Drug Prevention

Tobacco, Drug and Alcohol Free Environment

Riverside County Office of Education Board Policies 4020 and  5131.6 prohibits the use, possession, and distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol products  at all times on all property and in all facilities owned, leased, and/or operated by RCOE, whether indoors or outdoors. Violation of Board Policy may result in any or all of the following actions:

  • Referral to outside agencies for substance abuse assistance
  • Dispatch request and/or report filed with local law enforcement agency
  • Ineligibility for Federal Financial Aid

Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

A federal or state drug conviction of possession or sale of drugs can disqualify a student from receiving financial aid.   Effective July 1, 2000: If a student is convicted, by a court of Law, of a drug offense, he or she may be ineligible for Title IV funds.

The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for 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 drugsSale of illegal drugs
1st offense1 year from date of conviction2 years from date of conviction
2nd offense2 years from date of convictionIndefinite period
3 + offensesIndefinite period 

Ineligibility is longer if convicted for both possessing and selling illegal drugs.

Drug Abuse Prevention Program

Statement of Philosophy and Purpose

It is the intention of the School of Career Education to provide an environment that maximizes academic achievement and personal growth.  The School of Career Education recognizes that alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use or abuse poses a significant threat to the health, safety and well-being of users and the people around them.  Substance abuse also interferes with academic and career interest and can lead to health, personal, social, economic and legal problems.

Alcohol and other drug abuse, addiction or dependency is a behavioral/medical problem.  Because the School of Career Education’s intent is to be helpful, not punitive, programs have been developed to deter alcohol and other drug abuse.  First, education is provided. Second, a program of referral is available. Third, disciplinary procedures are applied to uphold the School of Career Education policy regarding alcohol and other drug use in the Standards of Student Conduct as listed in the Student Handbook.

The School of Career Education policy is that all use of alcohol and other drugs is prohibited on School of Career Education property and at any School of Career Education sponsored or related activity regardless of its location.  Furthermore, the use of tobacco is prohibited in all School of Career Education buildings and grounds.


School of Career Education offers a variety of educational opportunities to its students and the community which address alcohol and other drug-related issues.  Information about drug abuse resources is available in the School of Career Education Catalog and Student Handbook.  Additional educational opportunities include awareness activities.

Health Risks/Drug and Alcohol

The abuse of narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, or alcohol can cause serious detriment to a person’s health. The risks associated with the misuse of the previously mentioned drugs vary but include, and are not limited to: convulsions, coma, paralysis, irreversible brain damage, tremors, fatigue, paranoia, insomnia and possible death.  Drug and alcohol abuse is extremely harmful to a person’s health, interferes with productivity and alertness, and working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could be a danger to the employee, faculty or student under the influence and fellow workers, faculty and students.

Described below are some of the additional dangers and symptoms relative to use/abuse:


Commonly known as “pot”, it is a plant with the botanical name of cannabis sativa.  Pot is almost always smoked but can be ingested. Use causes the central nervous system to become disorganized and confused. Most users experience and increase in heart rate, reddening of eyes and dryness of the throat and mouth. Studies have proven that marijuana’s mental effects include temporary impairment of short term memory and an altered sense of time. It also reduces the ability to perform tasks requiring concentration, swift reactions and coordination. Feelings of euphoria, relaxation and bouts of exaggerated laughter are also commonly reported.  Smoking “pot” may cause: brain chemical changes, an altered reality, physically damaged lungs, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer, a weakened immune system, damage to sperm in males, irregular menstrual cycles in females, reduced fertility and sex drive.


Cocaine is a stimulant drug, which is derived from the coca plant. Street cocaine is available in the form of a powder or a “rock” of crack and is most commonly inhaled or smoked.  Cocaine increases the heart and blood pressure and is very addictive.  Crack is a form of smoke able cocaine named for the popping sound it makes when burned.  It is a mixture of cocaine, baking soda and water.  It is 5-10 times more potent than cocaine and is extremely dangerous. It has been reported that addiction can occur with as few as two “hits”. Some of the symptoms of cocaine/crack abuse are: personality changes, unexplained weight loss, excess sniffing and coughing, insomnia, depression, irritability, neglect of responsibility toward work, school, family and friends and panic attacks.


In small doses, alcohol has a tranquilizing effect on most people, although it appears to stimulate others. Alcohol first acts on those parts of the brain that affect self-control and other learned behaviors; lowered self-control often leads to the aggressive behavior associated with those who drink. Alcohol use can also quickly cause dehydration, coordination problems and blurred vision.  In large doses, alcohol can dull sensation and impair muscular coordination, memory and judgment.  Taken in larger quantities over a long period of time, alcohol can damage the liver and heart and cause brain damage and a great number of other health, medical and social issues.


These are also known as psychedelics.  The effects vary; the same person may have different reactions on different occasions.  Most users affected by changes in time and space perception, delusions and hallucinations.  The effects may be mild or overwhelming, depending on the dose and quantity or the drug.  Physical reactions range from minor changes such as dilated pupils, a rise in temperature and heartbeat to tumors. High doses can greatly alter the state of consciousness. After taking a hallucinogenic, the user loses control of thought process.  Although many perceptions are pleasant, others may cause panic or may make a person believe that he or she cannot be harmed.  These delusions can be quite dangerous.


