Substance Abuse Policy

As an educational institution, the College has an obligation to encourage those responsible behaviors that enable individuals to participate in learning opportunities. In recognition of the magnitude and seriousness of substance abuse in society, and of the harmful effects on individuals, families, and the community, this policy has, as its purpose, to influence attitudes through education, and to prohibit substance abuse. Abuse of alcohol and the use, possession or distribution of controlled substances, and the consumption of alcohol on campus (except where specifically permitted by law) are prohibited because of concern for the health and welfare of members of the College community, and about behavior that may violate the rights of others. While it is not the intent of this policy to regulate the conduct of persons not under the College’s control, it is the intent of this policy to regulate the conduct of all persons on campus or attending College-sponsored functions.

It is the College’s policy to prohibit the unlawful use, possession or distribution of legally controlled substances or the consumption of alcohol (except as provided by law), by persons on campus or at College-sponsored activities. It is also College policy to provide information to the College community about the detrimental effects of the use of drugs and the consumption of alcohol. Unlawful use, possession or distribution of any controlled substance is prohibited on campus or at any College-sponsored activity. Students who violate this policy will be governed by the College’s Code of Student Conduct and subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension, expulsion, and referral for prosecution. Employees who violate this policy as subject to disciplinary action consistent with College policies, rules, regulations and employment agreements.  Any individual, including visitors, convicted of violating substance abuse laws may face local, state, or federal penalties including community service, fines, imprisonment, and loss of federal benefits including student financial aid.

The consumption of any alcohol is prohibited on campus. Any exception to this policy must be authorized in advance in writing by the president. When authorized, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is restricted to active participants in an educational or cultural conference on campus. Furthermore, the College representative in charge of any such activity on campus or any College-sponsored activity held off campus, may deny the right of any or all, persons to consume alcohol at such an activity when, in the discretion of such representative, the consumption of alcohol has become unreasonable.

Violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary sanction. This policy does not regulate the use of medication taken under the direction of a physician. The College hereby enacts this policy to conform with the Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 (20 U.S.C. §5145, Public Law 101-226). 

Oakton’s Counseling Services

Provides short-term counseling and referrals for a variety of concerns and issues that impact personal and educational goals, including substance misuse. Oakton may also periodically sponsor workshops/seminars and distribute information regarding drug abuse.

Employees may contact Human Resources for more information about the employee assistance program (EAP).

Additional substance abuse resources include:

  • Gateway - Multiple locations
    415 N. Dearborn Street
    Suite 510
    Chicago, IL 60654
  • Keys to Recovery - Des Plaines
    100 N River Road
    Des Plaines, IL 60016
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Peer Services - Evanston
    906 Davis Street
    Evanston, IL 60201
  • Rosecrance - Des Plaines (other locations available)
    701 Lee Street
    Suite 800
    Des Plaines, IL 60016
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    1.800.662.HELP (4357)

Health Risks Associated with Using Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

Consuming drugs and alcohol may have serious health risks. These include but are not limited to impaired judgment, impaired coordination including inability to drive safely, increase in aggression, impaired cognitive abilities, respiratory distress/death, and risk of dependency. Long-term use may lead to permanent damage of one’s body. No amount of alcohol is considered safe during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities.

More specific information about health risks is provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.