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Skip Navigation LinksADLA Administrative Handbook > Chapter 13 - Students and Families > 13.8 - Behavior > 13.8.4 - Alcohol, Narcotics, or Other Controlled Substances


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 Alcohol, Tobacco, Narcotics, or Other Controlled Substances​​

​​​​1 Guidelines Related to Possession and Use​

All school policies must comply with state and federal laws that prohibit the use, consumption, sale, or delivery of alcohol or tobacco to persons under 21 or of controlled substances (including cannabis and cannabis-containing products that could be physically or mentally impairing) to persons of any age, without a prescription. The policy should be clearly articulated in the parent/student handbook. The school should consult law enforcement agencies when an alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cannabis-containing product that could be physically or mentally impairing, or other controlled substance violation occurs or the school learns of a violation, with each case judged individually. 

The archdiocesan "No Smoking" policy also applies to vaping and the use of e-cigarettes, which may not be sold or used by persons under age 21, except for active duty military personnel over age 18.

If students or their friends experience problems related to the use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cannabis-containing products that could be physically or mentally impairing, or other controlled substances , the students should be encouraged to seek help from a school counselor for themselves or their friends. School personnel should have access to public or private resource agencies for substance abuse rehabilitation so that they can offer help to students and parents/guardians.

If a student is known to be dealing in controlled substances or providing alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or cannabis-containing products that could be physically or mentally impairing, on or off campus, or if a student is convicted in court for sale, possession, or use of controlled substances, the student may be asked to withdraw from the school or may be expelled.

2 Procedures in the Case of Suspected Possession or Use

In cases where school administrators suspect a student's possession or use of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cannabis-containing products that could be physically or mentally impairing, vaping devices or other controlled substances on campus, school administrators should follow these procedures:

  • Evaluate observable symptoms. 

  • Attempt to determine if the student is in possession of alcohol, tobacco, vaping devices, cannabis, cannabis-containing products that could be physically or mentally impairing, controlled substances, or other harmful substances. 

  • Interview the student in the presence of an adult witness. 

  • Request the student's cooperation in conducting a search of his or her person and possessions (the search may include the locker, other locations on the school grounds, or the student's car, backpack, or purse if administrators suspect that controlled or other harmful substances may be hidden). 

  • Determine if the student needs medical attention; if the student requires emergency medical treatment, contact the parents/guardians and follow the instructions on the student's Emergency Card

  • Recommend that a physician examine the student. 

  • Provide information to parents/guardians regarding the availability of public or private resource agencies for rehabilitation. 

In cases where school administrators verify a student's sale or possession of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, cannabis-containing products that could be physically or mentally impairing, vaping devices or other controlled substances, school administrators should follow these procedures:

  • The administrator should confiscate all physical evidence obtained as a result of the investigation: seal the evidence in a container bearing the date and time of confiscation, the name of the student from whom it was confiscated, and the signature of the person who confiscated it. 

  • The administrator should consult police. The degree of police involvement will be determined in each case.

  • If the student is arrested and removed from school, the law enforcement agency notifies the parents/guardians prior to the time that the student would normally return home from school. However, the school principal shall take immediate steps to notify the p​arents/guardians about the release of the student to the officer and where the student is reportedly being taken. See Removal of a Student from School during School Hours​. Even if an arrest does not occur, the student may be suspended from school​. The school should promptly arrange a conference with the parents/guardians and student.