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Alcohol & Drug Counseling, Assessment and Prevention Services

Washington State University aims to eliminate alcohol and drug abuse and to educate the University community on relevant laws and consequences. This policy provides consistency and clarity on the permitted use and enforcement of alcohol laws and statutes on all WSU properties statewide.

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act requires that each institution distribute the following in writing to all students and employees annually:

  • Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on school property or as part of any school activities
  • A description of the applicable legal sanctions under federal, state, or local law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol
  • A description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol:
    • NIDA Drug Prevention
    • Health Risks Associated with the use of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol:
      Alcohol and Drug abuse result in significant health problems for those who use them. Alcohol and Drug use in the university setting not only contributes to lost productivity, but also causes tremendous costs related to negative academic impacts, absenteeism, accidents, health care, loss of trained personnel, and need for treatment programs. Alcohol and Drug abuse can cause physical and emotional dependence. Users may develop a craving for these substances and their bodies may respond to the presence of drugs in ways that lead to increased use. Certain drugs, such as opiates, barbiturates, alcohol and nicotine create physical dependence. When a regular user stops taking the drug, the body experiences the physiological trauma known as withdrawal. Psychological dependence occurs when taking drugs becomes the center of the user’s life. Some drugs have an effect on the mind and body for weeks or even months after drug use has stopped. Drugs and alcohol can interfere with memory, sensation, and perception. They can distort experiences and cause loss of self-control that can lead users to harm others as well as themselves.
    • The University Counseling Services/ADCAPS has more information as to the effects of alcohol and drugs (see Resources section of this website).
  • A description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, rehabilitation, and re-entry programs that are available to employees or students
  • A clear statement that the institution will impose disciplinary sanctions on students and employees (consistent with federal, state, or local law), and a description of those sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution, for violations of the standards of conduct

Cannabis Use at WSU

Top 3 things you need to know about cannabis use and WSU:

  1. In Washington State persons 21 years of age or older are able to possess up to an ounce of marijuana/cannabis for personal use in private settings. However, cannabis use or possession is not legal anywhere on the WSU campus, primarily due to compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Schools Act.
  2. Cannabis use on the WSU campus is a violation of the student code of conduct.
  3. Your financial aid eligibility can be negatively affected by a drug conviction. See question # 23 on the FAFSA.


Effective Alcohol Intervention Strategies

WSU ADCAPS staff uses the CollegeAIM guide to select an appropriate mix of effective, evidence-based interventions. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) developed the CollegeAIM guide and website to help college personnel choose wisely among the many potential interventions to address harmful and underage college student drinking.

Additional resources: