Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention

Ozarks Technical Community College commits itself to providing a safe, positive and healthy environment for students and employees. In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, OTC established a drug and alcohol abuse prevention program for students and employees. OTC designed this program to raise awareness across the institution about the risks of, policies governing and available resources for alcohol and drug abuse. OTC policies provide, in part, that no student or employee shall consume, possess, manufacture, distribute or sell any unauthorized alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs or be under the influence of such substances on college owned or controlled property or at events sponsored by OTC. In observance of state law, no person under the age of twenty-one (21) may purchase or attempt to purchase, or have in his or her possession, any alcoholic or intoxicating beverage on the college premises or at college sponsored events.  OTC complies with all laws related to underage drinking and OTC will refer any violation of the state’s underage drinking laws to the appropriate authorities.


In accordance with legal mandates and its commitment to providing a drug and alcohol-free workplace and learning environment, OTC will implement and enforce the following Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program elements:

  1. The possession, purchasing, selling, or consumption of alcoholic beverages on college property (except as authorized in the course of a curricular program, e.g. Culinary Arts), or being present on campus while under the influence of such is strictly prohibited.
  2. The unlawful possession, use, manufacture, distribution, or dispensation of illicit drugs or being present on campus or at college-sponsored functions while under the influence of such is strictly prohibited.
  3. Students who violate these policies will be subject to disciplinary action, severity of which will be based on the seriousness of the offense. Sanctions will be applied consistently and may range from an informal reprimand to dismissal from the college. Employees who violate these policies will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from an informal reprimand to termination of employment depending upon the seriousness of the offense. If the conduct resulting in discipline also involves a violation of state or federal law then the College will refer the matter to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.

Commonly Imposed Disciplinary Sanctions for On-Campus Policy Violations

Minor violations, such as first offense intoxication or possession of small amount of alcohol or illegal drugs:

  • Written reprimand
  • Disciplinary probation up to one year and/or
  • Referral for substance abuse evaluation/treatment (optional)

Subsequent or major violations, such as on-campus use, distribution or manufacture of alcohol or illegal drugs:

  • Suspension for a period up to one year and/or
  • Disciplinary probation up to one year and/or
  • Referral for substance abuse evaluation/treatment (optional)


4. Local, state and federal laws also prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution, and sale of alcohol and illicit drugs.

Federal law prohibits, among other things, the manufacturing, distributing, selling and possession of controlled substances as outlined in 21 United States Code, Sections 801 through 971. Depending on the amount, first offense maximum penalties for trafficking marijuana range from up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 to imprisonment for life and a fine of $4 million. Depending on the amount, first offense maximum penalties for trafficking other controlled substances (e.g., methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, PCP, LSD, fentanyl and fentanyl analogue) range from five years to life imprisonment and fines range from $2 to $4 million. First offense penalties and sanctions for the illegal possession of small amounts of controlled substances, including marijuana, range from up to one year in prison or a fine of at least $1,000.  Penalties are more severe for subsequent offenses.

Convictions for federal drug offenses can also result in a student’s loss of eligibility for federal financial aid.

State law and local law also provide penalties for violations of laws relating to the unlawful manufacture, sale, use or possession of controlled (and/or imitation of) controlled substances and alcohol.  In addition, states and localities have laws relating to underage drinking, driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit drugs. Sanctions for violations may range from local citation to state law felonies.  Penalties may range from small fines to prison terms, depending on the violation and past criminal history of the individual.

Illicit Drug Use

5. Serious health risks are associated with the use of illicit drugs and alcohol. Some, but not all, of the risks are listed below:

  • Alcohol and other depressants: Consumption of alcohol and other depressants causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair judgment and coordination required for safety and care. Use of alcohol and depressants can lead to addiction and accidents as a result of impaired ability and judgment.
  • Marijuana: Use of marijuana can lead to panic reactions, impaired short term memory, increased risk of lung cancer and emphysema, particularly in cigarette smokers, and impairment of driving ability.
  • Cocaine: Addiction, heart attack, seizures, lung damage, severe depression, paranoia, and psychosis. Similar risks are associated with other stimulants, such as speed and uppers.
  • Hallucinogens:  Unpredictable behavior, emotional instability, violent behavior, and organic brain damage in heavy users, convulsions and coma.
  • Narcotics (Heroin, Morphine, Codeine, etc.):  Addiction, accidental overdose, risk of hepatitis and AIDS from contaminated needles.
  • Inhalants (Gas, aerosols, glue, etc.):  Loss of consciousness, suffocation, damage to the brain and central nervous system, sudden death, nausea and vomiting, nosebleeds and impaired judgment.
  • For more information about the health risks associated with alcohol and particular types of drugs, please visit: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts.

Counseling Services

6. Any student or employee may contact OTC’s Counseling Services Department for crisis intervention or for information about available community resources and referral assistance for drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, rehabilitation or re-entry services. OTC’s Counseling Services provides educational information on drug and alcohol abuse through the distribution of printed materials, a website that includes substance abuse-related resources and online screenings as well as scheduled programming throughout the academic year. Other resources are also available, including, but not limited to, the following:

For more information about OTC’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program, see policy 5.37 or contact the Office of the Dean of Students, deanofstudents@otc.edu, or Counseling Services, counseling@otc.edu.