Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act

three students walking across the green

Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA)

The online policy content is provided as a resource for the students, faculty, staff, and administration of the University of Delaware. Content is subject to change.



The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) requires that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program after October 1, 1990, all institutions of higher education must certify that they have adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful manufacturing, dispensing, possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. Likewise, anyone who submits research proposals to federal agencies must certify that they will not engage in any of the aforementioned activities during the period covered by the grant. Individuals who do not make such certification and those who violate its terms will lose federal funds. As required by Federal regulations, this information was developed and distributed to inform all UD community members of the seriousness of the use and abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol. It also sets forth standards of conduct regarding such activity.

Health Risks

Illicit Drugs are controlled substances that possess a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in the United States and demonstrate a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision. Controlled substances so defined fall under seven headings: cannabis (marijuana, hashish); stimulants (amphetamines, cocaine); depressants (barbiturates, tranquilizers, hypnotics); hallucinogens (LSD, PCP); opiates or narcotics (heroin, morphine, opium, codeine); inhalants (sprays, solvents, glue); and designer drugs (synthetic drugs similar in effect to stimulants, hallucinogens and narcotics). To be used legally and safely, some of the drugs above must be prescribed by a physician. This list is not comprehensive; there may be substances omitted that are also illegal and fall under the designation of controlled substances. Illicit drugs can interfere with important brain activities including coordination, memory and learning. They increase the risk of lung cancer, destroy liver cells, initiate severe weight loss and may weaken the immune system. Users may also experience abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat and irregular breathing. Convulsions, coma and death are also possible. Combining drugs can be fatal.

Alcohol is a depressant that slows the activity of the central nervous system and the brain. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that is absorbed into the blood stream and transmitted to all parts of the body. Moderate doses reduce physical coordination and mental alertness while larger doses of alcohol drastically impair an individual’s ability to function, sometimes rendering them unconscious. Long-term drinking can increase the risk of developing liver and heart disease, circulatory and stomach problems, various forms of cancer and cause irreversible brain damage. Alcohol is a substance regulated by local, state and federal agencies with respect to its purchase, transportation, consumption and possession.

Standards of Conduct

The Code of Conduct describes the behavior expected of all students, both on and off campus. Policies are listed alphabetically and establish standards of behavior for students and student organizations at the University. Below are links to the Alcohol Policy and to the Drug Policy as found in the Code.

The Office of Human Resources provides policies that apply to all employees and addresses the University’s prohibitions related to alcohol and drugs and a treatment program for employees whose performance is adversely affected by alcohol or drug abuse/use.

Student Code of Conduct

Alcohol Policy (Student)

Drug Policy (Student)

Faculty and Staff Alcohol/Drug Policy

University Sanctions

The University of Delaware students and student organizations are expected to act in accordance with the policies, rules, regulations, laws, and requirements of The University of Delaware, municipalities and counties, the State of Delaware, and the United States. The policies and procedures in the University of Delaware Student Code of Conduct are designed to provide an educational and developmental process, balancing the interests of individual students with the interests of the UD community. Students are responsible not only for the intent of their conduct, but also for the impact of their actions. Employees are expected to follow procedures as outlined on the Human Resources web page. Violation of law may be referred to state or local police. For additional information about employee policies, contact Human Resources at 302-831-2792

Student Sanctions for Alcohol or Drug Policy Violations

While the possession and use of cannabis for medical purposes is legal under Delaware law, the manufacture, possession, distribution, dispensing and use of cannabis remains illegal under federal law. Consistent with federal law, including the Controlled Substances Act and the DFSCA, the use and/or possession of cannabis (even for medical purposes) continues to be prohibited while a student is on University-owned or University-controlled property, and/or at any function hosted, authorized or supervised by the college regardless of where held.

Legal Sanctions

In Delaware, the following violations are punishable by fines and, in some instances, loss of driving privileges (not exhaustive list, illustrative only):

  • Purchase, consumption, transportation or possession of alcoholic beverages by a person under age 21
  • Misrepresentation of age to purchase alcohol and altering, selling or manufacturing of false identification;
  • Selling or furnishing of alcoholic beverages to those under age 21.
  • Lying about age to obtain alcohol, making a false ID and furnishing alcohol to individuals under age 21 are misdemeanor offenses.

The legal sanctions for the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs are more diverse than the sanctions governing alcohol. Sanctions may vary from fines, for first-time misdemeanor offenses involving simple possession of certain substances, to felony counts and multiple-year terms of imprisonment for more serious violations. A summary of penalties related to illicit drugs and alcohol in Delaware may be found online at the Delaware Code Online Title 16 Chapter 47 and the Delaware Code Online Title 4 Chapter 9. Information regarding federal drug penalties can be found online at the United States Drug Enforcement Administration website. Individuals seeking legal advice regarding drug or alcohol laws should consult legal counsel.

Education and Counseling

Student Wellness and Health Promotion, along with Employee Health and Wellbeing, provides leadership and guidance for drug and alcohol education, resources and support on campus. Resources and programs for students are provided on an on-going basis in collaboration with other departments in the Division of Student Life, including Residence Life and Housing, Community Standards & Conflict Resolution, Fraternity and Sorority Leadership and Learning, and others. Resources for faculty and staff are available through Human Resources. Support for students is available through Student Wellness and Health Promotion.

Assistance, Treatment and Community Resources

Biennial Review

University of Delaware Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act Biennial Review.