University of California, Santa Barbara

Print This Page

UCSB Policies & Programs

UC and UCSB Substance Abuse Policies and Campus Regulations govern the behavior of students, faculty, staff, and student organizations. These policies prohibit the use of illegal substances and the abuse of legal substances in a manner that impairs scholarly activities, job performance, or student life. These policies are available at In addition, students living in university-owned housing are subject to substance use policies outlined in the Residential Life Handbook. Students who violate policies, rules, and regulations are subject to disciplinary action by Housing and Residential Services, and/or the Office of Judicial Affairs.

UCSB uses a comprehensive research-based approach to the prevention of problems associated with college alcohol and drug use on campus and in the surrounding community. UCSB’s efforts to prevent and reduce high-risk drinking and drug use include strategies such as education, early intervention and referral to counseling, changes to the environment on campus and in Isla Vista, strict policies and enforcement, and evaluation of our efforts. A wide variety of campus and community agencies work collaboratively to promote a healthy and safe learning and living environment for UCSB students.

Alcohol and Drug Program (ADP) Services, under auspices of UCSB Student Health Service

Alcohol and Drug Program counselors work with both individual students and groups of students on issues related to alcohol and drug use. Professionals and specially trained peer health educators provide a variety of educational and prevention-oriented programs on campus and in the community of Isla Vista.

Information, education, counseling, support, and referrals are available to students and are provided in a non-judgmental environment by Alcohol and Drug Program (ADP) counselors and staff. Free services are offered at Student Health Services on campus and Embarcadero Hall in Isla Vista including:

•   Confidential counseling on alcohol and drug issues

•   Individual and group support for students in recovery from alcohol or drugs

•   Seminars, workshops, and information on alcohol, drugs, tobacco, marijuana, gambling, and other addictive behaviors

•   Free and confidential tobacco cessation counseling and education

•   Internet tools for on-line access to alcohol and drug information and confidential risk assessment

•   Assessment, information, and referrals for students experiencing alcohol or other drug-related emergencies

•   Consultation for students, parents, faculty and staff who are concerned about a UCSB student

•   Free thirty-minute guided Meditation Groups, twice weekly, for students to learn to manage emotions and stress in a healthy way

UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program Group Services


The UCSB Alcohol and Drug Program offers several five-session psycho-educational courses (CASE: College Alcohol and Substance Education; SAM: Skills, Awareness and Motivation and INSIGHT) based upon the latest research in alcohol and drug prevention for college students. These programs are intervention programs intended to help college students determine their own level of risk, develop the skills needed to reduce their drinking and/or drug use and utilize additional treatment resources as needed. UCSB’s Alcohol and Drug Program has partnered with the Office of Residential Life to implement these programs. A fee is imposed for students who violate alcohol and drug policies in the residence halls and are referred for an education program. These programs are also available to students who are referred through the Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Course content includes:

•   Alcohol and drug information (such as the effects of binge drinking on blood alcohol concentration and substance use interactions)

•   Discussion of health, social, academic, and legal consequences of college alcohol and other drug use

•   Risk reduction strategies and skills (including how identify an alcohol or drug emergency)

•   Strategies for preventing future problems with alcohol and drugs

For information or assistance about the Alcohol and Drug Program services, please call (805) 893-5013. Students can make confidential appointments with an ADP counselor by calling Student Health Service appointment desk; (805) 893-3371. Online appointments are also available for booking at

Some Warning Signs of a Problem with Alcohol or Drugs

Some college students develop problems with alcohol or drug use. The following is a list of warning signs to be aware of:

•   Mood and/or behavior changes

•   Use of alcohol or drugs in response to emotional ups and downs, or as an attempt to self-medicate an existing psychological condition

•   Interference with school/work performance or attendance

•   Legal or financial problems as a result of using

•   Blackouts

•   High tolerance for alcohol or other drugs

•   Loss of control and inability to predict behavior when under the influence

•   Family history of alcohol or other drug problems

New Student Requirement- Part 1:

As part of UCSB’s comprehensive approach to education and prevention, all new undergraduate freshman, EAP, and transfer students are required to complete the online AlcoholEDU and Haven courses, These courses include sections on alcohol, drugs, and sexual violence and. were developed specifically for college students, providing personalized health information, interactive tools, and coping strategies that are up-to-date and scientifically accurate. The topics covered in the course affect the entire campus and will help students make safer and more responsible choices for themselves and the community.

The only information reported to UCSB will be name, student ID, start and completion dates, and certificate status, indicating a passing score of 80% or higher in each section. All other responses are confidential.

New Student Requirement- Part 2:

GauchoFYI is required for all new undergraduate freshman, EAP, and transfer students. They will attend a two-hour peer and staff facilitated workshop within the first 4 weeks of Fall Quarter.

In order to successfully complete the New Student Requirement, all new students must complete Parts 1 and 2.  Failure to complete these requirements may result in a block being put on registration and could prevent students from registering for classes in future quarters. 

