Right to Know

Alcohol and Drug Policy

Washburn University, as an institution receiving federal financial aid for students in attendance, has adopted policies for prohibiting the use of alcohol and other drugs by students and employees in the workplace in compliance with the federal laws and regulations of the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, the University has adopted and implemented an alcohol and other drug prevention program. As part of this program, the University is required to provide the following information annually to all students and employees.

Washburn University prohibits the unlawful possession, use/consumption or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on the University property or as part of any of its activities. The sale and/or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on campus except as approved by the Washburn University Board of Regents. (On occasion, state law does permit the University to designate "non-classroom instruction" areas where alcohol liquor may be consumed.) Violations of this policy, applicable city ordinances, or state law will result in disciplinary action as well as criminal prosecution. The Washburn University Student Disciplinary Code and Drug-Free Workplace Policy contain these prohibitions and establish appropriate sanctions for violation of University policy.

Summary of State and Federal Laws Concerning Alcohol and Other Drugs

Federal, state and local laws provide severe penalties for the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol.

Under Kansas state statutes:

  • Possession of alcoholic liquor/cereal malt beverage by a person 18 to 20 years of age is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by confinement up to one month and/or a minimum fine of $200. The person also may be requested to submit to a State approved rehabilitation /educational awareness program and/or perform 40 hours of community service.
  • Furnishing alcoholic beverages/cereal malt beverage to a minor may lead to imprisonment up to 6 months and/or a minimum fine of $200.
  • Possession of certain controlled substances may be punishable on a first offense with imprisonment of up to 23 months and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
  • Possession with intent to sell narcotics may lead, on a first conviction, to imprisonment of up to 57 months and/or a fine up to $300,000. Personal and real property used in connection with drug trafficking may be seized.

Under federal law:

  • Simple possession of controlled substances, other than for possession of a controlled substance with a mixture or substance with a cocaine base, is punishable on a first offense by one year in prison and/or a fine up to $1,000.
  • first conviction for distribution of narcotics or controlled substances to a person under 21 years of age may result in a sentence of 20 years to life in prison and/or a $2,000,000 fine.
  • The distribution and/or manufacture of narcotics or controlled substances in or near schools, colleges, playgrounds, community centers, and video arcades is also punishable by imprisonment from 20 years to life and/or a fine of $2,000,000.


As required by law, University officials will forward to the appropriate law enforcement authorities any knowledge they have about suspected violations of laws relating to alcohol and other drugs.

Faculty and staff -- sanctions

The WU Policies, Regulations, and Procedures Manual states that employees who violate the University's prohibitions on the use of alcohol and other drugs will be subject to disciplinary action, which may result in temporary suspension of employment without pay or permanent termination of employment with the University.

Students -- sanctions

As prescribed in the Student Conduct Code, students who are found to be in violation of the University's policies on the use of alcohol and other drugs may be subject to disciplinary sanctions. These sanctions may include suspension from the University for a stated period of time or expulsion from the University with no possibility of return. The University also reserves the right to notify the parents of students under the age of 21 who have violated the University's alcohol and other drug policies.

Local and on-campus referral information

On Campus

Alcohol and other drug awareness information is available through Student Health Services, the Counseling and Testing Services, the Office of Student Life, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program in the School of Applied and Continuing Education, and the University Police Department. Staff members of the Counseling and Testing Services are available for students and employees to talk about possible substance abuse problems and to make appropriate referrals. In addition, a list of drug counseling and rehabilitation programs in the Topeka/Shawnee County area is available from the Washburn Human Resources Office and the Counseling and Testing Services.

Counseling and Testing Services -- Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS) (Morgan Hall 122, 670-1299). Counselors provide initial assessment and referral resources if needed and a post alcohol treatment (if done) update/follow up. Counseling Services will also provide similar assistance to Washburn faculty and staff.

Student Health Services (Morgan Hall 170, 670-1470) - Personnel are prepared to provide initial
evaluation, referral and emergency medical support.

University Police Department (Morgan Hall 156, 670-1153) - University Police Department provides
emergency assistance and maintains a 24-hour phone line.

Off Campus

Recovery Center at St. Francis
4646 NW Fielding Rd.
Topeka, KS 66618

Women's Recovery Center
1324 SW Western
Topeka, KS 66604

Battered Women's Task Force
225 SW 12
Topeka, KS 66612

Alcoholics Anonymous
2100 SW Central Park Ave.
Topeka, KS 66611

Al-Anon & Al - Teen Family Groups

Sims-Kemper Clinical Counseling &
Recovery Services
1709 SW Medford Ave.
Topeka, KS 66604

Valeo Behavioral Health Care -
Recovery Center

330 SW Oakley Dr.
Topeka, KS 66606

Shawnee Regional Prevention &
Recovery Services, Inc.

