UNIVERSITY POLICIES ON ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS
MSU has a Campus Alcohol and Drug Policy that promotes a healthy campus environment.
That Policy is found at www.montana.edu/policy/campus_alcohol_drug and it conforms to the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, and the Montana Board of Regents Policy 503.1, Alcoholic Beverages.
Standards of Conduct
MSU’s policy prohibits unlawful possession, consumption, use, distribution or sale of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on campus property. These acts are prohibited by both the Student Conduct Code and Section 1230 of the Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual. The University Police Department has primary responsibility for the enforcement of State underage drinking laws as well as the enforcement of Federal and State drug laws.
MSU is a tobacco-free campus, which includes all nicotine delivery devices. Even though medical marijuana is legal in the state of Montana, University policy prohibits use in compliance with federal and state law which prohibits the possession and/or use of drug paraphernalia at educational institutions.
Montana Board of Regents Policy 503.1 provides that consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted on property belonging to the Montana University System only as follows:
- Within student living quarters, consumption of alcohol is allowed only by persons of legal Legal consumption by students in student living quarters shall not interfere with the rights of other residents and their guests or cause the normal operation of residence halls/student housing to be disrupted.
- Within approved areas on campus property that are used or rented as approved by the
MSU has established procedures for obtaining approval for events where alcohol will be available. See Section 890.00 of the Facilities Use Manual.
Residence Life and Family and Graduate Housing
All events involving alcohol held on campus must receive approval from University Catering. University Catering provides information about policies, laws, and the procedures to initiate the University’s approval process. The requirements for events with service of alcoholic beverages are found in the Campus Alcohol and Drug Policy and the Facilities Use Manual.
MSU’s policy allows the possession and consumption of alcohol in the privacy of student rooms or individual family and graduate housing units, in accordance with applicable State law (legal drinking age in Montana is 21). However, it does not allow alcoholic beverages to be consumed in public
areas such as hallways and lounges. If a public area is used for an event and alcohol will be present, the event sponsor must follow the requirements in Section 890 of the Facilities Use Manual. Also, the Policy does not allow parties or activities in student rooms where large amounts of alcohol are present.
Residence Hall social funds (managed by Residence Hall Association (RHA)) may not be used for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. Approved residence life and family and graduate housing sponsored functions involving alcohol must also adhere to the state law and the policies of the university. Off-campus events organized or sponsored by MSU Residence Life or Family and
Graduate Housing may serve alcohol only in accordance with the Campus Alcohol and Drug Policy.
MSU Policy provides that possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages at Fraternity/Sorority houses and functions are subject to policies established by the Board of Regents, Montana State University, IFC/Panhellenic policies, and with national chapter policies, local ordinances, and State laws.
Any Fraternity/Sorority events must follow MSU’s Alcohol and Drug Policy including its provisions concerning prohibitions on: alcohol at open parties; use of alcohol at recruitment functions; the use of Chapter funds for the purchase of alcohol. Events with alcohol must also meet the requirements for registration with university officials and other related requirements and procedures.
ASMSU, Departmental and Other Registered Student Organizations
MSU’s Alcohol and Drug Policy also regulates the use of alcohol at gatherings or events of ASMSU, registered student organizations, and other organized student groups. Such groups must follow MSU’s policies and procedures governing the use of alcohol at events and must receive prior approval in accordance with Section 890.00 of the Facilities Use Manual. No organizational or ASMSU funds are allowed to be used to buy alcohol.
Stadium and Sports Facilities
Alcohol use is not allowed in sports facilities except in specific locations (e.g., Stadium Club) or as authorized under Section 890.00 of the Facilities Use Manual. Alcohol concessions at Football games and at tailgating are allowed in accordance with the requirements of MSU policies.
University Employees and Outside Groups
MSU’s Alcohol and Drug policy also requires employee or private party events using university facilities that involve the service of alcohol to comply with the requirements of Section 890.00 of the Facilities Use Manual. No organizational funds of employee groups may be used to purchase alcohol.
Alcohol Marketing Guidelines
MSU’s Policy also regulates alcohol advertising and marketing on campus. It prohibits reference to alcoholic beverages, free drinks, and drinking games, and regulates any allowed advertising.
MSU’s Policy also prohibits the use, possession, manufacture, sale, or distribution of any illegal drugs on University property or at University sponsored, including the non-medical use of prescription drugs.
Prescription Drug Abuse
Students’ inappropriate use of prescription drugs to “get high,” cram for exams, or use to enhance sports performance is a violation of MSU’s policy. Prescription drugs, when mixed with alcohol, are particularly dangerous and potentially lethal. This is especially true of opiates, such as OxyContin, Vicodin or other painkillers. Harmful effects of prescription drug abuse include:
- Mental health: increased irritability, agitation, anger, apathy, depression, paranoia (delusions and Hallucinations), violence, and
- Physical health: drastic changes in sleep patterns, sudden weight loss or gain, stunted growth, and
Although Montana state law permits the use of medical marijuana, i.e., use by persons possessing lawfully issued medical marijuana cards, federal laws prohibit marijuana use, possession and/
or cultivation at educational institutions and on the premises of other recipients of federal funds. Therefore, MSU’s Policy prohibits the use, possession or cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes in any Montana State University property, inclusive of housing; nor is it allowed at any University-sponsored event or activity off campus.
Health Risks of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Abusive use of alcohol and/or the use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription drugs can be detrimental to the physical and mental health of students and members of the surrounding community. The various risks are classified and described in this section of the Report.
