Drug-Free Schools and Community Act

The State University of New York at Buffalo is committed to clear and concise policies on substance abuse, and a strong program of counseling, treatment, rehabilitation and re-entry programs for all campus University employees and students.

The Federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (PL 101-226), requires annual notice to the campus community on the categories below. Information listed on this page pertains to all students. For employee information related to the Drug Free Schools Act see the following website:  https://www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/employee-assistance.html

1. Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and other drugs by students and employees on its property or as part of its activities.

Alcoholic Beverages, Drugs and Narcotics

A person is guilty of unauthorized sale of an alcoholic beverage when they sell, or offers for sale, any alcoholic beverage on University property without full compliance with the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and the permission of the University Alcohol Review Board. Possession without prescription of any narcotic, barbiturate, dangerous drug, or of most so-called “pep pills” and “tranquilizers” is contrary to federal and/or state law. Any student found to be in illegal possession of drugs must be reported to the appropriate civil authorities and may also be subject to disciplinary action by the University. Illegal drugs shall not be possessed or used in University residence halls.

Use of alcoholic beverages on campus is governed by the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, the rules of the State Liquor Authority, and the regulations established by the University Alcohol Review Board. Further information concerning the regulations and approval process may be obtained from the University Alcohol Review Board, 9 Norton Hall, 716-645-6154.

All provisions of the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law and all rules of the State Liquor Authority apply to the State University of New York at Buffalo. Special attention should be paid to the following regulations:

“Any person who misrepresents the age of a person under the age of twenty-one years for the purpose of inducing the sale of any alcoholic beverage, as defined in the alcoholic beverage control law, to such person, is guilty of an offense.”

“Any person under the age of twenty-one years who presents or offers to any licensee under the alcoholic beverage control law, or to the agent or employee of such a licensee, any written evidence of age which is false, fraudulent, or not actually his own, for the purpose of purchasing or attempting to purchase any alcoholic beverage, may be arrested or summoned and be examined by a magistrate having jurisdiction on a charge of illegally purchasing or attempting to illegally purchase any alcoholic beverage.”

“No person under the age of twenty-one years shall possess any alcoholic beverage, as defined in this chapter, with the intent to consume such beverage.”

“Whenever a police officer shall observe a person under the age of twenty-one years of age openly in possession of an alcoholic beverage as defined in this chapter with the intent to consume such beverage, said officer may seize the beverage.”

Use of alcoholic beverages in facilities assigned to the Faculty Student Association, Inc., and Student Union must conform to all provisions of the New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, rules of the State Liquor Authority, and the University Alcohol Review Board.

No person under the age of twenty-one years may possess and consume alcohol in the residence halls. For students over twenty-one years of age, possession shall be for personal consumption only in the privacy of student rooms and limited in quantity. Any person in possession of alcohol may be required by a member of the University Residence Halls staff to produce identification and proof of age. Any person who violates any of the rules regarding possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages will be requested to directly dispose of the beverage, or it will be confiscated and disposed of in accordance with the law. Contact Campus Living, 106 Red Jacket Quad, Ellicott Complex for further details (716-645-2171).

View Campus Living agreements, policies and procedures

If a student engages in repeated behavior in violation of the Student Rules and Regulations which is indicative of likely substance abuse problems, they may be required to attend a meeting or hearing with Campus Living and/or other University officials, as appropriate. The result may be dismissal by Campus Living or non-renewal of the housing agreement. In some cases, acceptance of a referral to a counseling agency for substance abuse treatment may serve to suspend the implementation of such sanction. In such case, probation regarding future behavior will be imposed, and documentation of an on-going relationship with the agency may be required.

2. A description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or re-entry programs that are available to employees or students.

Campus resources and personnel work with students facing problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Student Health Services and/or Counseling Services provide referrals for substance abuse counseling. They can make referrals to Western New York licensed facilities whenever there is a need for in-patient care. In-patient facilities are operated independently of the University and are staffed by trained substance abuse counselors and mental health specialists. The Center works directly with students requiring out-patient care. The Center supervises and runs programs that include individual and group oriented workshops, and educational programs and training.

Each semester, Counseling Services offers a number of workshops and activities designed to help substance abusive students. Confidential counseling sessions with experienced, licensed psychologists are also provided. The University also has available a number of substance abuse support services for students.

Additional information regarding available alcohol counseling, rehabilitation and re-entry programs is available at Student Health Services, 214 Michael Hall (716-829-3316) or at Counseling Services, 120 Richmond Quad (716-645-2720). Additional information on educational efforts through Health Promotion can be found at the following website.

3. A clear statement that the institute will impose disciplinary sanctions on students and employees consistent with local, state and federal law, and a description of those sanctions, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment and referral for prosecution for violations of the standards of conduct. A disciplinary sanction may include the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program.

