Annual Drug-Free Schools and Communities Policy Notification

The following message was sent to students on October 5, 2017 from the Division of Campus Life

In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, this notification is being sent to each Wake Forest University student. Its purpose is to serve as a reminder of the health risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse; of University policies related to the illegal possession, use or distribution of drugs or alcohol; of the availability of treatment for drug or alcohol problems through the University Counseling Center, Student Health Service, and Office of Wellbeing; and of the internal sanctions and federal, state and local legal penalties that may result from the illegal sale, possession, consumption, use or distribution of drugs or alcohol.

The University recognizes the potential harmful effect that substance abuse can have on the lives of individual members within the Wake Forest community. To that end, the University has adopted a Substance Abuse Policy and Program  which addresses the issues of identification, confidentiality, education, treatment, and penalties for violation of the policy. The status of any student will not be jeopardized for conscientiously seeking early assistance in the recovery from substance abuse impairment. Students who are identified as possibly having a problem and who are referred to the Office of Wellbeing and/or University Counseling Center may be required to participate in educational programming concerning substance abuse or may be required to seek further assessment and treatment for substance abuse issues. To the extent possible, complete confidentiality will be maintained with students seeking assistance and treatment.

Health Risks

Wake Forest University recognizes that the state of an individual’s overall health and wellbeing affects academic performance, job performance, and all facets of a student’s life. Alcohol misuse and substance abuse rank as one of the major health and economic problems in this society.

Alcohol – Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology. Even low doses significantly impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning. Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on college campuses, including acquaintance rape, vandalism, fights, and incidents of drinking and driving. Continued abuse may lead to dependency, which often causes permanent damage to vital organs and deterioration of a healthy lifestyle.

Cannabis (Marijuana, Hashish) – The use of marijuana may impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. The active ingredient in marijuana, THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum of 28 to 30 days.

Hallucinogens – Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when use has ceased. Phencyclidine (PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Because the drug blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries.

Cocaine/Crack – Cocaine users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum. The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack, or freebase rock cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations, blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death.

Amphetamines – Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination, collapse, and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.

Heroin – Heroin is an opiate drug that causes the body to have diminished pain reactions. The use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in heart rate.

Abuse of Prescription Drugs – Misuse of medicines prescribed by a Healthcare Provider for treatment of illness, mental health condition, injury or pain management can lead to serious illness or death.

Standards of Conduct

Wake Forest University is unequivocally opposed to alcohol misuse, substance abuse, and the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs by students on the University’s property or as any part of the University’s activities. Any illegal possession, distribution, and use of alcohol and/or controlled substances are prohibited by the University. The University’s expectations around alcohol and other drug use are contained in the Undergraduate Alcohol and Other Drug Policy and the Student Code of Conduct.

State and Federal Sanctions

The local, state, and federal laws provide specific penalties for drug and narcotics offenses. Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell or deliver, or possess with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver those drugs designated collectively as “controlled substances.” The punishment includes a term of imprisonment as well as a substantial fine.

The federal law makes it unlawful for any person to manufacture, distribute, create, dispense or to possess with the intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense controlled substances. Title 21 of the United States Code provides terms of imprisonment and fines for violations of this act. The nature of the offense and whether the person has committed any previous unlawful acts under this statute will determine the term of imprisonment as well as the amount of the fine.

The penalties for violations of alcoholic beverage regulations are found in Chapter 188 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Such penalties include terms of imprisonment and heavy fines.

University Sanctions

Conduct proceedings against a student will be initiated in accordance with the conduct procedures of the appropriate undergraduate or graduate school. When there is a reasonable basis for believing that the person has violated this policy or North Carolina law pertaining to controlled substances and the alleged conduct is deemed to harm the interests of the University, conduct action will be instituted. It should be noted that though an offense may be the subject of legal action by the civil authorities, University officials are free to initiate conduct actions that may result in additional penalties.


Penalties may range from written warnings with probationary status to expulsions from enrollment. A student convicted in criminal court of a drug violation will lose his/her eligibility for Federal student aid. The range of penalties is available through the Office of Financial Aid. The following minimum penalties will be imposed for the particular offenses described:

  • Trafficking in Illegal Drugs. The term “trafficking” is used in its generic sense, not in its specific application to selling, manufacturing, delivering, transporting, or possessing controlled substances in specified amounts as referenced in Article 5, North Carolina Controlled Substances Act.

For the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver, of any controlled substance identified in Article 5, North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, a student may expect a range of sanctions, up to and including expulsion.

  • Illegal Possession of Drugs. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedules I – V, Article 5, North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, a student may expect a range or sanctions, up to and including expulsion.

For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedule VI, Article 5, North Carolina Controlled Substances Act, the student may expect a range of sanctions including educational activities and parental notification.

For second or other subsequent offenses involving the illegal possession of controlled substances, progressively more severe sanctions may be considered, up to and including expulsion.

When a student has been charged by the University with a violation of policies concerning illegal drugs, he or she may be suspended from enrollment before initiation or completion of regular conduct proceedings, where the student’s continued presence within the University community would constitute a clear and immediate danger to the health or welfare of other members of the University community. If such a suspension is imposed, an appropriate hearing of the charges against the suspended person will be held as promptly as possible.

Alcohol and Other Drug Education and Referral Services

The University provides a number of drug education and referral services.

Office of Wellbeing (, 336-758-4371): The Office of Wellbeing coordinates campus-wide alcohol and other drug education and prevention programs as well as the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS) program. BASICS provides individualized screening and intervention for students facing challenges with their alcohol and or drug use. The Office of Wellbeing can also refer students in need of additional assessment or services to the appropriate level of care.

University Counseling Center (336-758-5273): The University Counseling Center offers Assessment, Group Counseling, Individual Counseling, and referral services.

Student Health Service (336-758-5215): The Student Health Service is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and is able to provide medical care to intoxicated individuals, substance use screening, and referral to additional services.

Consultation and assessment with a substance abuse counselor may be required following the report of an incident or the awareness of a problem involving drugs or alcohol misuse. The program sets forth the consequences of violating the treatment and rehabilitation plan. The continued or repeated abuse of substances following initiation into this program will constitute grounds for further conduct action by the University.

Questions or comments about these guidelines should be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students, 336-758-5226 or

Anyone experiencing an emergency should call 911 immediately.


To contact the Office of Family Engagement, please visit our contact page.

If Your Student Has a Problem

One of the best ways parents/families can help their students is to let them solve their own problems. Use the Stop, Drop, and Roll method when your student contacts you with a problem.  The flyer also lists contact information for serious concerns where family intervention might be appropriate.

Orientation 2017 slide shows

Select slide shows from Orientation sessions are available online.