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Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program


Students enrolling at Cerritos College assume an obligation to abide by all District regulations on District-owned or controlled property or at District-sponsored or supervised functions, this includes adherence to all federal, state, and local laws. 

Students who fail to adhere to District regulations are subject to disciplinary action.

The following section of the Standards of Student Conduct pertain to Alcohol and Other Drugs use, sale, and possession:

STANDARD 3. Unlawful possession, use, sale, offer to sell, or furnishing, or being under the influence of, any controlled substance listed in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11053) of Division 10 of the California Health and Safety Code, an alcoholic beverage, or an intoxicant of any kind; or unlawful possession of, or offering, arranging, or negotiating the sale of any drug paraphernalia, as defined in California Health and Safety Code, Section 11014.5.

The full list of Standards of Student Conduct is found in Board Policy 5500 STANDARDS OF STUDENT CONDUCT.


District Disciplinary Sanctions

The District will impose disciplinary sanctions on students who are found to have violated the Standards of Student Conduct,  as outlined in Administrative Procedure 5520 STUDENT DISCIPLINE PROCEDURES.

Possible disciplinary sanctions for Alcohol and Other Drug violations include:

  • Written or verbal reprimand – An admonition to the student to cease and desist from conduct determined to violate the Standards of Student Conduct. Written reprimands may become part of a student's permanent record at the college. A record of the fact that a verbal reprimand has been given may become part of a student's record at the college for a period of up to one year.

  • Disciplinary Probation – A period on probation that may include, but is not limited to, exclusion of the individual from designated co-curricular activities of the college for a set period of time.

  • Removal from class – Exclusion of the student by an instructor for the day of the removal and the next class meeting.

  • Withdrawal of Consent to Remain on Campus – Withdrawal of consent by the President/Superintendent or designee for any person to remain on campus in accordance with California Penal Code Section 626.4 where the President/Superintendent or designee has reasonable cause to believe that such person has willfully disrupted the orderly operation of the campus.

  • Short-term Suspension – Exclusion of the student by the President/Superintendent or designee for good cause from one or more classes for a period of up to ten consecutive days of instruction.

  • Long-term Suspension – Exclusion of the student by the President/Superintendent or designee for good cause from one or more classes for the remainder of the school term, or from all classes and activities of the college for one or more terms.

  • Expulsion – Exclusion of the student by the Board of Trustees from the District for one or more terms.

Legal Sanctions

The Cerritos College Police Department enforces all federal and state laws, and local ordinances. 

  • Federal Law

Federal law provides criminal and civil penalties for unlawful possession or distribution of a controlled substance. Under the Controlled Substance Act, as well as other related federal laws, the penalties for controlled substance violations include but are not limited to: incarceration, fines, potential for the forfeiture of property used in possession or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance (which may include homes, vehicles, boats, aircrafts and any other personal or real property), ineligibility to possess a firearm, and potential ineligibility to receive federal educational benefits (such as student loans and grants). 21 U.S.C. Section 812 U.S Code

Click here for a detailed list of Federal Trafficking penalties 

  • State Law

The State of California has numerous laws regulating the possession and use of controlled substances and alcohol. As an example, under current California state law, “a person shall not knowingly or intentionally possess or distribute a controlled substance.” If an individual is found guilty of a violation of the state law, they may be subject to large fines and imprisonment. California Health and Safety Code Section 11350-11356.5

A minor (defined as a person under the age of 21) may not “purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic liquor, consume or attempt to consume alcoholic liquor, possess or attempt to possess alcoholic liquor, or have any bodily alcohol content.” Violations of the law may subject the individual to fines, participation in a substance abuse program, imprisonment, community service hours, and/or out of pocket expenses related to required substance abuse screenings. Business and Professions Code 25662 BP / Vehicle Code 13202.5 VC. The State of California laws can be found on the California Legislature website.

  • Local Ordinances

The cities of Cerritos and Norwalk have established ordinances that include but are not limited to: consumption and intoxication in public places, possession and use of alcohol by minors, uncapped liquor in passenger compartments of vehicles, and all substance abuse ordinances. Sanctions could range from a civil infraction with attached fines to criminal violation of law resulting in probation, rehabilitation, or even imprisonment. City ordinances can be found on the Cerritos Municipal Code website, and the Norwalk Municipal Code website.

Consequences on Financial Aid

A federal or state drug conviction (but not a local or municipal conviction) can disqualify a student for federal and state financial aid.   Convictions only count against a student for aid eligibility purposes (FAFSA question 23c) if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid—they do not count if the offense was not during such a period, unless the student was denied federal benefits for drug trafficking by a federal or state judge. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when she was a juvenile, unless she was tried as an adult.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for federal and state financial aid, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.

  Possession of illegal drugs Sale of illegal drugs
1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
3+ offenses Indefinite period  

If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends (i.e., for a 1st or 2nd offense); or when he or she successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program that includes passing two unannounced drug tests given by such a program. Further drug convictions will make him/her ineligible again.

Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain eligibility after completing any of the following options:

  1. Successfully completing a rehabilitation program, as described which includes passing two unannounced drug tests from such a program;

  2. Having the conviction reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record; or

  3. Successfully completing two unannounced drug tests, which are part of a rehab program.



Health Risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, drug use & alcohol consumption carries both short-term and long-term health risks:

Short-Term Health Risks

  • Injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns.
  • Violence, including homicide, suicide, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.
  • Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels.
  • Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. These behaviors can result in unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
  • Miscarriage and stillbirth or fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) among pregnant women.

Long-Term Health Risks

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
  • Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment.
  • Alcohol or drug dependence.



According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):

  • Prevalence of Drinking: 58.0 percent of full-time college students ages 18–22 drank alcohol in the past month compared with 48.2 percent of other persons of the same age.
  • Prevalence of Binge Drinking: 37.9 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported binge drinking in the past month compared with 32.6 percent of other persons of the same age.
  • Prevalence of Heavy Drinking: 12.5 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported heavy alcohol use in the past month compared with 8.5 percent of other persons of the same age.

Campus Based Resources: Cerritos College Student Health Services 

  • Alcohol Misuse: Screening and Behavioral Interventions as recommended by the USPSTF
  • Screening and interventions for drug use, including injected steroids
  • Referrals to Community Based Substance Abuse and Treatment Services
  • Brief individual therapy with Student Health Psychological Services
  • Crisis Counseling: Student Health Psychological Services offers same-day crisis hour appointments
  • Falcon Safe, including Bystander Intervention and Drug & Alcohol education (Annual Athletics Event & Fall & Spring Presentations)
  • Health Fairs & Falcon Square tabling events
  • Welcome Day
    Click here for Student Health Services at Cerritos College

Community Based Resources:

  • Adult Treatment Services - Detox
  • Community Crisis Lines & Resources
  • Outpatient and Community Based Substance Abuse Services

Click here for a list of Hotline/Crisis Lines for Alcohol & Drug Treatment

Click here for a list of Web-based resources

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Last Update: 9/4/2020