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Policy on Prevention of Substance Abuse 

1. Definition of Terms

This policy refers to the possession, use, abuse and distribution of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, on the DBCL campus within the limits defined in the following paragraphs. The following terms may be understood as follows:

  • DBCL Campus: It refers not only to its geographical location on Premier Road, Kurla West, but also to the institutions viz. St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute, Don Bosco Maritime Academy, Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Don Bosco College, Don Bosco Institute of Technology MMS that individually and/or jointly form part of the “Don Bosco Centre for Learning”; it also refers to the class hours of the various institutions at DBCL. Hence, whenever and wherever these institutions operate singly or jointly they signify “DBCL Campus”. 
  • Substance and Alcohol: These terms generally refer to drugs, tobacco, alcohol or chemicals, which result in physical, psychological and emotional harm to the user or others and make the user dependent on it. 
  • Alcohol: Specifically includes those beverages that contain liquors (such as beer, wine, whisky etc.), or contain an intoxicating agent that can make a person drunk and are habit forming.
  • Possession: Refers to the unlawful holding or controlling of illicit substances like drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
  • Use: It refers to the unlawful personal use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol.  
  • Abuse: The repeated unlawful use of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, accompanied by other aggravating behaviour as a consequence of their consumption.
  • Distribution: The unlawful sale, exchange, or giving of those substances (drugs, tobacco and alcohol) to one or more persons. 

2. Purpose of the Policy

  • To comply with the intention of creating and maintaining DBCL Campus a drug-free, alcohol-free, smoke-free institution.
  • To set forth the standards and regulations associated with the possession, use, consumption, service or distribution of drugs, tobacco and alcohol at DBCL. 
  • To put in place the manner and procedure in which allegations of any abuse of the policy will be addressed at DBCL.
  • To empower the relevant authorities to provide resources and training for those seeking information about substance abuse, to offer training to prevent one from becoming a victim of these substances, and to assist and rehabilitate those struggling with such abuse and addiction.

3. To Whom the Policy Applies 

This policy which concerns the possession, use, or distribution of drugs, tobacco and alcohol applies to all students, faculty, staff and management of DBCL. There are, however, different levels of responsibility and application.

Since the policy is of a general nature, the institutions within the DBCL Campus will see to the specific details related to the application of this policy. These institutions should nominate a staff member who will serve as the local Reference Person for matters related to this policy for the respective institution. A student, preferably the class leader, should be nominated as a student reference person for issues related to substance abuse.

4. General Conduct associated with Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol

DBCL is committed to creating and maintaining a campus environment that is free of drugs, tobacco and alcohol. The DBCL policy set forth below applies to all students and staff and at all events or activities which are sponsored by DBCL or by a DBCL institution. 

The abuse of drugs, tobacco and alcohol is antithetical to the pursuit of educational excellence and the realization of one’s full potential as a student and as member of this community. Accordingly, DBCL takes very seriously its obligation to address the issue of all forms of substance abuse, because it considers them hazardous to an individual’s health and safety, and an impediment to his/her academic and personal success. 

We believe that the best way to maintain an appropriate campus environment with respect to drugs, tobacco and alcohol is through preventive education about the dangers of substance abuse and offer at the same time a compassionate attention to those who require help with substance-related problems. To this end DBCL provides on-campus support programs and services and as much as possible information about related services through the Campus Ministry Office. 

5. Statement of Policy on Prevention of Substance (Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol) Abuse

The use, possession, consumption, sale or distribution of drugs, tobacco and alcohol is prohibited on the DBCL campus, in each and every facility and at all campus functions.

Each individual DBCL institution is responsible for making known and for advising all their staff, faculty and students about the mandatory nature of this policy. 

DBCL is concerned about the welfare of individuals, and recognizes the importance of maintaining the safety and well-being of the community as a whole. As soon as a member of the staff identifies a substance abuser, he/she should immediately refer the case to the counsellors for psychological guidance.  

Any member of the DBCL campus who feels that that there is illegal possession use or distribution of drugs, tobacco and/or alcohol is encouraged to report the situation to any academic or administrative authority of DBCL. Whistleblowers are guaranteed anonymity.

Anyone at DBCL who is concerned about one’s personal use of drugs, tobacco and/or alcohol or about a friend’s use of these substances is urged to seek assistance through the Counselling Centre of the Campus Ministry Office. Confidentiality in these circumstances will be protected. 

In the event of the violation of this policy a variety of sanctions can be imposed, including fines, denial of access to DBCL facilities and services as well as suspension and even dismissal.

6. Guidelines for Student Conduct/Disciplinary Interventions

When responding to drugs, tobacco and alcohol violations by students, the DBCL authorities may exercise the following options, depending upon the nature of the substance involved, the amount of the substance involved, the disruption of academic life, the actual or potential risk to the community, the conduct record of the student, the cooperation of the student, etc. 

A student who is identified for substance abuse will not be treated as a culprit, nor reprimanded in front of others. He/she should be helped with understanding and with due confidentiality.

Typical responses for initial violation may include: a written warning to be signed by the student and countersigned by the student’s parents (or guardian). The student should be immediately referred for counselling or education. A probation period will be determined by the Head of Department (HOD). Any lack of cooperation either on the part of the student or parent or guardian should bring about stricter action.

In the case of a repeat violation, the student is declared a persona non grata. He/she is suspended from facilities and services of DBCL for a specified period of time determined by the HOD. There should be no delay in deciding and executing this action. According to the gravity of the violation the student could be suspended and even dismissed from DBCL. 

A student suspected of violating the DBCL policy of prevention of substance abuse would be obliged to submit to a medical test (blood, urine or other as required) to remove any suspicion of the same.

7. Role and Responsibility of Parent or Guardian

While DBCL assumes its educative role with respect to the students, their parents (or guardians) continue to have direct responsibility. Their cooperation is necessary in all matters connected with their academic performance and their general behaviour. Hence, they should act as and when an issue related to their ward is brought to their notice.

8. Role of the Campus Ministry Office

Faithful to the Salesian System of Education, DBCL believes that the best way to maintain an appropriate campus environment with respect to substance addiction is through preventive education about the dangers of such abuse. It believes in providing compassionate attention to those who may require help with problems related to substance abuse. 

The Office of the Campus Ministry will, at the request of the individual institutions of the DBCL Campus provide workshops, programmes and services with the purpose of informing and training students about the dangers of substance abuse and addiction.

The Office of the Campus Ministry will create among the students of the campus a sensitivity regarding the effects of substance abuse by posting slogans and posters and other audio-visual aids through the electronic systems. 

The Campus Ministry Office will also maintain an updated list of centres, of NGOs and associations that assist those in need of re-education and rehabilitation from substance abuse. It should also provide guidance and resources through personal counselling for the prevention of substance abuse. 

This policy statement is approved by the authorities of the DBCL (House Council with Heads of Institutions) at their meeting held on 18 January 2016 and will be reviewed and if necessary updated at the beginning of every academic year. 

Cyril de Souza SDB
Campus Minister, DBCL Kurla