Details about the new student requirement, including how to sign up for GAUCHO FYI sessions will be sent to u-mail accounts over the summer.

For questions about this requirement please email

Parental Notification

UCSB conducts parental notification as part of the University’s ongoing effort to address the negative consequences of high risk drinking and substance abuse in the community of Isla Vista. Utilizing public records, UCSB sends letters of concern to undergraduate students, and informs parents, if students are arrested or cited for an alcohol or drug-related offense in Isla Vista and other areas adjacent to campus. Through this notification program both students and parents are provided with resource and referral assistance and information, as well as suggestions for how to address and reduce high-risk behaviors. Questions or concerns about parental notification should be addressed to the Dean of Students Office at (805) 893-4569.

Isla Vista Residence Host Training provides an on-line Resident Host Certification Course that teaches student residents to know the law and consequences around alcohol use, to understand their lease restrictions, and to develop appropriate practices for hosting responsible social gatherings. Listed on the Web site are the property management companies in Isla Vista that have signed agreements with ACT and will accept students’ certificates. These companies will treat the certificate just like a positive renter reference or high credit score and are eager to have student residents who show this kind of knowledge and commitment. This course is designed by community experts and students with the aim of reaching higher levels of awareness regarding safety and responsible alcohol use in Isla Vista. Visit for more information.

Tobacco Cessation and Prevention

Call It Quits: the tobacco cessation program developed by UCSB’s Alcohol and Drug Program provides education, prevention, and cessation services to UCSB students. The program works to raise awareness about the effects of tobacco, prevent non-smokers from becoming tobacco users, help users break their addiction to tobacco, and protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke. The program offers information and education, intake and assessment, individual and group counseling, relapse prevention, monitoring and evaluation of individual progress, follow up and ongoing support, and referral services. Most adult smokers want to quit. Whether a student is ready to quit smoking or is considering it, the Call It Quits Program can provide a safe and non-judgmental place to talk about the challenges of overcoming nicotine addiction. Free and confidential tobacco cessation counseling is available to all UCSB students. Upon visiting the tobacco specialist, a student may try a Nicotine Replacement Therapy (gum, patch, lozenge) at no cost for two months. For more information or an appointment, call (805) 893-5013.

Local Laws and County Ordinances

Campus Police and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol strictly enforce the law on campus and in Isla Vista. For their own safety, students will be cited or arrested if they are found to be breaking the law; therefore, UCSB students should be familiar with local and state laws and County ordinances. A list of these laws and ordinances as well as penalties and fines can be found on the Isla Vista Foot Patrol Web site at The following is a partial list of illegal activities that carry stiff fines and/or suspension of a driver’s license; some violations will result in arrest and booking into jail:

•   Minor in possession of alcohol

•   Furnishing alcohol to a minor

•   Driving/biking under the influence

•   Public consumption of alcohol

•   Display of an open container of alcohol

•   Possession of alcohol in Isla Vista parks or beaches

•   Public intoxication

•   Possession of marijuana

•   Possession of drug paraphernalia

•   Possession of false identification

•   Urinating in public

•   Nighttime noise violation (Amplified noise Sun.-Thurs. after 10pm; Fri./Sat. after 12 midnight)

•   Disturbing the peace

•   Social Host Liability Ordinance (a civil citation that holds individuals responsible for hosting, or knowingly providing a place for underage drinking to occur)


Alternatives to the College Party Scene

Students who choose not to drink or use substances at UCSB are not alone. Approximately 20% of UCSB students do not drink alcohol. At UCSB there are plenty of things to do on weekends that do not involve partying. UCSB After Dark Late Nite Social Programming is a university-wide effort that focuses on changing the campus social culture through creating and supporting activities and venues that do not focus on alcohol. UCSB After Dark, in collaboration with student organizations, Associated Students, campus departments and local businesses, develop regular alcohol-free options and provide new entertainment and recreational opportunities. The UCSB After Dark intern is also a resource for students who want to connect with others socially outside of the college party scene. Students can contact or visit for advice, resources, and more information about how to get involved.

Arts & Lectures, the MultiCultural Center, Residence Halls Association, and A.S. Program Board present weekend concerts, films, cultural programs, and entertainment throughout the year. Campus entertainment options also include the UCen’s “After Hours @ the Hub,” which includes a variety of free, late night events such as concerts, dances, talent showcases and comedy shows. UCSB’s “IV Live” performance series offers a double-dose of improvisational comedy with two shows in Isla Vista featuring students from Improvability, UCSB’s premier comedy troupe. Isla Vista is also home to the Magic Lantern film series, presenting a wide range of new, independent, and cult movies twice on Friday nights. For more information visit the UCSB Events Calender:

Student-initiated social, recreational, and entertainment activities and events are also planned by student organizations every weekend. For weekend happenings, students can look for student initiative events on the Office of Student Life Website