Amendments of 1989

Brown University, in accordance with the "Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989", has issued the following statement regarding its programs to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees:

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Policies

Brown University has adopted policies and programs to prevent alcohol abuse and the unlawful possession, use or distribution of alcohol and controlled substances/illicit drugs by Brown University faculty, staff, and students. All members of the Brown University community are expected to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities pursuant to institutional policy, and federal, state and local laws and regulations.

This document contains information about University policies, applicable legal sanctions, University sanctions, health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol, and information regarding available counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation programs.

Standards of Conduct

Brown University expects its students and employees to abide by all federal, state, and local laws with respect to drugs and alcohol.

It is unlawful for individuals who have not attained the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. It is also unlawful to deliver alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21, or misrepresent oneself as having attained the age of 21 to procure alcoholic beverages. There are no exceptions to these laws that are applicable to students at Brown University.

Under state and federal law, it is unlawful, except as expressly authorized by law, to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance/illicit drug. More severe criminal sanctions are assessed in instances where a person 18 years of age or older unlawfully distributes a controlled substance/illicit drug to a person under 21 years of age (federal law) or 18 years of age (state law).


Brown University students are expected to comply with all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to drugs and alcohol. The illegal possession, use, provision, sale, or possession with the intent to sell, of drugs and/or alcohol is prohibited by University regulations. Students seeking to sponsor activities where alcoholic beverages are to be served must have all required University approvals and abide by established University procedures.


Similarly, Brown University employees are expected to comply with all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to drugs and alcohol. All employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession or use of controlled substances/illicit drugs, and the manufacture, distribution, possession or use of alcohol (except as is lawful and permissible under Rhode Island law and University policies), on the property of Brown University or as part of any of its activities.

Legal Sanctions

Illegal manufacture, possession, delivery, and use of a controlled substance and alcohol is a violation of federal, state, and/or local laws. Penalties range according to type of substance, amount in possession and/or delivered, and the number and type of previous violations. Listed below are examples of some penalties/sanctions:

Controlled Substances

  • Manufacture, deliver, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance: Imprisonment up to term for life and/or a $10,000 to $500,000 fine for violators respecting Schedule I and II controlled substances; Imprisonment up to term 20 years and/or a fine up to $40,000 for violators respecting Schedule III and IV controlled substances (RIGL ß21-28-4.01).
  • Possession of controlled substance in absence of valid prescription: Imprisonment for not more than 3 years and/or a $500 to $5,000 fine for violators respecting Schedule I, II, III, IV, and V controlled substances (RIGL ß21-28-4.01).


  • Possession by a minor: For a first offense a fine of $100 - $500; for a second offense a fine of $200 - $500; for a third and subsequent offenses a fine of $300 - $500 (RIGL ß3-8-10).
  • Purchasing alcohol for, or furnishing alcohol to, a minor: A violator shall be guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment not exceeding 6 months and/or a fine not exceeding $1,000 (RIGL ß3-8-11.1,11.2).
  • Misrepresentation of age: First offense, mandatory $100 to $500 fine; second offense, mandatory $250 to $500 fine; third and subsequent offenses, mandatory $500 to $1000 fines (RIGL ß3-8-6). An additional penalty that may be imposed is the suspension of the violator's driver's license or privilege to drive.

University Sanctions

A student or employee who is in violation of Brown University's policies on drugs and alcohol shall be subject to sanctions in accordance with Brown University policies and procedures. Disciplinary action involving drug and alcohol violations by students may result in suspension, dismissal, or expulsion from the University. Cases involving employees will result in disciplinary sanctions up to and including termination.

Students violating University policies with respect to drugs and/or alcohol will be disciplined in accordance with Brown University's Code of Student Conduct. Employees' violating University policies with respect to drugs and/or alcohol will be disciplined in accordance to procedures outlined in Brown University's employee handbook and/or the faculty rules and regulations.

Any disciplinary action imposed by the University may be in addition to any penalty imposed by an off campus authority.

Health Risks

Alcohol use, even in low doses, can significantly impair judgment and coordination. Low to moderate doses increase the incidents of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses can severely alter a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses can cause respiratory depression and death. Repeated use can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of use can produce withdrawal symptoms and can be life-threatening. Long-term use of large quantities can lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and liver. Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk of becoming alcoholics.

The abuse of drugs/controlled substances can result in a wide range of health problems. Illicit drug use can result in drug addiction, death by overdose, death from withdrawal, seizure, heart problems, liver disease, and chronic brain dysfunction. Other problems associated with illicit drug use include psychological dysfunctions such as memory loss, thought disorders (i.e. hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis) and psychological dependency. Women who use drugs during pregnancy may give birth to infants who are drug addicted and may have health complications.

For more information, contact the Health Services/Health Promotion Office at (410 863-3953/863-2794.

Campus Resources

Individuals who may have an alcohol or drug abuse problem or have questions concerning the use or abuse of drugs and alcohol should be aware of the several offices and resources at Brown that offer services to students, faculty, and staff.

The Health Services/Health Promotion Office: Educational, counseling and referral services are available to students troubled by the use of drugs and alcohol. For further information, call Health Services at (401) 863-3953 or Health Promotion at (401) 863-2794.

Counseling and Psychological Services: Brown's Counseling and Psychological Services also provides educational, counseling and referral services to students troubled by the use of drugs and alcohol. For further information, call Counseling and Psychological Services at (401) 863-3476.

Faculty/Staff Assistance Program (FSAP): This program offers faculty and staff assistance when professional advice is needed for a range of problems, including drug and alcohol abuse. Often referred to as an Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, this program provides an array of confidential services to promote a healthy work/life balance to eligible employees, their immediate families, and household members. Further information is available through Human Resources on the web or by calling (401) 863-3175.

Dean of Chemical Depedency: Housed in the Dean of the College offices, the Dean of Chemical Depedency provides confidential consultation and referral services to students, faculty, and staff who are concerned about their use of drugs and alcohol or who are negatively affected by others' substance abuse.  For further information, call (401) 863-2536.