A downloadable PDF of the handbook is currently being updated.

Drug Policy

Rhodes is an institution committed to practicing conscientious respect, Rhodes College will not condone the use of illegal substances and the misuse of over the counter (OTC) or prescription medication. Individuals who use or misuse these substances run the risk of damaging their bodies or their minds.

Students are expected to comply with federal and state law as it concerns controlled substances. This means that the consumption, sale, manufacture, possession, distribution (including gifts), and/or illegal use of controlled substances is prohibited. Controlled substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine/cocaine derivatives
  • Heroin
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • LSD
  • PCP
  • Substances known as “designer drugs” such as ecstasy or eve 

Students who share, gift, sell, or distribute their prescription medication to others are violating College policy and the law, and such actions are prohibited. Students who are prescribed medication are expected to keep that medication in a safe place and to only use it as their physician or healthcare provider has prescribed.  Possession of a Medical Marijuana prescription/card does not exempt a student from this policy. 

Even though a substance is not intended to be inhaled or consumed, the College recognizes that there are some substances that can be abused in this way. Students who utilize other mind-altering substances including, but not limited to, aerosols, amyl nitrate, ephedrine, glue, nitrous oxide, paint, volatile solvents, any cannabis-related Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta 10 substances and other similar substances are also in violation of this policy.

Drug Paraphernalia

The possession or use of drug paraphernalia is often an indication that an individual is in possession of or is using controlled substances. Drug paraphernalia is defined as any equipment that is used to produce, conceal, and/or consume controlled substances, such as, but not limited to, bongs, grinders or pipes. Possession of drug paraphernalia is prohibited by the College. 

Shared Responsibility Statement – Drugs

Students who are found to be present in an environment where illegal drug use or drug paraphernalia is present will be held responsible for a “Shared Responsibility Drug” violation. This violation will result in a warning and drug education.

Summary of State Law Concerning Drugs

Students may also face legal consequences for their actions involving substance use. Those consequences may involve criminal prosecution, imprisonment, fines, and loss of their financial aid. 

The following summary of the Tennessee Code Annotated is provided to promote increased awareness of the Tennessee laws concerning controlled substances. This summary is not intended to be a restatement of the law nor a summary of all of the laws relating to controlled substances. All members of the Rhodes community are responsible for compliance with laws concerning controlled substances.

It is a criminal offense to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, or possess with the intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell controlled substances. The State of Tennessee defines seven categories of controlled substances. Depending upon the type and quantity of substance, felony penalties include fines ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 and imprisonment for not less than one year to not more than 60 years.

For misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, the penalty is imprisonment of not more than 11 months and 29 days and a $2,500 fine.

The term “drug paraphernalia” means any equipment, products, and materials of any kind which are primarily used, intended for use, or designed for use by the person in possession of them, in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body, a controlled substance. (T.C.A. 39-17-425).

The maximum penalty for unlicensed possession of drug paraphernalia is a Class A misdemeanor with imprisonment up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine.

The maximum penalty for the unlicensed possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to sell, deliver, or manufacture a controlled substance is a Class E felony with imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than six years, or a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

Denial of Federal Aid (20 USC 1091) 

Under the Higher Education Act of 1998, students convicted under federal or state law for the sale or possession of drugs will have their federal financial aid eligibility suspended. This includes all federal grants, loans, federal work study programs, and more. Students convicted of drug possession will be ineligible for one year from the date of the conviction of the first offense, two years for the second offense, and indefinitely for the third offense. Students convicted of selling drugs will be ineligible for two years from the date of the first conviction, and indefinitely for the second offense. Those who lose eligibility can regain eligibility by successfully completing an approved drug rehabilitation program.

Health Risks 

People who abuse drugs risk damage to both their mental and physical health.  More information about the health risks associated with the use of illegal substances or the misuse of medication can be found within the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health https://addiction.surgeongeneral.gov/.  

Confidential Counseling Resources

Rhodes is committed to student health and safety first and foremost. If a student is engaged in the use of substances or the misuse of OTC/prescription medication and wishes to seek help, there are several resources on and off campus that are able to support. Students can visit Student Health Services to speak with a nurse practitioner or they can make an appointment with someone in the Counseling Center. More information about substance abuse support can also be found on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration’s website https://www.samhsa.gov/

The following local resources are available to Rhodes students:

Student Counseling Center 
Moore Moore 

Student Health Center

Moore Moore


Lakeside Behavioral Health System
2911 Brunswick Rd, Memphis, TN 38133

Memphis Alcohol and Drug Council/NCA, Inc.
1430 Poplar Ave., Memphis, TN 38104

Memphis Area Intergroup Association (Alcoholics Anonymous)
3540 Summer Avenue, Suite 104, Memphis, TN 38122
8 901-454-1414 (24 Hour Helpline)

Methodist Health Care/Lamar Campus/Addictions Services
Methodist Central
1265 Union Ave., Suite 105 Sherard, Memphis, TN 38104

Mid-Town Mental Health Center
 427 Dr. ML King Jr Ave, Memphis, TN 38126
901-577-0200, ext. 370

Charter Parkwood Hospital
8135 Goodman Rd., Olive Branch, MS 38654

Southeast Mental Health Winchester Center (Alliance Healthcare Services) 
3810 Winchester, Memphis, TN 38118

Veterans Administration Medical Center – Alcohol and Drug Unit
(for veterans and families only)
1030 Jefferson Ave., Memphis, TN 38104
901-532-8990, ext. 5706

Rhodes College is committed to the health and safety of its students. The College hosts numerous educational programs and shares information widely about the dangers of substance use and the implications it can have on student’s lives. For more information about such programs, visit the  Student Health Center | Rhodes Siteshttps://www.rhodes.edu/student-life/services-support/student-health-services.