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Drug-free workplace and drug-free schools and communities acts

In support of the national strategy to combat illegal drug and alcohol abuse, Congress has enacted the Drug-Free Workplace and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments, which require that "as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, an institution of higher education or state/local educational agency must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees." Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary have issued the following statement to inform the community of the seriousness of the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol and to set forth the standards of conduct regarding such activity by students and employees of the institution.

Community Responsibility

Moravian University and Theological Seminary students and employees are both citizens and members of the academic community. As citizens, they enjoy the same rights and obligations that all other citizens enjoy; and, as members of the academic community, they are subject to the rights and obligations that accrue to them by virtue of this membership. Students and employees are expected to be honorable and ethical in every regard and to have consideration for the welfare of others as individuals and for the community as a whole.

Standards of Conduct

The unlawful manufacture, possession, use, misuse, abuse, or distribution of illegal drugs, alcohol, and illegal prescription drugs without authorization and medical supervision on institutional property or off campus while conducting any officially sanctioned institutional activity is strictly prohibited. If found in violation of these standards, students and employees will be subject to severe disciplinary action and may incur penalties prescribed by civil authorities.

Faculty and staff, as a condition of employment, must abide by the terms of this policy and report any convictions under criminal drug statutes for violations occurring on or off the premises while conducting business for the institution within five days of the conviction.

Sanctions for violation of any of the aforementioned standards imposed on employees may vary from mandatory participation in rehabilitation programs to termination of employment and referral for prosecution.

For students, sanctions imposed by the institution for violations of the above conditions are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and may include fines, developmental sanctions, parent/guardian notification, suspension, expulsion and referral for criminal prosecution.

Definition of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

"Illicit drugs" refers to certain controlled substances not prescribed by the user's physician, including (but not limited to): marijuana (including hashish); stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine); depressants; hallucinogens (including PCP); opiates or narcotics (heroin, morphine, opium); inhalants (sprays, solvents, glue); and "designer drugs" (synthetic drugs similar in effect to stimulants, hallucinogens, and narcotics, including GHB and Ecstasy). This list is not comprehensive.

In addition to illicit drugs, illegal prescription drugs that are used without authorization and medical supervision can also pose a serious threat to both the physical and mental well-being of the user.

Alcohol is a depressant that slows the activity of the central nervous system and the brain. Alcohol is a substance regulated by local, state, and federal agencies with respect to its purchase, transportation, consumption, and possession.

Health Risks

All drugs, including alcohol, can produce serious side effects. This is true even of prescription or other legal drugs when used as prescribed, but their risks are weighed against their benefits by medical professionals in the therapeutic context. Prescription drugs used without a prescription and medical supervision can pose a serious threat to the well-being of the user. Because the drugs listed below impair the mind, they increase likelihood of accidents and violent behavior.

The many health risks associated with alcohol use are well documented. Small amounts may affect judgment and coordination, impairing performance of even simple routine tasks. The repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence, with multiple physical, emotional, and psychological complications. Effects of the prolonged use of alcohol may include damage to the central nervous system; malnutrition and anemia; damage to the heart, lungs, and liver; mental disorders; and death.

Health risks associated with the seven categories of illicit drugs may include:

  • Marijuana: impaired memory, lung and pulmonary damage, chronic emphysema, cancer. 
  • Stimulants: paranoia, hallucinations, dizziness, headaches, abdominal cramps, malnutrition, overstimulation of the central nervous system, seizures, stroke, heart failure, death. 
  • Depressants: initial effects similar to alcohol inebriation, slowed reflexes, unstable mood, loss of memory, coma, death.
  • Hallucinogens: distortion of reality, including illusions and hallucinations, injury of self or others, convulsions, brain damage, coma, death.
  • Opiates (narcotics): skin abscesses, respiratory damage, malnutrition, pneumonia and hepatitis, heart disease, diabetes, coma, death.
  • Inhalants: fatigue, weight loss, permanent damage to the nervous system, hepatitis, organ failure. 
  • Designer drugs: psychosis, instant paralysis and brain damage, death.

In addition, the "date-rape drugs" Rohypnol and GHB may cause a weakened or unconscious state often followed by amnesia.

Drug and alcohol abuse can reduce the body's resistance to infections and bring about malnutrition, organ damage, and mental illness. Overdoses of almost all these substances can cause psychosis, convulsions, coma, and death.

Counseling and Treatment

Students who abuse controlled substances or alcohol are encouraged to seek assistance and referral through the Counseling Center (610 861-1510) or the Moravian University Health Center (610 861-1567). Treatment is available for drug and alcohol abuse problems in the Counseling Center for full-time undergraduate students and full-time graduate students. Treatment is determined on an individual basis and may include therapy (individual and/or group) with counseling center staff or referral to off-campus treatment resources.

Employees who abuse controlled substances are encouraged to seek referral through the Moravian University Health Center (610 861-1567), the Counseling Center (610 861-1510), or the Office of Human Resources (610 861-1527).

Many options are available in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas for students and employees in need of substance-abuse treatment. Some of these centers are listed here:

This is only a partial listing of services and programs available in the greater Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. The presence of a program or service on this list is not to be construed as the institution's endorsement of the identified agency. Should any of these programs or agencies prove to be unsuitable for any reason, additional options may be explored with any of the Moravian offices noted above.

Legal Sanctions

In Pennsylvania, the purchase, consumption, transportation, or possession of liquor or malt or brewed beverages by a person younger than 21 may result in a sentence to pay a fine of not more than $500 for the first offense and not more than $1,000 for the second and each subsequent violation. (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6308)

Misrepresentation of age to procure or have furnished any liquor or malt or brewed beverages for oneself is a summary offense punishable by a fine of up to $300 for a first offense and is a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by a fine of up to $500 for a subsequent offense. (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6307) Misrepresentation of the age of another for the purpose of inducing someone to sell or furnish any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to that person is a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by a fine of not less than $300. (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6309)

The intentional and knowing sale or furnishing of any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to a person less than 21 years of age is a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 for a first offense and $2,500 for subsequent offenses. (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6310.1)

Manufacturing, making, altering, selling or attempting to sell a false identification card representing the identity, birth date or age of another is a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 for a first offense and not less than $2,500 for subsequent offenses. (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 6310.2)

The penalties for the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs are more diverse than those governing underage drinking and vary depending on the nature of the drug involved and the nature of the activity. For example, unlawful possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana or eight grams or less of hashish, for example, is a misdemeanor punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $500 or both. (35 P.S. §780-113[a][31] and [g])

At the other end of the scale, the manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver heroin or other narcotics is a felony carrying a penalty punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 15 years or a fine of up to $250,000 or both. (75 P.S. § 780-104; 35 P.S. §780-113[a][30] and [f][1]) A complete summary of penalties related to unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol or illicit drugs can be found in the Campus Police Office. Individuals seeking advice regarding drug- or alcohol-related laws should consult legal counsel.