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Drug-Free Schools

Substance Awareness Information

Under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, Amendments of 1989, the Institute has adopted policies and procedures to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol by students and employees. Only in an environment free of substance abuse can Wentworth Institute of Technology fulfill its mission to "develop, support, and sustain high quality educational programs in the fields of Architecture, Design, Engineering, Technology, and the Management of Technology that are nationally recognized and accredited, in a learning environment that is both caring and rigorous." The use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol impair the safety and health of students and employees and inhibit personal and academic growth. For these reasons, the unlawful use of alcohol and other drugs is prohibited on campus and at Institute-sponsored activities.

Wentworth Institute of Technology, in accordance with federal legislation and school policy, is committed to providing a drug-free, healthy, and safe environment for all students, faculty and staff. The unlawful use, possession, manufacturing, distribution or dispensation of a controlled substance and the illegal use or possession of alcoholic beverages on campus or at Institute-sponsored activities is prohibited. If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, disciplinary action up to and including the dismissal of students and referral for prosecution may result. Applicable legal sanctions for the unlawful use, possession or distribution of alcohol and other drugs are summarized in the following section. This information appears here to meet the requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. In addition to this policy, other school policies remain in effect.

Campus Prevention & Awareness Programs

Alcohol and other drug abuse education and prevention programs have been established and are coordinated by the Office of Health Promotion with assistance from the Dean of Students Office and other Institute departments. Programs provide training and services to the Wentworth community and offer preventative education and outreach activities about the Institute’s Alcohol and Drug Policies, substance awareness and alcohol and other drug abuse. Resident Directors, as well as student staff in the residence halls, receive training on issues regarding alcohol and other drug use and abuse on a regular basis.

Health Promotion and Education staff are available for consultation with individual students with substance use concerns. Services provided by the Office of Health Promotion and Education include alcohol and drug educational classes, Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS), campus wide prevention programs, educational and alternative programming, information on substance abuse treatment and support programs, and referrals to outside agencies. The Office of Health Promotion and Education, Center for Wellness and Dean of Students Office have established working relationships with area hospitals, community mental health centers and other social service agencies to facilitate referrals when treatment is needed.

Students of legal drinking age living in an area on campus where alcohol is permitted, may register to become a "Responsible User Suite" when their suite meets the requirements of the Responsible User policy. To read about the responsible user policy visit the Office of Residential Life's website by clicking here and find the heading"Responsible Use of Alcohol in Residential Living Area Policy".

Effects of Alcohol

  • Alcohol consumption causes many marked changes in behavior.
  • 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 can increase aggression, impair judgment, and reduce inhibitions, potentially leading to social embarrassment, arguments, destruction of property, unprotected sex, or other risky behaviors that could result in injury or other negative consequences.
  • Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Heavy drinking may result in a "blackout," a period of alcohol-induced amnesia during which no new memories are formed. Vomiting may also occur.
  • Very high doses cause respiratory depression (coma) and death. When combined with other depressants, 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.
  • 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 greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics

Effects of Other Drugs

  • Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide and may cause cancer and bronchial disease, a chronic cough and respiratory irritation. Smoking by pregnant women may result in fetal injury, premature birth, and low birth weight. Chewing of tobacco may cause cancer.
  • Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta are drugs prescribed to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). These drugs are Schedule II controlled substances; distribution or possession of these drugs without a prescription is illegal. These drugs are sometimes abused to increase alertness, focus, and energy. Risks and side effects of these drugs include irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, inability to sleep, dangerously high body temperature, headache, nervousness, or shakiness. These drugs are addictive. Repeated use can lead to feelings of hostility and paranoia. Prolonged use may permanently diminish the brain’s ability to focus or concentrate on tasks.
  • Marijuana has properties of both depressants and stimulants and is considered a psychoactive drug. Marijuana alters perception and coordination, making it dangerous to operate a vehicle under the influence. Marijuana contains more tar than tobacco and may cause lung and bronchial disease, a chronic dry cough and respiratory irritation. Marijuana use by teenagers and young adults under the age of 24 has been shown to negatively impact brain development, harming one’s ability to learn and remember information.
  • MDMA (also known as "Molly" or Ecstasy) is an empathogen causing the user to feel euphoric. Its short-term effects include increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased body temperature, sweating, and muscle tension and involuntary teeth clenching. MDMA significantly impacts the serotonin system in the brain. In the days following use, feelings of depression, anxiety, hopelessness, paranoia, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping are very common. It can take the brain several days for your brain to adjust and return to its normal state of functioning. Repeated use may permanently damage the serotonin system, leading to chronic depression and other mental illness.
  • LSD is a psychoactive hallucinogenic drug that causes users to see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real at the time, but do not exist. Some users may experience terrifying thoughts and feelings of despair, fear, loss of control, and extreme paranoia while under the influence. This may last for up to 12 hours. Other risks include impaired judgment, visual distortions, and abnormal thoughts and perceptions. You should never operate machinery or drive a car while taking LSD.
  • Cocaine or crack use may be fatal, depending upon the cardiovascular response of the user. This drug is highly addictive and withdrawal results in severe depression.
  • Tranquilizers and sedatives are also highly addictive, even in low doses. Use of these drugs in conjunction with alcohol is extremely dangerous and may result in coma or death.
  • The intravenous use of drugs carries the additional risk of infection due to shared needles. HIV and hepatitis are transmitted in this way.


