, or identified as an organization by the University—which intend to sponsor events to be held at an on-campus space, an off-campus residence, or a third-party venue, and where alcohol will be served and consumed, must register the event with the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives (AOD) and with their organization’s advising office (where applicable) at least ten days in advance of the event. Failure to register an event at which alcohol is served does not exempt student organizations from the applicability of these rules. Registration of an event with AOD does not relieve the sponsor(s) of the event from complying with applicable codes and/or life safety standards.
2. Approval from UPPD must be obtained for any events, including alcohol-free events, which will have:
a. More than 400 guests,
b. Outside area/yard, and/or
c. Live music outside.
The party organizers must contact UPPD for approval as part of the event registration process with the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives.
3. Professional security must be hired to check age identification of all attendees and wristbands must be distributed to guests who are of legal age to consume alcohol. Security will be coordinated by AOD or by the venue.
4. Hard alcohol, distilled liquor with an alcohol content of more than 15%, is prohibited at all registered on-campus undergraduate events, except at events with a set guest list of 150 attendees or fewer. A guest list must be supplied to AOD prior to the event. At such events, no more than two types of hard alcohol may be provided, and must be provided in single-shot drinks only. Shots or multiple-shot beverages are prohibited.
5. Service of alcohol at all on-campus registered events must end no later than 1 a.m.; events may continue until 2 a.m.
6. Undergraduate student organizations hosting events at an on-campus space, an off-campus residence, or a third-party venue, at which alcohol is served are responsible for assuring that alcohol is served and consumed lawfully and safely.1 To comply with this expectation undergraduate student organizations must adhere to the following conditions:
a. No oversized or common source containers of any sort [including but not limited to kegs, punchbowls, beer balls, party balls] are permitted at any on-campus event;
b. Only individuals with valid proof of legal drinking age may be served alcohol; alcohol may not be served to any visibly intoxicated person, regardless of age;
c. Alcohol may be served only from a controlled, designated area by University-approved, sober, trained, of-age bartenders who are unaffiliated with the host organization;
d. For the duration of registered events, individual members of host organizations may not entertain guests in private areas, including private bedrooms. Party attendance is restricted to the public area designated for the party. This means that individual members of a host organization may not serve alcohol in their private rooms for the duration of registered events, even if those in the room are of legal drinking age;
e. No University funds may be used to purchase alcohol for any event sponsored by an undergraduate organization;
f. Drinking contests or games of any sort are expressly prohibited.
* The amount of alcohol available at an event should not exceed a ratio of more than four (4) alcoholic drinks (premium beer, table wine, or wine coolers) per of-age person attending the event. One drink = 12 ounces of premium beer (alcohol content of less than 6% by volume) or 4-5 ounces of (unfortified) table wine or a standard serving size wine cooler (usually 10 ounces).
7. All registered events held at an on-campus space, an off-campus residence, or a third-party venue must have appropriately trained bartenders who are unaffiliated with the host organization and who are at least 21 years of age.
8. At all registered events, whether held at an on-campus space, an off-campus residence, or a third-party venue, the host organization must identify trained, host monitors who may not consume any alcoholic beverages during or immediately prior to the event. There shall be at least one such host monitor for each 30 guests at an on-campus venue or off-campus residence, or one monitor for each 50 guests at an off-campus third-party venue. Sober host monitors must be designated in advance of each event during the event registration process. Sober hosts must remain sober for the duration of the event. Each academic year, organizations hosting events with alcohol must demonstrate to the Director of the Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Program Initiatives that they have a clear understanding of the function of the sober host monitors and the University's alcohol and other drug policies and that they have participated in training or taken other steps to develop the ability to, wherever possible (l) handle emergency situations, (2) respond to alcohol-related medical concerns, (3) identify and intervene with overly intoxicated guests, whether or not they require medical treatment, (4) and take any necessary steps to protect the health and safety of guests.
9. University trained and appointed monitors will assist in assuring that University policy is followed at all on-campus events.
10. The organizers of events must properly dispose of partially filled and empty alcohol containers at the conclusion of the event.
11. The University supports the enforcement of all University, local, state and federal policies and laws by retail and wholesale distributors of alcohol on or near campus.
12. It is understood that in addition to University policy and state law, many University undergraduate student organizations are subject to policies regarding the possession and consumption of alcohol imposed by a parent organization. If the policies governing an individual organization impose more restrictive regulations regarding alcohol possession and consumption it will be necessary for that organization to follow its parent organization's policies or risk sanctions. If, however, the parent organization permits the possession or consumption of alcohol where otherwise prohibited by University policy, the organization must comply with the University's policy, notwithstanding its parent organization's rules.
