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As part of the Federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and Drug Free Workplace Act, the University delivers annual notification to all employees and students, including a statement of policy restrictions, consequences of policy violations, health risks and legal sanctions, as well as community resources for individuals seeking treatment for substance abuse problems. This information may be found below.

Statement of University Policy

Seattle Pacific University does not permit faculty, staff, or students to unlawfully possess, use,
or distribute illicit drugs or alcohol or to use alcoholic beverages on its property or as part of any of its activities. Such possession, use, or distribution will be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination/expulsion, and referral for prosecution. An employee or student who, while on SPU property or at any University activity, exhibits objective signs of having consumed intoxicating beverages or illicit drugs may be placed on immediate suspension. If the observed behavior is a result of drug abuse or alcohol use, the employee/student will be subject to further disciplinary action.

Any such incident will be documented and reported to the Dean of Students for Community Life in the Office of Student Life (regarding students) or Human Resources (regarding employees) and to the President’s Office. The disciplinary action taken will be reviewed and approved by the President or his designee. For further information regarding drug and alcohol policy violations and disciplinary procedures for undergraduate students, please see the Student Handbook.

Even though Washington State decriminalized marijuana possession under 1 oz. for adults over age 21, it is still illegal under Federal law to possess, use, or distribute any amount of marijuana. Possession, use, or distribution of any amount of marijuana at any time is also not permitted for students under SPU policy.   

Health Risks 

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even 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 also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, 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.   


For important alcohol and drug health risk information, consult the following links:


For a copy of SPU’s biennial review for 2014 about alcohol and drug use, click on the following link:

Legal Sanctions

State law forbids the furnishing of liquor to a person under the age of 21 years or consumption of liquor by a person under the age of 21 years, except in certain special circumstances. Violation can result in fines of up to $5000 and imprisonment for up to twelve months. See Washington State code.

The possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs is prohibited by federal and state law. Strict penalties are provided for drug convictions, including mandatory prison terms for many offenses. 

You can find additional information about Federal and Washington State Drug Laws by following these links:

Treatment/Counseling Availability  


You may refer to the Student Counseling Center’s link to resources, including Seattle area resources:


Alcohol/Drug 24-hour Help Line 206-722-3700 or 1-800-562-1240

If you have questions about the University’s policy on Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco, please contact the Director of Human Resources - Gary Womelsduff or call x2678.



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