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Illegal Drugs and Other Controlled Substances

Simpson College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs and other controlled substances by students and employees on its property or as any part of its officially sponsored activities.  The college will cooperate with all law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of laws pertaining to the use and possession of illegal drugs or the misuse/abuse of prescription drugs. Violations of this rule will be considered of sufficient seriousness to warrant dismissal from the college. Anyone having information concerning drug traffic on campus should inform a Student Development staff member or the Dean of Students.

Drug-Free Workplace

On November 18, 1988, Congress enacted the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. This statute requires that all grantees receiving grants from any federal agency certify to that agency that they will maintain a drug-free workplace. For purposes of the Act, allocations under the campus-based programs (Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Workstudy Program, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program) are deemed to be “grants” and institutions receiving these allocations are deemed to be “grantees.” This Act directly affects the federal allocations for Simpson College.

To comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act, Simpson College must certify that it will provide a drug-free workplace and must notify its students and employees of that fact. This serves to notify all students and employees that “the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the grantee’s (Simpson College’s) workplace. Workplace is defined as any location utilized for the operation and or delivery of college activities and services.

Student violations of these prohibitions will be considered infractions of the student code of conduct and may lead to immediate dismissal from the college. Disciplinary procedures and sanctions are described in more complete detail in the Student Handbook.

In addition to notifying students of the impact of this act on their college enrollment, Simpson is also required to establish a drug and substance abuse awareness program. For students, that program is coordinated through the Office of Student Development to help students understand the health risks associated with drug usage. These health risks include damage to the respiratory system, immune system, reproductive system, and brain functions. Frequent usage or overdose can cause addiction, coma, and possibly death.

Personal counseling services are available on campus for students who may be having difficulty with drug and alcohol abuse. The college works with local substance abuse programs for making student referrals for assessment and treatment.  Current local options include:


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

First United Methodist Church, Indianola

Sundays, 7pm; Mondays, 7pm; Tuesdays, 8pm; Thursdays, 12pm; Fridays, 7pm



Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

First United Methodist Church

Mondays, 7pm; Thursdays, 7pm




First United Methodist Church

Mondays, 7pm



House of Mercy

Assessments for alcohol and drug dependency and other resources.

310 N Buxton St, Indianola


Should you have any questions regarding the implications of these requirements, please feel free to contact the Vice President for Student Development.

Other Applicable Federal, State, and Local Laws

Summaries of applicable federal, state, and local laws, which govern the use and possession of illegal drugs and other controlled substances violations and relate specifically to members of the College community, are as follows:

  1. Possession of controlled substances, such as narcotics, stimulants, depressants or hallucinogens, carries criminal penalties including imprisonment up to 20 years and fines up to $250,000 under federal laws, depending on the type and quantity of drug and whether it is a first or subsequent offense. Moreover, personal property may be forfeited and federal benefits, such as student loans and grants, may be denied on the first offense.
  2. Under State of Iowa and local laws, simple possession is a serious misdemeanor and criminal penalties may include up to a year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  3. Trafficking a controlled substance carries criminal penalties, including imprisonment up to life and fines up to $8 million for an individual under federal law, depending on the type and quantity of the drug and whether it is a first or subsequent offense.
  4. Under State of Iowa and local laws, trafficking an illicit drug carries criminal penalties of up to 50 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines, depending on the type and quantity of the drug. Subsequent violations can triple the imprisonment sentence and fine.  Moreover, there are special penalties for trafficking to minors.

Additional pertinent information may be found at http://www.legis.state.ia.us/IACODE/.

Statement on Intervention and Treatment and on Health Risks

The statement on intervention and treatment and a statement on health risks associated with alcohol and other illegal drugs can be found in the alcohol policy section of the Simpson College Student Handbook.

Some physiological effects of specific drugs include:

  • Marijuana, when smoked, irritates lung tissue, increasing the risk of lung cancer. It decreases visual perception and psychomotor skills; it adversely affects the reproductive system; it delays onset of secondary sexual characteristics, and it is stored in body tissue for periods of time.
  • Cocaine/Crack increases blood pressure, heart and breathing rates and is extremely addictive. It may cause anxiety, brain seizures, and strokes.  Chronic snorting can ulcerate the mucous membranes of the nose.  There is no antidote for overdose.
  • Amphetamines/ Stimulants increase heart rate and blood pressure; stroke and heart failure may result from high doses. Long-term abuse may result in malnutrition and brain damage.
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, mushrooms, PCP) have unpredictable effects that vary with individuals; panic reactions are common. Impurities are likely, as with any street drug.
  • Depressants/Sedatives/Barbiturates act much like alcohol, by depressing the central nervous system.
  • Narcotics/Heroin are opiates used to relieve pain. Tolerance develops quickly, and a user attempting to quit will experience withdrawal symptoms after only a few days of drug use.  Infections and AIDS transmission are associated with un-sterile conditions of use.
  • Anabolic Steroids suppress gonadotropic functions of the pituitary. Side effects include liver and kidney dysfunction, testicular atrophy, premature closure of bone growth plates, hair loss and acne, and heart failure.
  • Inhalants act quickly as anesthetics and slow down body functions. Nausea and nosebleed result from immediate use, while loss of consciousness may result at high doses.  Long-term use damages organs and nervous system.
  • Caffeine in high doses may cause nausea, diarrhea, sleeplessness, headache and trembling.
  • Nicotine may cause cancer of the lungs, larynx and mouth.

Additional information on the health risks of specific drugs may be found at https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts.

Off-Campus Program Participation

Simpson College offers students a variety of opportunities for involvement in curricular and co-curricular programs, events, and travel off-campus. All participants in Simpson College sponsored or affiliated off-campus events, programs and travel are subject to all academic and behavioral guidelines and policies as described in the Simpson College Catalog and the Simpson College Student Handbook. Additionally, participants in College-sponsored or affiliated off-campus activities may be subject to additional academic and/or behavioral requirements as deemed necessary by the College. Additional expectations and requirements for a particular off-campus program, event or travel opportunity will be communicated to students in advance of their participation.

Parental and or Guardian Notification Policy

Simpson College recognizes the student – college relationship as one built on the premise that students are adults and as such any matters of concern regarding student progress, behavioral issues and or health and safety issues will be, whenever possible or practical, directly discussed with the student by a college staff or faculty member. These conversations with a student will be treated as confidential and will only involve campus staff or faculty who have an “educational right to know” as prescribed by FERPA guidelines.

The College may contact and or inform a student’s parents or guardian regarding a particular concern when, in the judgment of the college, it is in the overall best interest of the student and/or the College to do so. In general, the notification to parents or guardians in matters of behavioral and/or health and safety concerns will normally take place when:

  • the student has been involved in a second violation of the College’s alcohol policy;
  • the student has been involved in a violation of College policy which has caused the student to be placed on disciplinary probation. Students who are on disciplinary probation are subject to suspension and or dismissal from the College if they are involved in any subsequent violation of College policy;
  • the student is involved in behavior that has raised concerns for the health and safety of the student.

All notifications to parents or guardians will be in compliance with applicable state and federal laws governing such notification. Notification to parents or guardians will, in most instances, occur by letter from the Vice President for Student Development. The student for whom the letter has been issued will be informed of the official parental or guardian notification. Questions regarding this notification policy and regarding any specific student issues may be directed to the Vice President for Student Development.