2209 SW 29th
Topeka, KS 66611

Health Effects of Alcohol and Other Drugs


Alcohol is "legal", but it is a drug just the same. Alcohol kills more people and causes more diseases and social problems than all the other drugs put together.

Drinking can cause addiction, and it doesn't matter who you are or what you do for a living. Long-term, heavy drinking is linked to a range of health problems, including heart and liver disease, cancer, ulcers, pancreatitis, and stroke. On average, alcoholics' lives are shortened by 12 years because of drinking.

Drinking is of special concern for pregnant women. Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with physical deformities, brain damage, and mental retardation. Collectively, these symptoms are known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS); and they are irreversible. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not drink or use drugs.

Other Possible Effects: high blood pressure; increased susceptibility to infection; impotence; diarrhea; enlarged heart; brain atrophy; deficits in problem solving, abstract thinking and difficult memory tasks; links to violence and aggression; accidental death and injury; dementia; blackouts; seizures; memory loss; hallucinations; nausea; and headaches.

Stimulants or Amphetamines

(Dexedrine, Methamphetamine or "Crystal", "Crank", and "Speed")
This is a group of drugs that increases alertness and physical activity. Amphetamines increase heart and breathing rates and blood pressure, dilate pupils and decrease appetite. A user can experience insomnia, loss of appetite, sweating, dry mouth, blurred vision, and dizziness. In addition to the physical effects, users feel restless, anxious and moody, become excitable and have a false sense of power and security. People who use large amounts of the drug experience amphetamine psychosis --- they have auditory, visual and tactile hallucinations, feel intensely paranoid/suspicious, have irrational thoughts and beliefs (delusions), and are mentally confused. Amphetamine overdose can also cause cardiac arrhythmias, headaches, convulsions, hypertension, rapid heart rate, coma and death. Amphetamines are psychologically and physically addictive.


Nicotine is the active chemical found in tobacco. Its chief hazards are cancer of the lungs, larynx and mouth. Exposure to second-hand smoke also increases these health risks, even for a non-smoker. Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant and contributes to approximately 340,000 Americans' deaths annually.


Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, cocoa, and in some over-the-counter drugs (e.g., aspirin, diet pills, cough and cold remedies). High doses may cause nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, headaches, nervousness/agitation, and trembling. Caffeine may increase rates of miscarriage and low birth weight. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, headache, nausea and irritability.


Cocaine is an extremely addictive stimulant. The intense euphoria is short-lived and prompts users to use again and again. Physical effects of cocaine/crack use include increases in blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and body temperature. Continued use produces insomnia, hyperactivity, anxiousness, agitation and malnutrition. Overdoses can be lethal.

Anabolic Steroids

Steroids are lab-made versions of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Side effects include liver and kidney dysfunction, high blood pressure, heart disease, degeneration of the testicles, premature baldness, and acne. Abnormal aggression, mood swings and psychiatric symptoms are linked to steroid use.


(LSD, PCP, DMT, Mescaline and Psilocybin) Hallucinogens are a group of drugs that are very unpredictable. "Bad trips" are not uncommon, and the user may experience morbid hallucinations and feel panicked, confused, paranoid and out of control. The heightened suggestibility and intensified emotions that hallucinogens create worsen any pre-existing emotional problems. Physical effects of hallucinogen use include dilated pupils; sweating; insomnia; loss of appetite; tremors; and increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure.


(Opium, Morphine, Codeine, Heroin) Narcotics are used medically to relieve pain. Narcotics are also used inappropriately for their mood-altering effects and are both physically and psychologically addictive. Medical problems associated with narcotic abuse include infection of the heart valves, skin abscesses, congested lungs, liver disease, tetanus, anemia and pneumonia. Death can occur from overdose.


(Valium, Librium, Xanax, Quaaludes) Sedatives have appropriate medical uses, but are also drugs of abuse. They cause slurred speech, disorientation and "drunken-like" behavior. They are physically and psychologically addictive. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, tremors, delirium, convulsions, and possible death.


Marijuana has over 400 different chemical compounds and contains even more cancer-causing agents than are found in tobacco. Even low doses interfere with coordination, perception of time passage, reasoning and judgment, all of which make driving under its influence extremely dangerous. Marijuana use causes short-term memory loss, decreases sperm and testosterone production in men, and may disrupt the menstrual cycle and cause miscarriage and stillbirth in women.