Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act

Information about UW-Madison’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs (DAAPP)

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Standards of Conduct Prohibiting the Unlawful Possession, Use, or Distribution of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol by Students and Employees


The University of Wisconsin System and UW-Madison prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture or dispensing of illicit drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in Ch. 961, Wis. Stat.) and alcohol in accordance with s. UWS 18.09, Wis. Adm. Code, by students. The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited on University premises unless expressly permitted by the chief administrative officer or under institutional regulations, in accordance s. UWS 18.09, Wis. Adm. Code. Without exception, alcohol consumption is governed by Wisconsin statutory age restrictions under s. UWS 18.09(1)(b) Wis. Adm. Code.

Student Discipline and Sanctions for Violations of the Code of Conduct

Illegal use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcohol or controlled substances is subject to disciplinary action. UW-Madison will impose disciplinary sanctions on students for violations of UW-Madison’s code of conduct.  Such sanctions are administered by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards in Student Affairs through the disciplinary process outlined in Chapter 17 of the UW System Administrative Code.  Sanctions, as defined by s. UWS 17.10 Wis. Adm. Code, are any of the following: a written reprimand, denial of specific university privileges, payment of restitution, educational or service sanctions including community service [and referral to appropriate counseling or treatment programs], disciplinary probation, imposition of reasonable terms and conditions on continued student status, removal from a course in progress, enrollment restrictions on a course or program, suspension, expulsion.

Additionally, students who are convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs may be ineligible for student financial aid. https://financialaid.wisc.edu/eligibility


The University of Wisconsin System and UW–Madison prohibit the unlawful possession, use, distribution, manufacture or dispensing of illicit drugs (“controlled substances” as defined in Ch. 961, Wis. Stat.), in accordance with s. UWS 18.09, Wis. Adm. Code, by employees on university property or as part of university activities. The use or possession of alcoholic beverages is also prohibited on university premises, except in faculty and staff housing and as expressly permitted by the chief administrative officer or under institutional regulations, in accordance with s. UWS 18.09, Wis. Adm. Code. Without exception, alcohol consumption is governed by Wisconsin statutory age restrictions under s. UWS 18.09(1)(b) Wis. Adm. Code. 

Employee Discipline and Sanctions for Violations of the Code of Conduct

Illegal use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcohol or controlled substances is subject to disciplinary action. UW-Madison will impose disciplinary sanctions on students for violations of UW-Madison’s code of conduct. University employees will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, up to and including termination from employment, for violation of these provisions occurring on University property or the work site or during work time. In addition to discipline, or in lieu of it, employees may be referred to appropriate counseling or treatment programs. Disciplinary sanctions are initiated and imposed in accordance with applicable procedural requirements and work rules, as set forth in Wisconsin statutes, administrative rules, faculty and academic staff policies, and collective bargaining agreements. Referral for prosecution under criminal law is also possible. Further, violations of s. 18.09, Wis. Adm. Code may result in additional penalties as allowed under Ch. UWS 18, Wis. Adm. Code.

Employees convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in the work place must notify their dean, director or department chair within five days of the conviction if they are employed by the university at the time of the conviction.

Health Risks Associated with Use of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol Abuse


From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –

Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.

Short-Term Health Risks:

  • Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions:
    • Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns.
    • Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence is linked with excessive alcohol consumption.
    • Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.
    • Risky sexual behaviors that can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
    • Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.

Long-Term Health Risks:

  • Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:
    • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
    • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
    • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
    • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
    • Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
    • Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.

See:  https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

Illicit Drugs

From the National Institute on Drug Abuse –

General health risks:

  • Increased spread of infectious diseases.
    Injection of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine currently accounts for about 12 percent of new AIDS cases. Injection drug use is also a major factor in the spread of hepatitis C, a serious, potentially fatal liver disease. Injection drug use is not the only way that drug abuse contributes to the spread of infectious diseases. Illicit drug use causes a form of intoxication, which interferes with judgment and increases the likelihood of risky sexual behaviors. This, in turn, contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Negative effects of prenatal drug exposure on infants and children.
    The abuse of heroin or prescription opioids during pregnancy can cause a withdrawal syndrome (called neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS) in her infant. It is also likely that some drug-exposed children will need educational support in the classroom to help them overcome what may be subtle deficits in developmental areas such as behavior, attention, and thinking. Ongoing research is investigating whether the effects of prenatal drug exposure on the brain and behavior extend into adolescence to cause developmental problems during that time period.

