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Student health and safety are of primary concern at Michigan State University. As such, in cases of significant intoxication or injury as a result of alcohol or other substances (including legal and illicit drugs) that require medical attention, the University encourages individuals to seek medical assistance for themselves or others. MSU recognizes that students may be reluctant to seek medical assistance out of fear of consequences related to possessing or consuming alcohol or drugs. The purpose of the Medical Amnesty Policy is to reduce the barriers to seeking medical assistance for emergencies and promote community wellbeing and safety. When this occurs, the University honors that care by prioritizing educational and supportive responses. The University will not pursue disciplinary action through the university student conduct process for violations of the University’s alcohol and other drug policies for students who take such action (for themselves or others). 

What is Medical Amnesty?

Medical amnesty is exemption from discipline for violations of university drug- or alcohol-use/possession policies for Michigan State University students seeking immediate medical assistance for themselves or on behalf of persons experiencing drug- or alcohol-related emergencies and for MSU students requiring medical attention related to a drug- or alcohol-related emergency. Instead, the students will meet with University personnel and be assigned educational interventions when there is concern regarding the safety of a student in connection to the student’s alcohol or drug use.

The full policy, including student eligibility information, can be accessed by clicking this link: MSU Medical Amnesty Policy

What is a Medical Emergency?

A medical emergency is a serious and unexpected situation involving illness or injury and requiring immediate action. It is not uncommon for medical assistance to be required after consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.

Examples of medical emergency include, but are not limited to:  

  1. Alcohol Poisoning/Overdose
  2. Drug Overdose
  3. Physical injuries as a result of substance use

Signs of substance overdose include:

  • Confusion or stupor
  • Vomiting while passed out, not waking up after vomiting, or incoherence while vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Breathing is slow (less than 8 breaths per minute) or irregular, with 10 seconds or more between breaths
  • Weak pulse, very rapid pulse, or very slow pulse
  • Cold, clammy, pale or bluish skin
  • Loss of consciousness: Inability to awaken a person with loud shouting, or inability of a person to remain awake for more than 2-3 minutes or to carry on a coherent conversation when awake (semi-conscious)
  • A person who has lost consciousness and cannot be awakened is in danger of dying. Help is needed immediately.