The State University of New York at Buffalo will impose appropriate disciplinary sanctions on students found to be in violation of standards of conduct as follows:

The Student-Wide Judiciary is a judicial body established to consider cases involving student conduct violations. It has the power to institute and/or recommend the following range of sanctions: warning, notation on record, restitution, loss of privileges, disciplinary probation, removal from residence halls or other University housing, suspension and expulsion. Loss of privileges or other sanctions may be consistent with the offense committed and the rehabilitation of the student.

The violation of the terms of disciplinary probation or the infraction of any University rule during the period of disciplinary probation may be grounds for suspension from the University for a definite or indefinite period of time, and expulsion from the University, and other such sanctions may be approved by the University's judicial bodies.

Action by University judicial bodies does not preclude the possibility of action by civil authorities under the New York State Penal Code, New York State Alcoholic Beverage Control Law, or rules of the State Liquor Authority. Civil prosecution may be sought in addition to, or in lieu of, any referral to University judicial bodies.

Campus Living enforcement of any of the rules, regulations or laws regarding possession or consumption of alcohol by persons under the age of twenty-one years or any unlawful distribution of alcohol, or regarding any violation of applicable regulations by persons under the age of twenty-one years, shall be accomplished by the Department of University Police and/or University Residence Halls depending on the nature of the violation or circumstances. If possible, personnel of both departments should be involved in a decision to proceed with bringing charges against a student or students. Adjudication of cases shall be in accord with New York State Law and/or student conduct regulations.

4. A description of the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol (for students and employees).

State Sanctions

The State Penal Code has numerous penalties for the possession and sale of controlled substances; stimulants, LSD, hallucinogenic substances and marijuana. Possession and sale of controlled substances sanctions range from misdemeanor to felony, with penalties ranging from one year to life. Marijuana possession and sale sanctions range from violations to felonies, with penalties from fines up to $1,000 and up to fifteen years in prison.

Federal Sanctions

Federal law has numerous penalties for the illegal possession of controlled substances, possession of crack cocaine, and trafficking in methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, PCP, LSD, fentanyl and fentanyl analogue.

Possession sentences range from up to one year imprisonment and $1,000 fine to 20 years imprisonment and fines up to $250,000. Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance can be a sanction for convictions. Sanctions can also include denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, public housing tenancy, eligibility to receive or purchase firearms, and professional and commercial licenses. Federal trafficking sanctions can range from one year imprisonment and $100 fine to life in prison and a fine of $8 million. For more information, contact Student Life or the appropriate Personnel Office.

5. A description of the health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol.

Illicit Drugs

The use and overdose of illicit drugs, and withdrawal, can lead to physical and psychological dependence, behavioral changes, physical and psychological damage, and possible death.

Possible effects from the use of illegal narcotics include euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils and nausea. Narcotic overdoses can produce slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma and possible death. Withdrawal symptoms can include tremors, panic, cramps, nausea, chills and sweating. Mothers who use drugs during pregnancy may give birth to infants with physical abnormalities and mental retardation.

The unlawful use of depressants can cause slurred speech, disorientation and drunken behavior. Overdoses can produce weak and rapid pulse, coma and possible death. Withdrawal syndrome can include tremors, delirium, convulsions and possible death.

Illicit use of stimulants can cause increased alertness, excitation, euphoria, increased pulse rate and blood pressure, insomnia and loss of appetite. Agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions and possible death are the effects of stimulant overdose. Withdrawal syndrome can include apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability, depression and disorientation.

Possible effects of the use of hallucinogens include illusions and hallucinations and altered perceptions of time and distance. Overdoses can produce longer, more intense effects, psychosis and possible death.

The use of marijuana can produce euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, increased appetite and disoriented behaviors. Overdoses can result in fatigue, paranoia and possible psychosis. Cannabis withdrawal can occasionally produce insomnia, hyperactivity and decreased appetite. (For further information, contact Student Life or the appropriate Personnel Office.)


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 spouse 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 and 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 liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at a greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.

6. A biennial review by the institute of its program to:

  • determine its effectiveness and implement changes to the program if they are needed.
  • ensure that its disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.

The Division of Student Life and Human Resources will jointly conduct a biennial review of program effectiveness and consistency. Their report will propose program and sanction changes as necessary for administrative consideration.

For further information on University Substance Abuse Programs, contact:

Office of the Vice President for Student Life, 716-645-2982

State Personnel Services, 716-645-7777

Sponsored Programs Personnel Services, 716-645-2977

University at Buffalo Foundation, 716-645-3013

Campus Dining and Shops Personnel, 716-645-2521