C. Rules Governing Alcohol Use at Registered Graduate and Professional Student Social Events
1. Graduate and professional student organizations which intend to sponsor on-campus or off-campus third-party venue events at which it is anticipated alcohol will be served and consumed must have their event plans approved by the appropriate administrators in their school, department, or center.
a. If the event is to be held within facilities managed by the student organization’s school, department, or center, the event plan must be approved by the appropriate administrators within that space. The event must follow all policies for events with alcohol outlined by the administrators overseeing the student organization and venue.
b. If the event is to be held in another on-campus venue, such as a Perelman Quadrangle space or an outdoor area, or at an off-campus third-party venue, the event plan will require additional approval by the appropriate administrator responsible for that space and by the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives. UPPD approval must be obtained for any events taking place outdoors or that will feature live music. The event must follow the rules governing the use of alcohol in that particular space.
2. In order to minimize the risk of alcohol abuse, promote compliance with the law, and encourage students to make responsible decisions about the use of alcohol, the following rules are designed to control the volume and nature of alcohol products available and, ultimately, reduce the risk of alcohol-related incidents that pose a threat to the health and welfare of students and colleagues.
a. Individuals under the age of 21 may not be served alcohol.
b. Service of alcohol must be managed by a licensed bartender.
c. Security must be present at the event or at the entrance to the building in which the event is to be held.
d. Food and non-alcoholic beverages must be provided at events where alcohol is served.
e. Sober hosts affiliated with the host organization must be present at the event to ensure that rules related to the service of alcohol and use of facilities are followed.
f. Drinking games or contests are prohibited.
g. Kegs are prohibited except at University-sponsored, staff-run events.
h. No funds can be exchanged for alcoholic beverages or for admission to events where alcohol is served except where an entity with a liquor license is controlling the service of alcohol.
III. Penn's Commitment to Health Education and a Supportive Environment
Consistent with its educational mission, the University sponsors programs which help eradicate misperceptions about alcohol use among peers, create opportunities for open, honest dialogue about alcohol use and abuse, and promote awareness of the physical and psychological, social and behavioral effects of alcohol consumption. The University, along with its students, is committed to the creation of multiple recreational opportunities to help promote a wider variety of social experiences for undergraduates.
1. The University is committed to providing every Penn undergraduate student and parent or guardian with alcohol education from multiple sources when students are pre-freshman, during New Student Orientation, and during the course of the student's undergraduate education.
2. The University is committed to supporting continuous and expanded peer education, to creating opportunities for the integration of alcohol and drug related issues in its undergraduate co-curricular programs and maintaining an effective, coordinated and responsive alcohol abuse prevention plan implemented by the University's Director of the Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Program Initiatives.
3. In order to promote responsible group behavior regarding alcohol use, each student organization having more than 10 members and recognized by Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics, Vice Provost for University Life, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Activities Council, Office of Student Affairs, Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, one of Penn’s 12 schools, on-campus residential facilities and/or the College Houses is expected to meet the following requirements:
Each organization or group that intends to host registered events with alcohol (both on-campus and at off-campus third-party venues), must design and implement an individualized plan to demonstrate competency in managing risk related to alcohol consumption. Such a plan would identify the methods through which the organization will control service of alcohol, promote moderate alcohol consumption, and respond to alcohol-related medical concerns. Each organization must specifically identify appropriate strategies for creating an environment in which alcohol use is secondary to the event itself and which emphasizes food and activities not related to alcohol so as to minimize the risk associated with its presence. This plan will be reviewed as part of event registration prior to each event with alcohol.
Failure to meet this requirement could result in the loss of University recognition and/or support.
4. Organizations not officially recognized by the University are expected to undertake similar efforts to ensure that high-risk drinking and substance abuse are appropriately addressed.
IV. Consequences for Policy Violations
All members of the University community and all University organizations are expected to comply with applicable local, state and federal laws regarding the possession, use or sale of alcohol or other drugs, whether on or off-campus, and are expected to comply with all University regulations regarding alcohol possession or use. Individuals and organizations which violate this policy may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
1. Any student or employee who violates University policies or applicable law may be subject to disciplinary actions and/or referral for prosecution. Disciplinary actions for students may include, but are not limited to, sanctions by the Office of College Houses & Academic Services and the Office of Residential Services, sanctions as set forth in the Charter of the University of Pennsylvania Student Disciplinary System, procedures outlined in the Fraternity and Sorority Advisory Board Judicial Charter, and other formal University consequences, as well as possible civil and criminal penalties. The severity of the sanctions will depend, in part, on whether there have been repeated violations and on the seriousness of the misconduct. Faculty, staff, and other non-students found to be in violation of this policy or applicable law may be subject to University disciplinary procedures which may impose sanctions up to and including termination of employment and/or referral for prosecution. The University also supports enforcement, by applicable law enforcement agencies, of all local, state and federal laws.