  • Possible Effects: Euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils, nausea
  • Effects of Overdose: Slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and possible death
  • Withdrawal Syndrome: Watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, irritability

Drug Name

Trade/Other Name

Medical Uses

Dependence Physical/Psychological

Opium Dover’s Powder Analgesic High/High
Morphine MS-Contin, Rosanol Rosanol SR Analgesic antitussive High/High
Codeine Tylenol/codeine, Robitussin A-C Analgesic antitussive Moderate/Moderate
Heroin Horse, Smack None High/High
Hydromorphone Dilaudid Analgesic High/High
Meperidine Demerol, Mepergan Analgesic High/High
Methadone Methadose, Dolophine Analgesic High/High-Low
Oxycodone Oxycontin, Oxecta, OxyIR, Percocet Analgesic Moderate/High


  • Possible Effects: Slurred speech, disorientation, drunken behavior without the odor of alcohol
  • Effects of Overdose: Shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, possible death
  • Withdrawal Syndrome: Anxiety, insomnia, terrors, delirium, convulsions, possible death
Drug Name Trade/Other Name Medical Uses Dependence Physical/Psychological
Chloral Hydrate Noctec Hypnotic Moderate/Moderate
Barbiturates Amtyl, Seconal Anesthetic sedative hypnotic High-Moderate/High-Moderate
Benzodiazepines Dalmane, Xanax,
Librium, Valium
Antianxiety or sedative Low/Low
Methaqualone Quaalude Sedative, hypnotic High/High
Glutethimide Doridan Sedative, hypnotic High/High


  • Possible Effects: Increased alertness, excitation, euphoria, increased pulse rate, insomnia, loss of appetite
  • Effects of Overdose: Agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, possible death
  • Withdrawal Syndrome: Apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability, depression, disorientation
Drug Name Trade/Other Name Medical Uses Dependence Physical/
Cocaine Coke, Flake, Snow, Crack Local anesthetic Possible/High
Amphetamines Dexedrine, Obetrol Attention Deficit Disorder,
Weight control, Narcolepsy
Phenmetrazine Preludin Weight control Possible/High
Methylphenidate Ritalin Attention Deficit Disorder Possible/Moderate


  • Possible Effects: Illusions and hallucinations, poor perception of time and distance
  • Effects of Overdose: Longer, more intense "trip" episodes, possible psychosis, death
  • Withdrawal Syndrome: Withdrawal syndrome not reported
Drug Name Trade/Other Name Medical Uses Dependence Physical/Psychological
LSD/Acid Microdot None None/Unknown
Mescaline Mesc, Button, Cactus None None/Unknown
Amphetamine DMA, MDMA, STP, MDA None Unknown/Unknown
Phencyclidine PCP, Angel Dust, Hog None Unknown/High


  • Possible Effects: Euphoria, reduced inhibitions, increased appetite, disorientation
  • Effects of Overdose: Fatigue, paranoia, possible psychosis
  • Withdrawal Syndrome: Insomnia, hyperactivity, loss of appetite
Drug Name Trade/Other Name Medical Uses Dependence Physical/Psychological
Marijuana Pot, Weed, Grass, Reefer As prescribed by a
treating physician
Hashish Hash None Unknown/Moderate
Hashish Oil Hash Oil None Unknown/Moderate

Additional Assistance

Help concerning drug and an alcohol-related problem is available from several sources. Individuals needing personal assistance, individuals who know of someone who needs help or individuals with questions concerning alcohol and drug abuse may contact any of the following:

  • Center for Wellness: (617) 989-4390
  • Health Services (OPTUM): (617) 879-5220
  • Dean of Students Office: (617) 989-4702

Biennial Review

In compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, Wentworth Institute of Technology will conduct a biennial review of the College’s alcohol and other drug programs, which will be coordinated by the Associate Director of Health Promotion and Education. According to the Act, the biennial review is due by December 31st of every even numbered year.

View the 2022 Biennial Review.

View the 2023 Drug Abuse and Alcohol Prevention Program Report (DAAP).