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Drug & Alcohol Policies

MICA Keeps Students Informed

Federal and state regulations require that students be informed of Maryland Institute College of Art's policy and accompanying disciplinary sanctions regarding alcohol and other drugs; the applicable legal sanctions under local, state, or Federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illegal or illicit drugs and alcohol; the health risks associated with the use of illegal or illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol; and the counseling and treatment programs offered to students through the College.

Alcohol and Other Drug Services and Referrals

Maryland Institute College of Art students may seek help with alcohol or other drug difficulties in several ways. The Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the Office of Student Affairs can help students in finding appropriate assistance.

Health Center

Medical care for students is provided at MICA Student Health Services, located in the MICA Wellness Center at 1501 W Mount Royal Avenue (next to Bunting Center). Students interested in discussing drug- or alcohol- related problems are encouraged to stop in or call 410-225-4118 for either counseling or a referral.


College counselors, Pat Farrell-McLaughlin, MSW, LCSW-C; Joe Kachik, PhD; Andrea Rackowski, MSW, LCSW; and Lauren Bynum are available to talk with students experiencing alcohol and other drug-related difficulties. While the College counselors can provide short-term assistance to students, they maintain contact with appropriate support services in the community to which they can refer students. Confidentiality is always maintained. The Counseling Center is located in the MICa Wellness Center at 1501 W Mount Royal Avenue. Phone number: 410-225-2367

Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs provides crisis intervention and support to students when necessary. The support includes communicating with faculty and academic advisors if an alcohol and/or other drug problem mitigates academic performance. Additionally the Office of Student Affairs works with students and the Wellness Center if a medical withdrawal from class or a leave of absence from school is warranted. To learn more information about the services offered by the Office of Student Affairs, please call: 410-225-2422

Alcohol and Other Drug Education Programs

The Wellness Center offers educational programs on a variety of alcohol and other drug related topics. These topics vary from year to year and may include the relationship between artists and alcohol and/or drugs, recreation without alcohol, and coping with family members with addictions. Written material on the effects of alcohol and other drugs is distributed throughout the year. Interested students should contact the Counseling Center, MICA Student Health Services, or the Associate Dean for Health and Wellness in Student Affairs.

Students may choose to contact various organizations directly. The following organizations may assist students:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous 410-663-1922
  • AL ANON Groups 410-832-7094
  • First Step to Recovery" Drug Abuse Hotline 1-800-905-8666
  • Narcotics Anonymous (meeting times and locations) 1-800-317-3222
  • National Institute on Drug & Alcohol Treatment Referral Service 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
  • Family and Children's Services 
    203 W. Lanvale Street 
    Baltimore, MD 21217 
    (sliding fee scale) 410-366-8145/410-366-1980
  • NA Recovery web page www.na.org
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) web page, College Drinking section www.niaaa.org
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) web page, Students and Young Adults section www.nida.org

Maryland Institute College of Art Regulations


The use, possession, or sale (or possession with intent to sell) of illegal or illicit drugs or narcotics is expressly prohibited by Federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as College policy. Possession and/or use of illicit drugs by students is grounds for severe sanctions including expulsion, and may result in referral to authorities for prosecution. The possession of drug paraphernalia (including hookahs, bongs, needles not for prescribed use, and other such items) is also a violation of state law as well as College policy.
Students who violate this policy will be subject to any of the following sanctions, among others, depending upon College officials' assessment of the severity of the violations:

  • Assessment for substance abuse problem
  • Required substance abuse treatment program
  • Mandatory drug testing program
  • Housing probation (if student lives in College housing)
  • Dismissal from College housing (if violation occurred in College housing)
  • College probation
  • Loss of financial aid
  • Suspension from the College
  • Dismissal from the College
  • Referral to law enforcement agencies


According to the Center for Disease Control, excessive alcohol and other drug use can pose the following health problems:

  • Unintentional injuries, including traffic injuries, falls, burns, and lacerations.
  • Risky sexual behaviors, including unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners, and increased risk for sexual assault. These behaviors can result in unintended pregancy or sexually transmitted infections.
  • Violence, including intimate partner violence. About 35% of victims report that offenders are under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol use is also associated with 2 out of 3 incidents of intimate partner violence.
  • Alcohol poisoning, a medical emergency that results from high blood alcohol levels that suppress the central nervous system and can cause loss of consciousness, low blood pressure and body temperature, coma, respiratory depression, or death.
  • Mental health. Excessive alcohol and other drug use can exacerbate mental health symptoms (e.g., isolation, depressed affect, poor concentration, low motivation, hopelessness, suicidal ideation, etc.).


