Sample Substance Policy for Students

Below is a sample substance policies from the Maine School Management Association to assist your school district. Contact us for additional assistance in policy development and best practice strategies.


The School Board and staff of the school unit support a safe and healthy learning environment for students that is free of the detrimental effects of drugs and alcohol.  Accomplishing this goal requires a cooperative effort among school staff, students, parents, law enforcement and organizations concerned with the use of drugs and alcohol by school-aged youth.

In order to promote the safety, health and well being of students, the School Board endorses a three-pronged approach to address the issue of drug and alcohol use; prevention/education; intervention and discipline.   The Superintendent is responsible for developing appropriate administrative procedures, curricula and programs to implement this policy.

Prohibited Conduct

No student shall distribute, dispense, possess, use or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage, malt beverage, fortified wine or other intoxicating liquor.  Nor shall a student manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use or be under the influence of “bath salts;” any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, anabolic steroid; any other controlled substance defined in federal and state laws/regulations; any look-alike substance; or any substance that is represented to be a controlled substance.

These prohibitions apply to any student who is on school property, who is in attendance at school or at any school-sponsored activity, or whose conduct at any time or place directly interferes with the operations, discipline or general welfare of the school.

Disciplinary Action

Principals may suspend and/or recommend expulsion of students who violate this policy, based upon the facts of each case and in accordance with established disciplinary procedures.  Students may also be referred to law enforcement authorities for investigation and/or prosecution.


The school unit will provide students with appropriate information and activities focused on educating students about drugs and alcohol and preventing their use.  Programs shall teach students that the use of drugs and alcohol is wrong and harmful; how to resist peer pressure; and address the legal, social and health consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.


The school unit will establish a team approach [OR other approach as determined by the school unit] to intervene with students with drug/alcohol problems.  Students will be assisted in addressing their drug/alcohol problems and in continuing their educational program.  Students will be provided with information and referral, if necessary, to aid them in obtaining assistance from appropriate community organizations.  Student records concerning such interventions shall be kept confidential as required by state and federal laws.

Policy Communication

The school unit shall distribute this policy and appropriate related information to staff, students and parents on an annual basis through handbooks and/or other means selected by the Superintendent and building administrators.


Legal Reference: 21 USC § 812 (Controlled Substances Act), 21 CFR Part 1300.11-15, P.L. 101-226 (Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989), 17-A MRSA § 1101, 22 MRSA §§ 2390-2394, 42 USC § 290dd-2, 42 CFR § 2.1 et seq., 20-A MRSA §§ 1001(9); 4008
Cross Reference: GBEC – Drug-Free Workplace, JICIA – Weapons, Violence and School Safety, JKD – Suspension of Studentsm JKE – Expulsion of Students, JLCD – Administering Medication to Students, JRA – Student Education Records
PLEASE NOTE: MSMA sample policies and other resource materials do not necessarily reflect official Association policy.  They are not intended for verbatim replication.  Sample policies should be used as a starting point for a board’s policy development on specific topics.  Rarely does one board’s policy serve exactly to address the concerns and needs of all other school units.  MSMA recommends a careful analysis of the need and purpose of any policy and a thorough consideration of the application and suitability to the individual school system. MSMA sample policies and other resource materials may not be considered as legal advice and are not intended as a substitute for the advice of a board’s own legal counsel.