Skip to main content

Alcohol and Drug Prevention

Section 2.G – Alcohol and Drug Prevention

The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) of 1989 also known as the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act requires institutions of higher education to establish and enforce drug prevention programs and policies as a condition of eligibility to receive federal financial assistance. Therefore, in compliance with the DFSCA, Vance-Granville Community College (VGCC) prohibits the use, possession, manufacture, distribution, or dispensation of a controlled substance or alcohol, while in the College workplace, on College premises or as part of any College-sponsored activities. VGCC does not differentiate among users, pushers or sellers of drugs or alcohol. Any employee or student violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to an including termination or expulsion and referral for prosecution.

Drug Abuse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a brain disease. Although initial drug use might be voluntary, drugs of abuse have been shown to alter gene expression and brain circuitry, which in turn affect human behavior. Once addiction develops, these brain changes interfere with an individual’s ability to make voluntary decisions, leading to compulsive drug craving, seeking and use.

The impact of addiction can be far reaching. Cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and lung disease can all be affected by drug abuse. Some of these effects occur when drugs are used at high doses or after prolonged use, however, some may occur after just one use.

Specific health risks associated with commonly abused drugs are provided by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) at: Commonly Used Drugs Chart – Drug Abuse.Gov – Website last visited 6/04/2024.

The following link provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration is a list of the frequently used drugs and the risks associated with their use: Drugs of Abuse – Uses and Effects (pdf) – Website last visited 6/04/2024

Specific serious health risks are associated with the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Some of the major risks are listed below.


Marijuana impairs short-term memory, thinking, and physical coordination; can cause panic reaction and increase the risk of lung cancer and emphysema; can interfere with judgment, attention span, concentration, and overall intellectual performance; and impairs driving ability. Marijuana also may cause psychological dependence and compromise the immune system.


Cocaine causes cardiovascular system damage including heart attack, brain damage, seizures, lung damage, severe depression, paranoia, psychosis. Similar risks are associated with other stimulants, such as speed and uppers.


Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemical compounds, many of which are known to cause cancer. Nicotine, which is a central nervous system stimulant, produces an increase in heart and respiration rates, blood pressure, adrenaline production and metabolism. People can rapidly become physically and psychologically dependent on tobacco. Compromises the immune system.


Inhalants are a diverse group of chemicals that easily evaporate and can cause intoxication when their vapors are inhaled. Most inhalants are central nervous system depressants. Use of these drugs slows down many body functions. High doses can cause severe breathing failure and sudden death. Chronic abuse of some of these chemicals can lead to irreversible liver damage and other health problems.

Prescription Drug Abuse

Commonly abused classes of prescription drugs include opioids (for pain), central nervous system (CNS) depressants (for anxiety and sleep disorders), and stimulants (for ADHD and narcolepsy). Adverse reactions, dependency, withdrawal, and overdose.

Alcohol and Other Depressants (barbiturates, sedatives, and tranquilizers)

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Alcohol affects every organ in the drinker’s body and can damage a developing fetus. Intoxication can impair brain function and motor skills; heavy use can increase risk of certain cancers, stroke, and liver disease. Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a diagnosable disease characterized by a strong craving for alcohol, and/or continued use despite harm or personal injury. Alcohol abuse, which can lead to alcoholism, is a pattern of drinking that results in harm to one’s health, interpersonal relationships, or ability to work.

Alcohol – NIDA.Gov – Website last visited 6/04/2024

If any employee or student is convicted of violating any criminal drug or alcoholic beverage control statute while in the College workplace, on College premises, or as part of any College sponsored activity, he or she will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion. Specifically, any such person who is convicted of a felony, or of a misdemeanor which results in an active prison sentence will, if a student, be expelled, or if an employee, be terminated from employment (subject to existing disciplinary policies applicable to employees and State or Federal law which may apply). Other misdemeanor convictions will be evaluated, and the penalties to be imposed may range from written warnings or mandatory counseling or rehabilitation to expulsion from enrollment or discharge from employment. Any such person charged with a violation of these policies concerning illegal drugs may be suspended from enrollment or employment before initiation or completion of disciplinary proceedings, if the administration determines that the continued presence of such person within the College community would constitute a clear and immediate danger to the health or welfare of other members of the community after an appropriate predetermination inquiry.

Each employee or student is required to inform the Office of the Vice President of Learning, Student Engagement & Success (student) or Human Resources Executive Director (employee) at the College, in writing, within five (5) days after he or she is convicted of violation of any federal, state, or local criminal drug or alcoholic beverage control statue where such violation occurred while in the College workplace, on College premises, or as part of any Collegesponsored activity. A conviction means a plea of or finding of guilt to include a plea of nolo contendere, and the imposition of a judgment by a judge sitting with or without a jury in any federal or state court. As a condition of further employment on any federal government grant, the law requires all employees to abide by this policy.

The Human Resources Executive Director must notify the U.S. governmental agency from which a grant was made within ten (10) days after receiving notice from the grant employee or otherwise receiving actual notice of a drug conviction. Disciplinary action against the convicted employee must be undertaken by the College within 30 days.

Lawful possession of unopened (sealed) alcoholic beverage containers is permitted in personally owned vehicles located on College property.


According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment, more than three decades of scientific research show that treatment can help drug-addicted individuals stop drug use, avoid relapse and successfully recover their lives.

Treatment Approaches – Drug Addiction (NIDA.Gov) – Website Last Visited 6/04/2024

Based on this research, 13 fundamental principles that characterize effective drug abuse treatment have been developed. These principles are detailed in NIDA’s Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide – (Website last visited 6/04/2024). The guide also describes different types of science-based treatments and provides answers to commonly asked questions.

Community resources exist for alcohol and other drug prevention education, counseling and referral. For detailed information concerning these resources availability, students and employees may contact the Vice President of Learning, Student Engagement & Success at 252-738-3233 or Executive Director of Human Resources at 252-738-3462. While not all inclusive, below is a list of community resources.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
    • Vance County: 252-438-2395
    • Granville County: 919-693-2329
    • Franklin County: 1-877-619-3761
    • Warren County: 252-257-2774
    • Durham County: 919-286-9499
    • Wake County: 919-783-8214
  • TriCounty Intergroup: 919-831-5100
  • Narcotics Anonymous Hotline: 919-831-5100
  • Alcohol Drug Council of N.C.: 1-800-662-7030
  • Alcohol Abuse 24-Hour Hotline & Treatment: 1-800-374-2800
  • Alcohol Abuse 24-Hour Assistance & Treatment: 1-800-234-1253
  • Five County Mental Health Authority: 1-877-619-3761
    • (TTY): 1-877-338-0788
  • Alcohol & Substance Abuse Program UNC-Chapel Hill: 1-888-457-7457
  • Durham Council of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence, Inc.: 919-309-2600
  • Duke Addiction Program: 919-684-3850
  • Wake County Programs and Clinics: 919-212-7000
  • Al-Anon/Alateen: 919-713-1516

The term “controlled substance” means any drug listed in 21 CFR part 1308 and other federal regulations, as well as those listed in Article V, Chapter 90 of North Carolina General Statutes. Generally, these are drugs which have a high potential for abuse. Such drugs include, but are not limited to: heroin, PCP, cocaine, “crack”, and marijuana. They may also include legally prescribed drugs.

The term alcoholic beverage includes beer, wine, whiskey and any other beverage listed in Chapter 18B of NC General Statutes.

(approved July 16, 2018)