Risk from specific drugs:

  • Marijuana impairs short-term memory and learning, the ability to focus attention, and coordination. It also increases heart rate, can harm the lungs, and can increase the risk of psychosis in those with an underlying vulnerability.
  • Prescription medications, including opioid pain relievers (such as OxyContin® and Vicodin®), anti-anxiety sedatives (such as Valium® and Xanax®), and ADHD stimulants (such as Adderall® and Ritalin®), are commonly misused to self-treat for medical problems or abused for purposes of getting high or (especially with stimulants) improving performance. However, misuse of these drugs (that is, taking them other than exactly as instructed by a doctor and for the purposes prescribed) can lead to addiction and even, in some cases, death. Opioid pain relievers, for instance, are frequently abused by being crushed and injected or snorted, greatly raising the risk of addiction and overdose. Unfortunately, there is a common misperception that because medications are prescribed by physicians, they are safe even when used illegally or by another person than they were prescribed for.
  • Inhalants are volatile substances found in many household products, such as oven cleaners, gasoline, spray paints, and other aerosols, that induce mind-altering effects; they are frequently the first drugs tried by children or young teens. Inhalants are extremely toxic and can damage the heart, kidneys, lungs, and brain. Even a healthy person can suffer heart failure and death within minutes of a single session of prolonged sniffing of an inhalant.
  • Cocaine is a short-acting stimulant, which can lead users to take the drug many times in a single session (known as a “binge”). Cocaine use can lead to severe medical consequences related to the heart and the respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems.
  • Amphetamines, including methamphetamine, are powerful stimulants that can produce feelings of euphoria and alertness. Methamphetamine’s effects are particularly long-lasting and harmful to the brain. Amphetamines can cause high body temperature and can lead to serious heart problems and seizures.
  • MDMA (Ecstasy or “Molly”) produces both stimulant and mind-altering effects. It can increase body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and heart-wall stress. MDMA may also be toxic to nerve cells.
  • LSD is one of the most potent hallucinogenic, or perception-altering, drugs. Its effects are unpredictable, and abusers may see vivid colors and images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Users also may have traumatic experiences and emotions that can last for many hours.
  • Heroin is a powerful opioid drug that produces euphoria and feelings of relaxation. It slows respiration, and its use is linked to an increased risk of serious infectious diseases, especially when taken intravenously. People who become addicted to opioid pain relievers sometimes switch to heroin instead, because it produces similar effects and may be cheaper or easier to obtain.
  • Steroids, which can also be prescribed for certain medical conditions, are abused to increase muscle mass and to improve athletic performance or physical appearance. Serious consequences of abuse can include severe acne, heart disease, liver problems, stroke, infectious diseases, depression, and suicide.
  • Drug combinations. A particularly dangerous and common practice is the combining of two or more drugs. The practice ranges from the co-administration of legal drugs, like alcohol and nicotine, to the dangerous mixing of prescription drugs, to the deadly combination of heroin or cocaine with fentanyl (an opioid pain medication). Whatever the context, it is critical to realize that because of drug–drug interactions, such practices often pose significantly higher risks than the already harmful individual drugs.

See:  https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/addiction-health

Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Treatment, Rehabilitation or Re-entry Programs Available to Students and Employees


  • AlcoholEdu is a comprehensive online education program designed to provide students with the information they need to make well-informed decisions about alcohol, link their choices about drinking to academic and personal success, and help them better cope with the drinking behavior of peers, as well as respond effectively in situations where others are at risk of alcohol-related harm. This program is required for incoming degree-seeking undergraduate students—including first-year and transfer students. https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/prevention/substance-abuse/alcoholedu/
  • Alcohol eCheckup to Go is a free screening to assess alcohol use and risks and provides information on how to reduce alcohol-related risks as well as resources for students. https://interwork.sdsu.edu/echeckup/usa/alc/coll/index.php?id=UW-Madison&hfs
  • BASICS (Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students) is a one-on-one two-session program with a substance use specialist for students found responsible for violating UW-Madison’s alcohol policy. https://alcoholanddruginfo.students.wisc.edu/basics/
  • CASICS (Cannabis Screening and Intervention for College Students) involves a personal self-assessment and two one-on-one sessions with a professional substance use specialist. Learn more here: https://conduct.students.wisc.edu/sanctions-1/casics
  • Choices About Alcohol is a group program consisting of two 90-minute sessions for students who are involved in first-offense, non-serious violations of UW-Madison’s alcohol policy Sessions are facilitated by substance use specialists. https://conduct.students.wisc.edu/sanctions-1/choices-about-alcohol
  • Marijuana eCheckup to Go is a free screening tool to assess personal marijuana use and provides information on how to make changes as well as other resources. https://interwork.sdsu.edu/echeckup/usa/mj/coll/?id=UW-Madison&hfs=true
  • Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health contains resources such as a BAC/drink calculator and a self-assessment tool to identify risks when drinking. https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov
  • Individual Assessment through University Health Services: This UHS service provides an opportunity to meet one-on-one with an alcohol and drug specialist, who will evaluate the nature of any concerns a student is having with alcohol or drugs. During an assessment, a student is involved in discussing biological, psychological, and social factors affecting alcohol and other drug use. If necessary and appropriate, the counselor can make recommendations for further treatment. https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/mental-health/aoda/
  • Referral Programs to Off-Campus Treatment Providers for Students: UHS maintains referral sources and care management specialists who assist students requiring treatment referral.