2. Along with disciplinary consequences, the University is committed to providing resources and education as appropriate to assist members of the community.
V. Resources in the Penn Community for Information and Counseling Related to Alcohol and Other Drug Use
The University provides services and resources for community members who experience alcohol and/or other drug related difficulties. The following programs are available for students, staff, and faculty:
1. Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Program Initiatives
The Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Program Initiatives is responsible for ensuring the efficient and productive coordination of all relevant, alcohol-related campus services. Assistance is available by calling (215) 573-3525.
2. Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program is a free, confidential one-on- one counseling service provided by the University for Penn faculty and staff and their family members. This program can offer assistance with serious life issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-888-321-4433. Services are available at over 450 locations throughout the Delaware Valley, including an on-campus office at 36th and Market Streets.
3. Additional Resources
The following offices provide information, education and services related to alcohol and other drug concerns. All services are provided free of charge and are available to students, faculty and staff at the University of Pennsylvania. If you are concerned about your own or someone else's use of substances, please contact one of these offices.
Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs (Faculty, Staff, & Students)
Franklin Building, 4th Floor, Room 421
3451 Walnut Street
(215) 898-6993 (Voice), (215) 898-7803 (TDD)
Counseling and Psychological Services (Students)
3624 Market Street #1
Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Program Initiatives (Students)
3611 Locust Walk
Human Resources (Faculty and Staff)
527A 3401 Walnut Street/6228
Penn Women's Center (Faculty, Staff, & Students)
Locust House, 3643 Locust Walk/6230
Student Health Service (Students)
3535 Market Street, Suite 100
HELP Line (Faculty, Staff, & Students)
A 24/7 phone line for members of the Penn community seeking help in navigating Penn’s resources for health and wellness.
The amount of alcohol available at an event should not exceed a ratio of more than four (4) alcoholic drinks (premium beer, table wine, or wine coolers) per of-age person attending the event. One drink = 12 ounces of premium beer (alcohol content of less than 6% by volume) or 4-5 ounces of (unfortified) table wine or a standard serving size wine cooler (usually 10 ounces).
I. Legal Sanctions
The following is a brief review of the legal sanctions under local, state, and federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol:
1. The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 Pa. C.S.A. 780-101 et seq., sets up five schedules of controlled substances based on dangerousness and medical uses. It prohibits the manufacture, distribution, sale or acquisition by misrepresentation or forgery of controlled substances except in accordance with the Act as well as the knowing possession of controlled substances unlawfully acquired. Penalties for first-time violators of the Act range from thirty days imprisonment, $500 fine, or both for possession or distribution of a small amount of marijuana or hashish, not for sale, to fifteen years or $250,000 or both for the manufacture or delivery of a Schedule I or II narcotic. A person over eighteen years of age who is convicted for violating The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, shall be sentenced to a minimum of at least one year total confinement if the delivery or possession with intent to deliver of the controlled substance was to a minor. If the offense is committed within 1,000 feet of the real property on which a university is located, the person shall be sentenced to an additional minimum sentence of at least two years total confinement.
2. The Pharmacy Act of 1961, 63 Pa. C.S.A. 390-8 makes it unlawful to procure or attempt to procure drugs by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge or by forgery or alteration of a prescription. The first offense is a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both.
3. The Vehicle Code, 75 Pa. C.S.A. 3101 et seq., which was amended effective July 1, 1977, prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or both, if the driver thereby is rendered incapable of safe driving. A police officer is empowered to arrest without a warrant any person whom he or she has probable cause to believe has committed a violation, even though the officer may not have been present when the violation was committed. A person so arrested is deemed to have consented to a test of breath or blood for the purpose of determining alcoholic content, and if a violation is found it carries the penalties of a misdemeanor of the second degree, which includes imprisonment for a maximum of thirty days.