Social, Academic, and Personal Risks of High-Risk Substance Abuse
Social, academic and personal risks are associated with students who drink alcohol, use illicit drugs or abuse prescription drugs. High-risk and illegal use of alcohol and illicit drugs are the most prominent health and safety risks to the MSU student population, which can result in significant legal and academic problems. Prevalence of this type of alcohol use (also known as “binge drinking” or heavy episodic drinking) and/or use of drugs can directly or indirectly lead to:
- Social problems: driving under the influence, fighting, unwanted sexual contact, vandalism, trouble with authorities, unsafe sexual behavior, among
- Academic problems: poor grades, missed classes, memory loss, falling behind in class work or
- Personal problems: depression, illness and injury, experiencing unwanted attempted or completed sexual intercourse, suicide, being the victim of violence or racial harassment, being unable to control drinking or drug
“Second hand” effects result from other peoples’ drinking or drug use, often experienced by students who choose not to use drugs or alcohol in a high-risk manner. These problems are typically most prominent among students living in close quarters (e.g., residence halls or Greek houses). Effects include: disruptions of sleep or studying, having one’s property damaged, feeling unsafe, having one’s membership in an organized group adversely affected, and decreased enjoyment of campus activities. Non- students, i.e., community members, are also at risk of experiencing problems as a result of student drinking or drug use (e.g., intoxicated driving, vandalism, violence, sexual assault).
Risks Associated with Dependency or Addiction
For some students, substance use escalates to dependency. Adverse effects of dependency can include illnesses such as liver disease, peripheral neuropathy, and cerebella degeneration. Additional health risks to students with chemical or psychological dependency include the personal problems listed above in addition to blackouts, alcoholic hallucinations, and delirium tremens. Prescribed medications and illicit drugs can be abused with or without dependency, leading to potential dependency, acute intoxication (can include depression or euphoria, altered time perception, impairment of immediate memory, overdose, stupor, shock, coma or death), acute withdrawal, psychosis, or aggravation of existing mental illness.
Symptoms of dependency include the following:
- psychological craving: intense feeling of need for the drug which may be accompanied with antisocial behavior involved in the procurement of the substance;
- physiological dependence: withdrawal symptoms are displayed when use of the substance is discontinued; and
- tolerance: need to increase the dose of the substance to obtain the desired
In compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, Montana State University publishes information regarding the University’s educational programs related to drug and alcohol abuse prevention; sanctions for violations of federal, state, and local laws and University policy; a description of health risks associated with alcohol and other drug use; and a description of available treatment programs for MSU students and employees. A complete description of these topics, as provided in the University’s annual notification to students and employees, is available online on the Office of the Dean of Students website.
Education, Prevention, and Treatment Programs
Because of the health and social risks of alcohol and drug abuse, Montana State University provides alcohol and drug abuse prevention education, counseling and treatment programs, and recovery programs designed to reach all segments of the campus community.
All incoming students regardless of their age are required to take Alcohol EDU. AlcoholEdu for College, a science-based, interactive online program, provides students with facts and skill-based information on alcohol and sexual assault, other consequences of alcohol abuse, including alcohol’s impact on the brain, body, and behavior. All incoming MSU students regardless of age, are required to take AlcoholEdu. The program matches course content to each student based on his or her behavior, attitudes, and what he or she already knows about alcohol.
Whether students choose to drink or not, AlcoholEdu is designed to encourage informed decision- making about alcohol use as well as providing skills to respond to the drinking and risk behaviors of friends and peers. The program delivers information with a non-judgmental tone that supports students in making their own plan to reduce the risk of harm associated with drinking while in college.
This program is one of many efforts at MSU to support better decision-making and a healthier campus environment where everyone every can live, study, work and play. MSU Office of Health Advancement provides education programs addressing risk reduction as well as policy development to prevent substance misuse.
Details about AlcoholEdu and MSU Office of Health Advancement are available at 406-994- 4380 or www.montana.edu/oha
Student Treatment and Assistance - Alcohol and Drug Assistance Center/Insight Program
The MSU Office of Health Advancement provides a voluntary, confidential resource to assist all students who are impacted directly or indirectly by chemical abuse through its Alcohol and Drug Assistance Center/Insight Program, including the MIP (Minor in Possession) program.
INSIGHT is a state approved three-level assistance and intervention program open to all MSU students, either by self- referral or by referral from MSU offices, departments or the local court system. This program can be contacted at (406) 994-5937, and is located at 1106 S 6th Avenue. Student confidentiality will be respected. The Center provides referral and pre- assessment support.
- Offers referral assistance to students and their friends who have alcohol and other drug use
- Offers workshops, seminars and training related to substance
- Provides support to friends and family who are affected by someone else’s substance use/abuse.
- Supports other MSU offices, faculty and staff in issues relating to alcohol/drugs.
- Provides factual information and dispels myths about alcohol and other
- Disseminates information on local treatment and recovery program
- Provides information, support and referral for those students affected by behavioral compulsions and for students who are/were affected by chemical abuse within a
The Center also offers limited family counseling and referral. A licensed counselor will meet and consult with family or friends of students on a limited basis in order to discuss options and offer support. The Center also provides treatment referrals. The three levels (Focus Seminar, Brief Alcohol Screening and Interventions for College Student— BASICS, and Intervention and Referral) are described in detail on the Insight website.
Students can also call Insight at 406-587- 2306.
A full-time licensed clinical and addiction counselor works specifically with substance abuse issues. This service is provided as part of the health fees and is free to participants.
The Office of Health Advancement/Insight program also supports Students in Recovery. The Insight office staff also includes an MIP Case Coordinator and graduate student employees. Graduate students facilitate the Level I Focus Seminars; the licensed counselor conducts the BASICS program and oversees Levels III interventions.