On the surface, Messiah's small Grantham campus seems like an alcohol- and drug-free community. And it is—mostly. Alcohol and drug usage does exist at Messiah, but it is small and well-hidden. These substances will in no way fall into your lap (they have been know, however, to occasionally be smelled), so a person who wants this type of activity will need to intentionally seek it out. Students from the local area can be helpful and often have connections to off-campus parties. The majority of students, however, do not use alcohol or drugs, and there is absolutely no pressure to do so. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to pressure one another in the opposite direction—away from these substances.
Since the use of alcohol and drugs is strictly prohibited in the Community Covenant—a set of rules all students are expected to abide by both on and off campus regardless of whether they are underage or of-age—repeat offenses are taken very seriously. Students caught drinking or doing drugs will be evaluated by a peer review board. Penalties will depend on the individual situation and can range from a reprimanding e-mail to expulsion. If a student has a serious alcohol- or drug-related problem and requests assistance voluntarily, the school is more likely to work with them through the counseling process rather than the disciplinary process.