Loyola University Chicago

Human Resources

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Loyola University Chicago is committed to the adoption and implementation of a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. In support of this commitment and in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, the following information is provided.

All employees are required to come to the workplace ready and able to work (see Fitness for Duty Policy). If an employee may be impaired by medication taken according to a physician's prescription or the medication's directions, they are expected to discuss it with their supervisor.

Prevention, Treatment, and Support Services
While seeking help does not negate workplace responsibilities, the University does encourage and provide free and confidential consultation and assistance to any employee who may have problems with substance abuse through Loyola's Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The University offers an Employee Assistance Program to help find solutions to issues and difficulties of daily life. This program is offered, at no cost, through Perspectives, Ltd, and it is available to all employees and their families.

With offices in and around the Chicagoland area, and availability to access services from any University campus, Perspectives offers a wide variety of assistance to faculty, staff, and their families including: counseling for one on a wide range of private and work issues, supervisor and manager consultations, work/life services, workshops and seminars for departments, and wellness and educational materials and resources.

Appointments by Phone
To schedule an individual appointment with one of Perspectives' licensed professionals, call 800.456.6327. Perspectives AllOne Health schedules appointments weekdays from 8:00AM – 6:00PM, and has 24-hour/7-day-a-week emergency services.

  • To access Perspectives online, please go the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) website. You will find information about how to create an account and access EAP services, resources, and materials. 

Self-help support groups for dealing with alcohol or other drug dependence bring together people with common experiences and similar needs. In general, self-help groups are: facilitated by a lay person, free, informal, voluntary, and anonymous. Please see the resources below to identify meeting times and dates of local area meetings, other self-help sites, and for more information on substances. For additional resources: 

Health Risks and Dangers in the Workplace
In keeping with its promise of preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, the University offers resources for students (through the Wellness Center) and staff/faculty (through the Employee Assistance Program) that may seek or require assistance with alcohol or other drug (AOD) problems. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend seminars and information sessions on the health risks of alcohol and other drug abuse available to the University community. These programs are designed to educate staff and faculty on substance abuse, its health risks and identifying signs. For more information on the risks of substance abuse please see the information below or see drugfree.org. 

Health Risks
Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including domestic/dating violence and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression & death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described. Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver. Colleagues with a womb who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental illness. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.

Hallucinogens disrupt the brain chemicals that enable us to make sense out of our environment. Most of those used by college students are manufactured chemical compounds. The most common compound is LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide). It and other hallucinogens are potent and extremely unpredictable drugs that produce fast-acting and unexpected effects. The most common acute reactions are panic from severe anxiety and intense fear of losing control, and psychotic reactions involving severe breaks with reality, persistent hallucinations, and delusions.

Psychotic reactions have been known to last weeks or months and often require hospitalization. The long-term or chronic effects of LSD use are not known at this time, but many ex-users report experiencing flashbacks, even several years after a bad trip.

Marijuana is an illegal drug with high potential for abuse. Because it affects the way a person thinks, learns, and acts, its use is especially harmful, even dangerous, in many situations. Marijuana interferes with speech, memory, and learning, and makes tasks that require a clear mind difficult, meaningless, or unsafe. It also slows reactions & interferes with coordination. Marijuana’s dangers increase in combination with alcohol. Marijuana smoking also poses a serious threat to the user's lungs, heart, immune system, and reproductive systems.

Inhalants include easy-to-obtain products such as cleaning fluids, solvents, aerosols, and airplane glue. They act on the central nervous system much like such volatile anesthetics as ether & chloroform, and produce bizarre perceptual and hallucinatory actions. Short-term physical effects include sneezing, lack of coordination, loss of appetite, rapid heartbeat, and seizures. Psychological effects include euphoria, exhilaration, confusion, disorientation, loss of inhibitions, and impulsive behavior that may lead to injuries and accidents. Long-term health risks include nosebleeds, loss of consciousness, hepatitis, liver failure, kidney failure, respiratory depression, blood abnormalities, irregular heartbeat, and possible suffocation.

Depressants include barbiturates, sedatives, and anti-anxiety drugs. They are usually taken orally. They depress not only the activity of the brain, causing an effect on the heart and respiration, but also muscle tissues. Short-term physical effects include drowsiness, slurred speech, irritability, stupor, and impaired judgment, memory, and attention. Long-term effects include disrupted sleep, psychosis, respiratory depression, coma, and neuropsychological and structural brain damage. Withdrawal can produce extreme anxiety, insomnia, convulsions, and death.

Narcotics include opium, morphine, heroin, codeine, and synthetic substances that can be taken orally, snorted, smoked, or injected into the skin or a vein. They relax the central nervous system and appear to be able to reduce anxiety levels, promote drowsiness, and allow sleep in spite of severe pain. Short-term physical effects include pinpoint pupils, lethargy, skin abscesses, chronic constipation, nausea, and respiratory depression. Psychological effects include anxiety, irritability, mood swings, depression, drug seeking, and antisocial behavior.

Cocaine is a white crystalline powder, often diluted with other ingredients. Crack cocaine is a light brown or beige pellet or crystalline rock that resembles coagulated soap. Cocaine is inhaled through the nasal passages or injected; crack is smoked. Cocaine speeds up physical and mental processes, creates a sense of heightened energy and confidence, and alters the pleasure centers in the brain. Physical short-term effects include headache, exhaustion, shaking, dilated pupils, blurred vision, nausea, loss of appetite, palpitations, and arrhythmias.