Heroin is a narcotic, which relieves pain and induces sleep.  Commonly known as “junk” or “smack”, heroin is a highly addictive depressant and has been attributed as the cause of many deaths. Obvious symptoms include “pin point pupils”, drowsy, lethargic slurred speech and an inability to concentrate. Related medications used to treat pain include oxycontin and oxycodone, methadone and codeine.  The abuse of painkillers ranks second only to the abuse of marijuana in the United States.  Heroin users experience a high rate of infectious disease due to a weakened immune system and dirty needles shared by users.  Children can be born addicted or can become addicted from heroin in the mother’s milk.

Crystal Methamphetamine

Crystal methamphetamine is a colorless, odorless powerful and highly addictive synthetic (man-made) stimulant.  Crystal methamphetamine typically resembles small fragments of glass or shiny blue-white “rocks” of various sizes.  Like powdered methamphetamine, crystal methamphetamine produces long-lasting euphoric effects.  Crystal methamphetamine, however, typically has a higher purity level and may produce even longer-lasting and more intense physiological effects than the powdered form of the drug.  Crystal methamphetamine use is associated with numerous serious physical problems.  The drug can cause rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure and damage to the small blood vessels in the brain – which can lead to stroke.  Chronic use of the drug can result in inflammation of the heart lining.  Overdoses can cause hyperthermia (elevated body temperature), convulsions and death.  Individuals who use crystal methamphetamine also may have episodes of violent behavior, paranoia, anxiety, confusion and insomnia.  The drug can produce psychotic symptoms that persist for months or years after an individual has stopped using the drug.  Crystal methamphetamine users who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks, including contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), methamphetamine also risk scarred or collapsed veins, infections of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, pneumonia, tuberculosis and liver or kidney disease.


Depressants are highly addictive.  They are usually known as “downers”.  A user may be drowsy, lethargic, suffer from memory loss and have slurred speech.  Many lawful drugs that have a depressant feature are from the family of drugs called barbiturates.  More serious effects of the abuse of downers are liver damage, paradoxical anxiety and excited rage, coma and death.


(MDMA) Also known as XTC, X, E and Molly, Ecstasy is a mind altering drug with hallucinogenic and speed like side effects. Often used at raves it is taken to promote loss of inhibition, excited-ness, euphoria energy and sexual stimulations.  Ecstasy increases the amounts of serotonin in a person’s brain, which causes increased energy and cheerfulness; it also contains anti-coagulative properties, which can cause a person to bleed to death if injured.  Ecstasy can also cause serious brain damage in a short time. Side effects of ecstasy are: depression, increase in heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, chills, brain damage, organ damage and death. Similar “designer drugs” include MDEA and MDA (also known as “Adam” and “Eve”)


Methyphenidate (Ritalin) is a medication prescribed for individuals (usually children) who have a abnormally high level of activity or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It contains amphetamines and can be abused as a stimulant by those other than for whom prescribed.  When abused, the tablets are either taken orally or crushed and snorted.  Some abusers dissolve the tablets in water and inject the mixture – complications can arise from this because insoluble fillers in the tablets can block small blood vessels.


Gamma-hydroxyl butyrate is an intoxication chemical with medical, recreational and potentially dangerous uses.  Its use is illegal for any purpose in the United States. Nicknamed the “date rape drug”, it is a clear liquid often mixed in drinks to promote relaxation or increased sociability.  When taken, side effects can be: drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, amnesia, decreased motor skills, slurring of speech, unrouseable sleep (coma) and death.  GHB was used a dietary supplement until banned by the FDA. GHB is now illegal in the United States. Common slang names for GHB are: G, Liquid X, GBH, Gamma-oh, Blue Verve, Grievous Bodily Harm, Goop and EZLay.

Assistance and Referral

Students can seek help through the School of Career Education Student Services Center.  The School of Career Education Coordinator/Principal will provide assistance for students with alcohol or drug-related problems, including crisis intervention, education, and referral.  Contact the Student Services Center at (951) 826-6695 or (760) 863-3333.

Off-Campus Services

For off-campus services call:

  • Riverside County Drug Abuse Program … (951) 955-2100
  • Indio Substance Abuse Program … (760)-0754
  • Riverside County Alcohol Program … (951) 778-3500
  • The Riverside County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Service, Inc. … (760) 398-9000
  • Riverside Recovery Resources, Inc. … (800) 801-4673
  • Alcoholics Anonymous:
    Inland Empire Center Office … (909) 825-4700
    Indio … (760) 324-4880
  • American Council on Alcoholism … (800) 527-5344
  • Referral Cocaine Hotline … (951) 359-3895 or  (800) 347-8998
  • Cocaine Anonymous – Inland Empire and Coachella Valley … (951) 359-3895 or (800) 347-8998
  • National Council on Alcoholism/Drug Dependence … (800) NCA-CALL
  • Al Anon:
    Inland Empire … (909) 824-1516
    Indio … (760) 674-9554
  • NA:
    Inland Empire … (951) 243-8899
    Indio … (760) 346-5800 or (800) 834-9303
  • Alcohol/Drug National Referral Line … (800) 821-4357