4. Federal drug laws, the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., are similar to the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, but contain, for the most part, more severe penalties. Schedules of controlled substance are established, and it is made unlawful to knowingly or intentionally to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense a controlled substance. If the quantity of controlled substance is large (e.g. 1,000 kg of a mixture or substance containing marijuana), the maximum penalties are life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, or both. Lesser quantities of a controlled substance (e.g. 100 kg of a mixture or substance containing marijuana) result in maximum penalties of life imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both. The distribution of small amounts of marijuana for no remuneration or simple possession of a controlled substance carries a maximum of one year's imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both, with the penalties for the second offense doubling. Probation without conviction is possible for first offenders. Distribution to persons under the age of twenty-one by persons eighteen or older carries double or triple penalties. Double penalties also apply to the distribution or manufacture of a controlled substance in or on or within 1,000 feet of the property of a school or college.
5. Students who have been convicted under state or federal law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance, are ineligible for federal student aid for specific periods (ranging from one year to an indefinite period depending on the nature of the offense and whether the student is a repeat offender).
The Pennsylvania Liquor Code, 47 Pa. C.S.A. 1-101 et seq., controls the possession and sale of alcoholic beverages within the Commonwealth. The Code as well as portions of the Pennsylvania Statutes pertaining to crimes and offenses involving minors, 18 Pa. C.S.A. 6307 et seq., provide the following:
1. It is a summary offense for a person under the age of twenty-one to attempt to purchase, consume, possess or knowingly and intentionally transport any liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty for a first offense is suspension of driving privileges for 90 days, a fine up to $500 and imprisonment for up to 90 days; for a second offense, suspension of driving privileges for one year, a fine up to $1,000, and imprisonment for up to one year; for subsequent offenses, suspension of driving privileges for two years, a fine up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to one year. Multiple sentences involving suspension of driving privileges must be served consecutively.
2. It is a crime intentionally and knowingly to sell or intentionally and knowingly to furnish or to purchase with the intent to sell or furnish, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to any minor (under the age of twenty-one). "Furnish" means to supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged. Penalty for a first violation is $1,000; $2,500 for each subsequent violation; imprisonment for up to one year for any violation.
3. It is a crime for any person under twenty-one years of age to possess an identification card falsely identifying that person as being twenty-one years of age or older, or to obtain or attempt to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages by using a false identification card. Penalties are stated in (2) above.
4. It is a crime intentionally, knowingly or recklessly to manufacture, make, alter, sell or attempt to sell an identification card falsely representing the identity, birth date, or age of another. Minimum fine is $1,000 for first violation; $2,500 for subsequent violations; imprisonment for up to one year for any violation.
5. It is a crime to misrepresent one's age knowingly and falsely to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalties are as stated in (2) above.
6. It is a crime knowingly, willfully and falsely to represent that another is of legal age to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
7. It is a crime to hire, request or induce any minor to purchase liquor or malt or beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
8. Sales without a license or purchases from an unlicensed source of liquor or malt or brewed beverages are prohibited.
9. It is unlawful to possess or transport liquor or alcohol within the Commonwealth unless it has been purchased from a State Store or in accordance with Liquor Control Board regulations.
10. The use in any advertisement of alcoholic beverages of any subject matter, language or slogan directed to minors to promote consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
11. The Pennsylvania Liquor Code prohibits advertisements of alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly, in any booklet, program, book, yearbook, magazine, newspaper, periodical, brochure, circular, or other similar publication, published by, for, or on behalf of any educational institution. In Pitt News v. Pappert, 379 F.3d 96 (2004) this prohibition was construed to restrict constitutionally protected speech and the current applicability of these Liquor Code prohibitions is limited. Please note that University policies regarding advertisement of alcoholic beverages in University publications, which are more restrictive than those contained in the Liquor Code, govern.
The University will cooperate with the appropriate law enforcement authorities for violations of any of the above-mentioned laws by an employee in the workplace or student.
II. Health Risks
Consistent with its mission to promote wellness and reduce the harm of alcohol and other drug use, the University is committed to providing education on the health risks associated with alcohol and other drug use, and providing counseling and support services to students. The list below is not a complete list of substances that are regulated or illegal, or that have health risks. More information can be found on the website of the Office of Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives.
Alcohol. Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology. Even low doses significantly impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning. Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses, including acts of violence, vandalism, and incidents of drinking and driving. Continued abuse may lead to alcohol use disorder, which can lead to permanent damage to vital organs and deterioration of a healthy lifestyle.
Amphetamines. Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and death. Use can lead to erratic behavior.
Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish). The use of marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Frequent users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days.
Cocaine/Crack. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack, or freebase rock cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death.
Hallucinogens. Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Because the drug blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries.
(Source: Almanac, March 20, 2018)