An environment for success encourages people to achieve their highest potential whether in the classroom, or on the job. A drug free College supports this idea of success. Miami Dade College endorses the federal government’s efforts in implementing the Drug Free Schools and Community Amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226).

Standards of Conduct

All students, faculty, administrators, staff and support personnel are expected to recognize the potential for alcohol or illegal drugs are sold, given, and/or used, and that such abuse, is in conflict with the College’s purpose. To assist in minimizing this abuse, the College has established policies and regulations which adhere to applicable federal laws and state statutes regarding such abuse. The regulations and policies governing the use of alcoholic beverages apply to all employees, students, guests, and visitors. The responsibility for knowing and abiding by the College’s substance abuse policy rests with each individual.

Legal Sanctions

Illegal drug activities carry criminal penalties. Under federal and state penalties, illegal drug activities can bring prison sentences ranging from probation to life imprisonments. In addition, detailed penalties regarding possession of open containers of alcoholic beverages in vehicles under the Florida State Traffic Law Statute (310.1936) is prohibited. As used in this section, “open container” means any container which is immediately capable of being consumed from, or the seal of which has been broken. It is unlawful and punishable as provided in this section for any person to possess an open container of an alcoholic beverage, possession of an (broken seal) alcoholic beverage while operating a vehicle, or while a passenger in or on a vehicle being operated in the state. New Florida legislation states that it is unlawful for any person to sell, purchase, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance in, on, or within 200 feet of the real property comprising a public or private college, university, or other postsecondary educational institution. Any person who violates this section commits a first degree felony.

Health Risks

Drug use and alcohol abuse increase the chances of violence, injuries, automobile accidents, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and an extended list of other diseases. Largely because of this direct relationship 15 to 24-yearolds make up the only are group in the United States whose live expectancy is actually decreasing. Low to moderate 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 on the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects described here. Regular use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to induce withdrawal symptoms including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be live threatening. Long term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver. There is a high incidence of tobacco use among those who use other drugs. The mortality rate from tobacco use exceeded that of all other drugs. It is estimated that the annual mortality rate from cigarette smoking in the United States exceeds 480,000.

For Those Who Need Help

Student referral counseling, including information concerning special programs to be sponsored by the College relating to substance abuse prevention, is available by calling: Miami Dade College, Information Center, 305-237-8888.
Faculty and staff referral and counseling services are available through: The Department of Human Resources, 305-237-2051 or

Miami Dade College is committed to the health and wellness of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors. On April 19, 2011, MDC became a tobacco-free college, creating a healthier environment for learning and working.

Live – Learn – Breathe

Smoking, including the use of e-cigarettes, is prohibited in all college buildings and outdoor campus areas including parking lots, grounds, rooftops plazas, courtyards, and entrance and exit ways.

Visitors, contractors, and other individuals on campus who are in violation of the policy should be reminded of the policy and asked to comply by ceasing smoking and discarding the tobacco product. According to the American Lung Association, there is no risk-free secondhand some. Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,300 lung cancer deaths and 34,000 heart disease deaths in adult non-smokers in the United States each year.