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UCLA Office of the Dean of Students

Office of the Chancellor

Dear Student:

Maintaining a campus community that fosters the highest standards of personal and institutional well-being is a critical component of university life. This means striving to keep UCLA free from the harmful effects of substance abuse by promoting a safe and healthy campus environment.

The harmful effects of substance abuse, which include personal health problems, difficulties in personal and work relationships and decreased productivity, diminish the quality of campus life. Unfortunately, the problem is not an isolated one: Across the nation, approximately half of all college students engage in binge or heavy episodic drinking (five or more drinks in a brief period of time), and one in three college students drink to get drunk.

UCLA’s firm and long-standing commitment to ensure that students can fully engage and participate in campus life without the use of substances has had impressive results. Most UCLA students report no illicit drug use and no use or low-risk use of alcohol. Indeed, the rate of binge or heavy episodic drinking among UCLA students is less than half the national rate. Still, our campus is not immune to this problem. Unfortunately, many students mistakenly believe that a majority of their peers engage in alcohol and/or drug use as a part of the college experience, when in reality, most students report a largely drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. Nor is the campus immune to the tragedies that can occur when alcohol and/or drugs impair one’s judgment. Effective teaching and learning require that students be healthy and engaged. We must support each other as we strive to maintain a safe and healthy campus.

For students who experience dependency on alcohol and/or drugs, help is available. UCLA offers excellent programs and confidential services to assist those with dependency problems. I encourage all members of the campus community who feel that they — or someone they know — may be alcohol- or drug-dependent, or who are interested in learning more about dependency prevention, to take advantage of these resources.

Outlined on the following page is the Official Notice to All UCLA Students Regarding Substance Use. In short, the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, possession or use of controlled substances and alcohol is prohibited on university properties or at official university functions, on or off campus. Any member or group of the campus community violating university policies or local, state or federal regulations related to alcohol or substances will be subject to review and potential disciplinary action.

Similar information is being sent to UCLA faculty and staff. If you have any questions about university policies and regulations or about our assistance programs and services, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at

Thank you for helping us continue to make UCLA a safe and healthy place to study, work and live.


Gene D. Block


This official notice is issued pursuant to Subpart B, Section 86.100, of the
Federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989

Standards of Conduct

All students are expected to comply with Sections 102.17 and 102.18 of the UCLA Student Conduct Code. These policies enable the Chancellor to impose discipline for such misconduct as the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, use, or sale of, or the attempted manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or sale of controlled substances, identified in Federal and State law or regulations; or the manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, use, or sale of, or the attempted manufacture, distribution, dispensing, or sale of alcohol which is unlawful or otherwise prohibited by, or not in compliance with, university policy and campus regulations. More specific campus regulations regarding substance abuse are listed below.

Legal Sanctions

Numerous Federal, State, and local statutes and ordinances relate to the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol and impose legal sanctions for both felony and misdemeanor convictions for violations. Detailed information regarding these statutes, which may change over time, is available from the Department of Community Safety/Campus Police (601 Westwood Plaza). Drugs considered to be controlled substances are listed in Schedules I through V of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812) and are further defined by Regulations 21 C.F.R. § 1308.11 – § 1308.15. Copies of the Act and Regulations are available for review from the Office of Campus Counsel (3149 Murphy Hall) and the Law and Biomedical Libraries.

Drug-related penalties may include the following:

Simple possession of controlled substances - possible fines (up to $10,000 per violation), and/or jail sentence, and denial of Federal Financial Aid

Manufacture, sale, or distribution of all scheduled drugs - possible fines, and/or prison sentence for a FELONY, and denial of Federal Financial Aid

Distribution or possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance on University property - up to TWICE the prescribed sentence for the original offense and TWICE the prescribed parole time (required); possible fines, and/or jail sentence, and denial of Federal Financial Aid

Possession of one or more ounce(s) of marijuana for personal use - possible fines, and/or jail sentence, and denial of Federal Financial Aid

Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana - possible fines (up to $100), and possible denial of Federal Financial Aid

Cultivation, possession for sale, or sale of marijuana - possible fines, and/or prison sentence for a FELONY, and denial of Federal Financial Aid

In addition, it is a misdemeanor to sell, furnish, give, or cause to be sold, furnished, or given away, any alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 or any obviously intoxicated person, and no one under 21 may purchase alcoholic beverages. It is also a misdemeanor for any person under 21 to possess or consume alcoholic beverages on any street or highway, or in any place open to the public.

Health and Substance Use

Contrary to many media portrayals, surveys conducted by UCLA Student Affairs consistently show that the vast majority of students abstain from illicit drug use and most students report no use or low use of alcohol. In fact, in regular surveys conducted between 2006 and the present, approximately 70% of undergraduate survey respondents reported drinking fewer than five drinks in a sitting – or do not drink at all. Among graduate students, it is even rarer for students to report having more than five drinks in a sitting.

However, the minority of students who said they drank more than five drinks in a sitting also reported the highest rates of negative experience in connection with their drinking, e.g., academic problems, blackouts, injuries, legal and disciplinary sanctions, drinking and driving, and unplanned or unprotected sex. Consequences are not limited to the drinker alone. Many students report that their sleep or studying is interrupted due to another’s drinking.

Students often express surprise or disbelief when they hear these figures. When students are asked about what they think other students are doing, they consistently overestimate alcohol and drug use among their peers. Perhaps this is because the disruptive behavior of a small number of heavy users tends to be more visible than the unremarkable behavior of the majority who are not using alcohol or other drugs in ways that hurt themselves or others.

Where to Get Help

Help is available for students who are struggling with symptoms associated with their own or others’ alcohol or other drug use. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides the following services:

Assessment for alcoholism and addiction; referral to appropriate support groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, etc.); referral to treatment programs (inpatient, outpatient, UCLA Matrix Center, off-campus recovery and/or treatment programs); intervention; individual and group psychotherapy for adult children and partners of alcoholics/addicts; brief therapy for students who abuse drugs and/or those in recovery; psychotherapy groups for students who abuse drugs and/or those in recovery.

Students may also wish to seek advice or assistance from Bruins For Recovery (213-761-4732), the Office of the Dean of Students (310-825-3871), the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center (310-825-4073) or Residential Life (310-825-3401).

University Imposition of Disciplinary Sanctions

Procedures for handling violations of policies and regulations related to drug and alcohol use are consistent with disciplinary processes used for other University violations, as outlined in the UCLA Student Conduct Code. Sanctions may include warning, disciplinary probation, deferred suspension, deferred dismissal, suspension, and dismissal. In addition, the Dean may impose one or more of the following conditions: Exclusion from Areas of the Campus or from Official University Functions; Loss of Privileges and Exclusion from Activities; Community Service; Restitution; Participation in designated educational programs, services, or activities; Letter of Apology; Participation in a Restorative Justice conference, and/or Housing Exclusion.