  • Self-Assessment Tool, Online Screening for Alcohol is a free resource that helps individuals assess their own alcohol consumption patterns to determine if their drinking is likely to be harming their health or increasing their risk for future harm: www.alcoholscreening.org
  • Individual Assessment for Employees: The Employee Assistance Office (EAO) has licensed clinical social workers who meet one-on-one with employees for counseling using an “assess and refer” model to identify and treat substance abuse concerns. Employees can initiate contact on their own or as a result of a referral by their supervisor or human resources manager: eao.wisc.edu
  • Referral Programs to Off-Campus Treatment Providers for Employees: All of the State of Wisconsin health care insurance options have a substance use treatment benefit. EAO will make referrals to treatment centers based on an employee’s health insurance and/or refer to self-pay options. In the case of a formal referral from a supervisor or a human resources manager, EAO will provide case management on attendance and compliance. Employees can also consult their personal physician for referral information and assistance.

Legal Sanctions Imposed Under Federal, State and Local Laws for Unlawful Possession or Distribution of Illicit Drugs and Alcohol

Federal Sanctions


Federal alcohol laws are enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Information about the legal sanctions for violations of the Interstate Transport in Aid of Racketeering (18 U.S.C 1952 with respect to Federally non-tax paid liquor) can be found here:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title18/pdf/USCODE-2011-title18-partI-chap95-sec1952.pdf

Illicit Drugs

Federal sanctions for possession or distribution for illicit drugs vary depending on the type of drug, the amount of drug, the background of the offender and other mitigating or aggravating circumstances. For example, a person convicted of simple possession of small amounts of certain types of controlled substances can be imprisoned for up to 3 years and fined $5,000 or more.  21 U.S.C §844 (a).  For a full description of penalties for possession and distribution of illicit drugs under federal law, please see:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title21/html/USCODE-2011-title21-chap13-subchapI-partD.htm 

Below are charts that provide an overview of federal trafficking penalties. Charts can be located at https://www.dea.gov/pr/multimedia-library/publications/drug_of_abuse.pdf#page=30.

State Sanctions


The laws of Wisconsin prohibit the sale of alcohol to anyone who has not reached the legal drinking age of 21, and there is a concurrent duty on the part of an adult to prevent the illegal consumption of alcohol on his/her premises. Wis. Stat.125.07(1)(a)(1). Repeated violation of this statute can result in imprisonment of up to 9 months and fine of $10,000. Wis. Stat.125.07(1)(b)(2)(d).  It is against the law for an underage person to attempt to buy an alcoholic beverage, falsely represent his/her age, or enter a licensed premises. Violators of this law can be fined $1000, ordered to participate in a supervised work program, and have their driver’s license suspended, Wis. Stat. 125.07(4).

Illicit Drugs

The laws of Wisconsin prohibit possession, manufacture, distribution and/or delivery of controlled substances through the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Wis. Stat. 961.  Manufacture, distribution or delivery of a schedule I or schedule II narcotic drugs is a Class E felony subject to up to 15 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, with exceptions. Wis. Stat. 961.41(1)(a). Manufacture, distribution or delivery of a schedule I, II or III non-narcotic drug is a Class H felony subject to 6 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, with exceptions. Wis. Stat. 961.41(1)(b). Additional sanctions vary based on the type of controlled substance, the amount of the controlled substance, whether the individual possessed, manufactured, distributed, delivered the controlled substance or intended to do so, and the number of previous offenses by the individual. For all penalties see Wis. Stat. 961.41, Wis. Stat. 961.42, and Wis. Stat. 961.43.  For example, manufacture, distribution or delivery of more than 40 grams of cocaine is a Class C felony subject to 40 years in prison and fine of $100,000. Possession of cocaine without intent to manufacture, distribute or deliver is a Class I felony subject to 3 ½ years in prison and fine of $10,000. In addition to the stringent penalties, prison sentences can be increased when aggravating factors are present, such as when a person distributes a controlled substance to a minor, Wis. Stat. 961.46 (1).

Local Sanctions

Citations for underage drinking, possession of a fake ID, and other alcohol-related violations may be issued by the University of Wisconsin Police Department (UWPD) or the City of Madison Police Department (MPD). In both cases, they have the full force of law and are not just “disciplinary reminders” that will disappear upon graduation. Fines must be paid, and court-ordered sanctions must be fulfilled.

Both the University Police and the City of Madison notify the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards of any students who receive alcohol-related citations from the Madison Police Department.