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Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention

In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides the following information to provide a campus environment free of illicit drug use and alcohol abuse and to prevent the abuse of alcohol and drugs by students and employees.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College believes that illegal drugs and abuse of alcohol have no place in the college environment. The unauthorized manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol is strictly prohibited in all facilities of the college, in all places where employees/students work/attend, including all state-owned vehicles, and as any part of the college's activities. As a condition of employment/enrollment, all employees/students shall abide by this prohibition and notify the college of any criminal drug or alcohol use. Violation of such prohibition shall result in action against the employee/student, which shall include action up to and including termination/expulsion, and/or satisfactory participation in an approved drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. Participation in such a program shall not be paid for by the college, but may be covered by a(n) employee's/student's health insurance policy.

No student may engage in the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on the Georgia Northwestern Technical College's property or as part of any of its sponsored activities.

Such unlawful activity may be considered sufficient grounds for serious punitive action, including expulsion. Disciplinary sanctions for students convicted of a felony offense involving alcohol or the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, controlled substances, or other illegal or dangerous drugs shall be immediate suspension and denial of further state and/or federal funds from the date of conviction. Specifically, in the case of a drug-related offense, the student shall minimally be suspended for the remainder of the term and forfeit all academic credit for that period.

GNTC shall notify the appropriate state/federal funding agency within 10 days after receiving notice of the conviction from the student or otherwise after receiving the actual notice of conviction.

Within 30 days of notification of conviction, the Technical College shall with respect to any student so convicted:

  1. Take additional appropriate action against such student up to and including expulsion as it deems necessary.
  2. Provide such student with a description of any drug or alcohol counseling treatment, or rehabilitation or re-entry programs that are available for such purposes by a federal, state or local health, law enforcement or other appropriate agency.

Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol

The use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol can, and in many instances, very probably will lead to serious health problems, chemical dependency, deterioration of the quality of life, and, if untreated, early death.

  • Cocaine provides a short-lived "high" followed by depression, paranoia, anxiety, guilt, anger, and fear. It can cause rapid physical and psychological addiction. In some instances, cocaine may cause a heart attack or sudden death, even on the first use. The dangers of this highly addictive drug and its close derivative, "crack", are evidenced daily through the news media. Overdose of cocaine (or other stimulants) can cause agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, and possible death.
  • Marijuana, like cocaine, provides a short-term high, and like cocaine, it is addictive. While the "high" may last only a short time, traces remain in the body for a month or more, inhibiting short-term memory, reducing reaction time, and impairing visual tracking. It may also cause an inability to abstract and understand concepts. In some instances, it can depress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack, and contribute to lung diseases, and infertility. Marijuana and other cannabis can cause euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, increased appetite, and disoriented behavior. Overdose can cause fatigue, paranoia, and possible death.
  • Depressants such as barbiturates, chloral hydrate, benzodiazepines, etc., can cause slurred speech, disorientation, and drunken behavior without the odor of alcohol. Overdose can cause shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death.
  • Hallucinogens such as LSD, Mescaline and Peyote, amphetamine variants, etc., can cause illusions and hallucinations, and poor perception of time and distance. Overdose can cause longer, more intense illusionary hallucinatory episodes, psychosis, and possible death.
  • Narcotics such as opium, heroin, morphine, and codeine can cause euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils, and nausea. Overdose of narcotics can cause slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and possible death.
  • Prescription drugs, used improperly, can cause tiredness, or hyperactivity, impaired reflexes, brain damage, and, in some instances, addiction or death.
  • Alcohol used abusively, will impair judgment, result in anxiety, and feelings of guilt, depression, and isolation. Prolonged use may cause liver and heart disease, cancer, psychological problems, and dependency in the form of alcoholism. Alcohol use by pregnant women is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in children.

Criminal Sanctions

Under Georgia and federal law, it is a crime to possess, manufacture, sell, or distribute illegal drugs. As required by federal regulations, charts at the current Safe and Secure Website detail federal penalties for drug trafficking and state sanctions for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs.

Federal sanctions for the illegal possession of drugs include imprisonment up to 1 year and/or a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction; imprisonment for 15 days to 2 years and a minimum fine of $2,500 for a second drug conviction; and imprisonment for 90 days to 3 years and a minimum fine of $5000 for a third or subsequent drug conviction. For possession of a mixture or substance which contains a cocaine base, federal sanctions include 5 to 20 years in prison and a minimum fine of $1000 for a first conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 5 grams, for a second conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 3 grams, and for a third or subsequent conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 1 gram. Additional possible penalties for the illegal possession of drugs are a forfeiture of real or personal property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if the offense is punishable by more than 1-year imprisonment; forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used, or intended for use, to transport or conceal drugs; civil fine up to $10,000 per violation; denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses for up to 1 year for the first and up to 5 years for a second or subsequent offense; successful completion of a drug treatment program; community service; and ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm.

Georgia law prohibits the purchase or possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 or the furnishing of alcohol to such a person. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs also is illegal. It is against Georgia law, under certain circumstances, to walk and be upon a roadway while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The punishment for these offenses may include imprisonment, payment of fines, mandatory treatment and education programs, community service, and mandatory loss of one's driver's license.