Maryland Institute College of Art is committed to enforcing Maryland state law and College policy which prohibits people under the age of 21 from possessing or consuming alcohol, and actively discourages those 21 and over from abusing it. Accordingly, the unauthorized possession or use of alcoholic beverages on College-owned or -controlled property, including student residences, is expressly forbidden. Students who violate this policy will be subject to the following sanctions depending upon College officials' assessment of the severity of the violation(s):

  • Warning of disciplinary probation 
  • Alcohol education
  • Assessment for alcohol abuse program
  • Required alcohol abuse treatment program
  • Housing probation (if student lives in College housing)
  • Dismissal from College housing (if violation occurred in College housing)
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Suspension from the College
  • Dismissal from the College
  • Referral to law enforcement agencies

Where the College believes that there may be a problem of alcohol abuse, students may be encouraged or required to participate in alcohol education, an assessment process for a possible alcohol abuse problem, or an alcohol abuse treatment program.

For information on MICA's complete Alcohol and other Drug Policy, please visit
http://www.mica.edu/About MICA/Policies and Handbooks/Institutional Policies/Alcohol and Drugs.html


Because the majority of undergraduate students are not of legal drinking age, alcohol will not be served at most student events including undergraduate student exhibition openings.

With the appropriate authorization, alcohol may be served at College-sponsored or -sanctioned activities, but only to persons who provide verifiable proof of age. The serving of alcoholic beverages in all such instances must receive the specific written approval of the Vice President for Student Affairs and will require strict supervision of the event by hosts, designated staff, or faculty, and adherence to the alcohol party policy.


Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment (i.e., knowing when to stop after one has had too much to drink) and coordination (ability to walk without difficulty or to drive a car safely). Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including fights and vandalism. 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.

Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants can 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.

Federal, State, and City Legal Sanctions


Students and employees at Maryland Institute College of Art are subject to Federal, state, and local laws for the possession and distribution of illegal drugs.

Federal law 21 USC, sections 841 and 844-845a (1990), states that it is unlawful to possess any controlled substance, including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, for any illegal purpose. If the substance is cocaine, or contains a cocaine base, the penalty for simple possession is a fine and/or imprisonment from 5 to 20 years. For other illegal drugs, the penalty for simple possession is a fine of at least $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 years. The penalties increase if the possession includes intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance, especially if done so near a public or private elementary, vocational, or secondary school, or a public or private college or university. Additionally, any person who violates this law shall also be liable to the United States for an amount up to $10,000 in civil penalties.

In addition to the Federal laws, the State of Maryland has its own laws pertaining to distribution, manufacturing, and possession of controlled substances. Md. Ann. Code Art. 27, section 286 (1989), states that any person who unlawfully manufactures or distributes any controlled dangerous substances may be fined up to $25,000 and may be imprisoned for up to 20 years for a first offense.
Also, in Baltimore City, under Article 19, section 58C of the City Code, it is illegal to loiter in a certified drug-free zone, with penalties of imprisonment of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $400.

See also the attachment by the Federal government detailing the Federal penalties and sanctions for trafficking and illegal possession of a controlled substance.


(From the Federal Register, Vol. 55, No. 159, August 16, 1990)
21 U.S.C. 844
1st conviction: Up to one year imprisonment and fined at least $1,000, or both.
After 1 prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed 2 years, and fined at least $2,500.
After 2 or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed 3 years, and fined at least $5,000.
Special sentencing provisions for possession of substance with a cocaine base: Mandatory 5 years in prison or more, not to exceed 20 years, and fined a minimum of $1,000, or both if:
(a) First conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 5 grams.
(b) Second crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 3 grams.
(c) Third or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 1 gram.
21 U.S.C. 853(a)(2) and 881(a)(7)
Forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than one-year imprisonment.
21 U.S.C. 881(a)(4)
Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance.
21 U.S.C. 862
Denial of Federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for first offense, up to five years for second and subsequent offenses.
16 U.S.C. 922(g)
Ineligible to receive or purchase a firearm.
It is illegal in the State of Maryland (Md. Ann. Code Art. 27, sections 400 to 403B) for any person under the age of 21 to falsify or misrepresent his or her age to obtain alcohol, or to possess alcoholic beverages with the intent to consume them.
It is also illegal in most situations to provide alcohol to a person under 21, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of a person under 21. The penalty is a fine of up to $500 for a first offense, and up to $1,000 for repeat offenses.


Revocation of certain Federal licenses and benefits, e.g. pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, etc., are vested within the authorities of the individual Federal agencies.

Revised 8/13