Psychological effects include impaired judgment, hyperactivity, suspicion, acute anxiety, paranoid ideation, and violence. Repeated use or use of high dosages causes long-term effects. The effect on the central nervous system suppresses the desire for food, sex, and sleep. The cardiovascular system is affected resulting in high blood pressure, irregular heart rate, damage to heart tissue, constriction of blood vessels, and stroke. Cocaine also causes neurological and respiratory damage; there is danger of respiratory arrest. It damages the mucous membranes of the nasal passages and causes sinusitis and a loss of sense of smell. In a colleague without a womb, the reproductive system is also negatively affected. In a colleague with a womb, there are implications for the fetus in the event of pregnancy.

Standards of Conduct
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance and/or illegal use of alcohol by students, faculty or staff on Loyola University Chicago property or at university-sponsored functions is prohibited. All employees are required to come to the workplace ready and able to work (see the Fitness for Duty Policy). If an employee may be impaired by medication taken according to a physician's prescription or the medication's directions, they are expected to discuss it with their supervisor.

A faculty or staff member must notify Loyola University Chicago, in writing, if they are convicted for a violation of a criminal drug statue occurring in the workplace and must do so no more than five calendar days after the conviction.

University Sanctions
Loyola University Chicago is committed to the adoption, and implementation of a program to prevent the unlawful possession, consumption, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, and employees. The University will impose disciplinary sanctions on any student or employee who violates applicable local, state, federal laws, and applicable University policies.

Violation of these laws and policies will result in implementation of the staff discipline policy up to and including termination, or the Faculty Handbook sanctions including Dismissal of Tenured or Non-Tenured Faculty for Cause. Beyond University penalties, local, state, and federal sanctions may be imposed. 

For students, violation of the Loyola University Chicago Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy will result in various sanctions, based on severity of the violation. Local, state, and federal sanctions may also be imposed. 

  • Please see the Drug and Alcohol Abuse _Policy for more information regarding offense violations, including chart details.
  • First conviction: up to one-year imprisonment, a fine of at least $1,000 or both; after one prior drug conviction: 15 days to two years imprisonment and a fine of at least $2,500; and after two or more prior drug convictions: 90 days to three years imprisonment and a fine of at least $5,000 (21 U.S.C. §844(a)).
  • Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of the illegal drugs if that offense is punishable by more than one-year imprisonment, as well as forfeiture of vehicles used to transport or conceal an illegal drug (21 U.S.C. §§853(a) & 881(a)).
  • Denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for the first offense and up to five years for the second and any subsequent offense (for trafficking, it is five years for the first offense, 10 years for the second offense and permanently for the third offense) (21 U.S.C. §862).

For students under 21 years of age, parents will be notified of any violation of this policy.

Legal Penalties
Federal, Illinois and City of Chicago laws make the illegal possession and sale of drugs and alcohol serious crimes. Convictions for violations of these laws can lead to imprisonment, fines, community service and a permanent criminal record. In addition to these penalties, convictions can also result in, among other penalties, property used in connection with illegal drugs being confiscated and federal student loans, grants and contracts being denied. The following sections describe certain relevant legal penalties under (1) federal and Illinois laws with respect to illegal drug possession and sale, (2) Illinois laws with respect to alcohol and (3) City of Chicago laws regarding alcohol and illegal drug possession and sale.  

Federal Drug Penalties
Federal law penalizes the manufacture, distribution, possession with intent to manufacture or distribute and simple possession of illegal drugs. Federal law penalties for possessing illegal drugs alone are harsh, as described below:

Under federal law, a federal or state conviction for illegal drug possession or sale that occurs while a student is enrolled and receiving federal aid can disqualify a student from receiving any federal student aid funds, such as loans and grants (20 U.S.C. §1091(r)(1)). The table below illustrates the period of ineligibility for federal student aid funds, depending on whether the conviction was for possession or sale and whether the student had previous offenses. 

Federal law penalties for trafficking illegal drugs are considerably more severe than those outlined above. The following tables from the U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration outline federal trafficking penalties for illegal drugs.

Illinois Drug Penalties
Illinois illegal drug laws set forth a variety of penalties for illegal drug possession and sale. 

  • Please see the

Illinois Alcohol Penalties
Illinois law provides for a prison term up to one year and a fine of not less than $500 for providing alcohol to persons under 21 or for providing false evidence of identity to obtain alcohol.

Persons under 21 who present or offer false evidence for purposes of obtaining alcohol shall be fined between $500 and $2,500, must perform 25 hours of community service, and may be jailed for up to one year. Persons under 21 in possession of alcohol on or in any street or public place may be imprisoned for up to one year and fined $2,500 (235 ILCS §5/6-16).

City of Chicago Alcohol & Drug Penalties
Under the Chicago Municipal Code, it is illegal for all under the age of 21 to purchase, deliver, possess, or consume alcohol, and it’s also illegal for all to sell, give or deliver alcohol to someone under the age of 21 (Chicago Municipal Code §8-16-60). Penalties for violating this law are fines ranging from $5 to $100 (Chicago Municipal Code §8-16-60). A person under the age of 21 being intoxicated is a violation of the Chicago Municipal Code, punishable with a $25 for the first offense and not more than $100 for every subsequent offense (Chicago Municipal Code §8-16-50). It is also unlawful for any person to drink any alcoholic liquor on any public way or in a motor vehicle upon a public way in Chicago. Penalties include a fine ranging from $100 to $500 and/or up to six months imprisonment (Chicago Municipal Code §8-4-030). 

Possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis in Chicago is punishable by a fine ranging from $250 to $500 for the first offense, and $500 for the second and each subsequent violation occurring within a period of 30 days, and in addition to the fine, drug awareness or drug education program and/or community service may be required (Chicago Municipal Code 7-24-099).  Chicago also prohibits possession or delivery of drug paraphernalia, which are punishable by a $2,000 fine and/or six months imprisonment (Chicago Municipal Code 7-24-091).

Revised: 10/6/9, 7/1/13, 7/1/19, 2/21/24