The use, possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensing, and trafficking of illegal drugs is prohibited by federal law. Strict penalties are provided for drug convictions, including mandatory prison terms for many offenses. The following information, although not complete, is an overview of potential federal statutory maximum penalties.

However, precise federal sentencing is governed by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Please note that sentencing under these guidelines can result in penalties that are more severe than the federal statutory maximums and which are more severe than the penalties imposed under state law under certain circumstances.

A federal drug conviction may result in the denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for the first offense, up to five years for second and subsequent offenses [21 U.S.C. sec. 853]. Moreover, any person convicted of a federal drug offense punishable by more than one year in prison will forfeit personal and real property related to the violation, including homes, vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other personal belongings [21 U.S.C. sec. 853(a)(2), 881(a)(7) and 881(a)(4)].

Further, persons convicted on federal drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of Georgia Northwestern Technical College may face penalties of prison terms and fines that are twice as high as regular penalties for the offense, with a mandatory prison sentence of at least one year {921 U.S.C. sec. 845(a)].

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Education Programs

A variety of counseling services and treatment centers are available throughout the state for anyone experiencing problems related to substance abuse. Although most counseling and treatment centers charge for their services, some programs are free of charge. Faculty, staff, and students should avail themselves of sources to identify the services or programs which most closely meet their specific needs.

The following agencies can be contacted for assistance with drug/alcohol abuse related issues:


Georgia Northwestern Technical College does not guarantee that outside websites comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Local Organizations by City

  • Alcoholics Anonymous - Calhoun Group, Calhoun, GA,  706-255-0177
  • Citizens Against Meth and Other Addictive Diseases, Calhoun, GA, 770-548-4876
  • Calhoun Counseling Center, Calhoun, GA, 706-602-0339
  • Counseling Associates, Calhoun, GA, 706-291-9522
  • Georgia Residential Treatment, Cedartown, GA, 770-749-2360
  • Alcoholics Anonymous – Cedartown, Cedartown, GA, 770-748-2640
  • Bradford Health Services, Chattanooga, TN, 866-246-3216
  • Narcotics Anonymous, Rocky Face, GA, 706-279-9974
  • Alcolicos Anonimos Aprendiendo, Dalton, GA, 706-278-0878
  • Alcohol & Drug, Alcoholics Anonymous, Dalton, GA,  706-279-9944
  • Georgia Hope, Dalton, GA, 706-279-0405
  • Georgia Highlands Center/Child and Adolescent, Dalton, GA, 706-270-5047
  • Georgia Highlands Center/Adult, Dalton, GA, 706-270-5005
  • Georgia Highlands Center Treatment, Dalton, GA,  706-270-5100
  • Hamilton Medical Center, Dalton, GA,  706-272-6480
  • Highland Rivers for appointment, Dalton, GA, 706-270-5158
  • Highland Rivers, New Hope Women’s Center, Dalton, GA, 706-270-5040
  • Westcott Center/Crisis Line/Outpatient, Dalton, GA, 706-272-6560
  • Lookout Mountain Community Services, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA, 706-861-3387
  • The Center for Hope, Ft. Oglethorpe, GA, 706-866-0917
  • LMJC Drug Task Force (Com. Larry Black),  LaFayette, GA, 706-638-5570
  • DUI/Defensive Driving School, Ringgold, GA, 706-937-9900 
  • Floyd Behavioral Health, Rome, GA, 706-509-3500
  • Chemical Health Associates, Rome, GA,  706-236-9079
  • Counseling Associates of NW GA, Rome, GA, 706-291-9522
  • Highland Rivers Center, Rome, GA, 706-233-9023
  • Meth Free Project, Rome, GA, 706-233-9866
  • WIN Georgia (Wraparound Imitative NW GA), Rome, GA, 706-844-2989
  • Alcohol Anonymous – Rome Group, Rome, GA, 678-462-1773
  • New Horizons Treatment Center, Rome, GA, 706-233-9603
  • Floyd Behavioral Health, Rome, GA, 706-509-3500
  • Women’s Outreach Center, Rome, GA,  706-291-7201
  • Star House (Men only), Rome, GA, 706-204-8135

Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator

Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or 1-800-662-HELP.

Alcoholics Anonymous In Georgia Meeting Locator

Find a Meeting

Get Inclusive and Voices for Change

GNTC has partnered with Get Inclusive, whose mission is to create more inclusive and empathetic communities. Get Inclusive provides students with Voices for Change, a series of courses on consent and sexual violence, alcohol and other drugs, and hazing and intimidation. GNTC expects students to complete these courses during their first semester of enrollment. These online programs provide students with skills to help intervene in harmful situations impacting themselves or others.

Tobacco-Free at GNTC

GNTC is helping to promote a Healthier Lifestyle. Check out these helpful resources.

Biennial Review

In accordance with the requirements of the Drug-Fee Schools and Campuses Regulations of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, GNTC conducts biennial reviews of its program.

To obtain a copy of the most recent biennial review, please contact Stuart Phillips, Vice President of Student Affairs.