SDSU Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policies

(from the "University Policies" section of the General Catalog)

This statement is presented to students to provide information about (1) health risks associated with alcohol and other drugs, (2) prevention and treatment programs available on campus, and (3) applicable State laws and campus policies.


Use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to accidents, injury, and other medical emergencies. Alcohol, especially in high doses, or when combined with medications or illegal drugs continues to claim the lives of college students across the nation. If you see someone unconscious, call 9-1-1-; doing so may save his or her life.

Driving after consumption of even relatively small quantities of alcohol can substantially increase your risk of crash involvement. Even after just a drink or two, drinkers may experience some loss of their ability to think about complex problems or accomplish complex tasks. Drinkers may also lose some control over impulsive behavior.

To become dependent upon chemicals such as alcohol and/or illicit drugs is to put your health and life at risk. Chemical dependency is a condition in which the use of mood altering substances, such as drugs or alcohol, affect any area of life on a continuing basis. Medical research has established very strong evidence that alcohol abuse contributes significantly to cancer and heart disease. Many illicit drugs have also been demonstrated to lead to serious short and long- term health problems. There is clear evidence of serious negative effects on babies due to use of illicit drugs and alcohol by the mother during pregnancy.

Campus Resources

Keeping yourself informed is an important step in developing a healthy lifestyle and in knowing how to cope with problems as they arise. SDSU provides useful and informative prevention education programs throughout the year. A variety of departments sponsor workshops and lectures on alcohol and drug related issues to support and encourage healthy, productive lifestyles. These programs are available through: Counseling and Psychological Services, 619-594-5220; Residential Education Office, 619-594- 5742; Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives, 619-594-4133; Athletic Department, 619-594-3019; Student Health Services, 619-594-5281; University Police, 619-594-1991.

For students with substance abuse problems or concerns, assistance is available at SDSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) located in Calpulli Center, Room 4401. Students who prefer an appointment with a health care provider (e.g. nurse or physician), may contact Student Health Services. If you are aware of problems with friends, roommates, or family members, we encourage you to act responsibly by consulting with Counseling and Psychological Services. Remaining silent or waiting until a situation has escalated is not responsible behavior. SDSU supports the notion of students helping one another to cooperatively solve alcohol and substance abuse problems as they occur.

Laws and Campus Policy

With few exceptions, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase or possess alcohol. If you violate these laws you may face a fine of $250 and suspension of your driving license. For more information about California laws visit the California State Bar website or the California Alcohol Beverage Control website.

Federal and State laws define a number of substances as “drugs” with sanctions related to their manufacturer, sale, possession, and use varying by type of substance and quantity. See California State Bar website.

In addition to the Standards for Student Conduct in the California Code of Regulations, Title V, Article 2, Section 41301, SDSU’s expectations of responsible student behavior prohibits the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students on university property or in surrounding neighborhoods, or as any part of the university’s activities. Violators may face suspension or expulsion from the university. In addition, the university will cooperate with governmental authorities in criminal and civil actions. The university does not accept alcohol or substance abuse as an excuse, reason, or rationale for any act of abuse, harassment, intimidation, violence, or vandalism.

Possession or consumption of distilled liquor on university property is prohibited at all times. Possession, consumption, or sale of beer or wine by those 21 years of age or older is permitted at designated campus locations and events only with prior approval of the vice president for student affairs.

On campus property, and in surrounding neighborhoods, the sale, distribution, knowing possession, and use of dangerous drugs or narcotics are prohibited. You are also forbidden by State and Federal laws to sell, distribute, possess, or use those drugs. SDSU does not permit the possession or use of marijuana even with a medical recommendation.

Student organizations, residence halls, athletics, and Greek Life have instituted additional policies regarding alcohol and drugs. Please contact relevant administration offices for more information. More information can also be found at the SDSU Alcohol and Other Drug initiatives website.

As a student at SDSU, you are responsible for your behavior and are fully accountable for your actions. Violation of this policy statement will not go unchallenged within the SDSU community. Any university student may be expelled, suspended, or placed on probation for violating university regulations regarding alcohol or drugs. Additionally, using alcohol or drugs negatively affects your academic performance.

Students who possess, use, or distribute substances such as, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, or other hallucinogens and narcotics, or who violate statutes regarding alcoholic beverages, are subject to arrest, imprisonment, or a fine according to State law. The University Police Department is empowered to enforce all State and Federal laws, including public drunkenness, driving under the influence, and possession of alcohol by a minor.

The university’s commitment to exercising disciplinary powers in cases of illegal alcohol and drug use complements its full measure of support for students who seek help for themselves or their acquaintances. These two approaches, combined with an active prevention education program, provide a strong basis for maintaining university expectations for a safe, healthy, and productive campus community. We hope that you will take advantage of the programs and services available to you, and that you will join with us in creating a viable learning community.

Drug Law Violations and Consequences

A federal or state drug conviction for possession, sale, or conspiring to sell illegal drugs can affect a student's eligibility to receive federal student financial aid, including loans, grants, and work study. If the offense occurs while the student is receiving federal student financial aid, the student will lose aid eligibility for a certain period of time. Additional information is available from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.