The University of Houston (the “University”) prohibits the unlawful possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of illicit drugs in the workplace, on the campus, or at any University activities. Penalties for violation of this policy are indicated below.
The Dangers of Drug or Alcohol Abuse in the Workplace and on the Campus
There are many employed individuals whose job performance and productivity are adversely affected by their progressive dependence on drugs or alcohol. Much of this cost is in lost wages, health care expenses, and workers compensation. Additionally, the impact of drug use and high risk alcohol consumption for college students cannot be overlooked in terms of its cost to the individual students affected and the University. For specific information related to alcohol and other drug consumption and consequences, go to the National Institute of Drug Abuse website atwww.drugabuse.gov.
The following terms are defined for the purposes of this policy and are important for purposes of expressing the University’s policy on a drug-free workplace:
a. Controlled Substance means a controlled substance in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812), as further defined by regulations at 21 CFR 1300.11 through 1300.15, and as defined in the Texas Controlled
Substances Act (Texas Health & Safety Code, 481.001 et seq).
b. Contract means a legal instrument reflecting a relationship between the federal government and a recipient whenever the principal purpose of the instrument is the acquisition by purchase, lease, or barter, of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the federal government; or whenever an executive agency determines in a specific instance that the use of a type of procurement contract is appropriate.
c. Conviction means finding of guilt (including a plea of
nolo contendere) or imposition of sentence, or both, by any judicial body charged with the responsibility to determine violations of the federal or state criminal drug statutes.
d. Criminal drug statute means a federal or non-federal criminal statute involving the manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, use, or possession of any controlled substance.
e. Employee means an individual receiving a salary, wages, other compensation and/or stipend support from the University.
f. Federal agency or agency means any United States executive department, military department, government corporation, government controlled corporation, or any other establishment in the executive branch (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency.
g. Grant means an award of financial assistance, including a cooperative agreement, in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, by a federal agency directly to a grantee. The term grant includes block grant and entitlement grant programs, whether or not exempted from coverage under the grants management government wide regulation (“Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments”). The term does not include technical assistance which provides services instead of money, or other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, insurance, or direct appropriations; or any veterans’ benefits to individuals; i.e., any benefit to veterans, their families, or survivors by virtue of the service of a veteran in the Armed Forces of the United States.
h. Grantee means a legal entity which applies for or receives a grant or contract directly from a federal agency.
i. Illicit drug use means the use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illegal drugs and the abuse of other drugs and alcohol.
j. Student means an individual registered or enrolled for credit or non-credit in a course or program offered by the University or any of its units.
k. University activities mean an activity officially sponsored by the University.
l. Workplace means the physical boundaries of the University and facilities owned or controlled by the University.
The unlawful use of drugs or alcohol is inconsistent with the behavior expected of members of the University community. The University is committed to the development and maintenance of a drug-free environment on the campus as well as an environment that prohibits the abuse of other drugs and alcohol and has a drug and alcohol abuse prevention system in operation, accessible to all members of the University community. The University is committed to the further expansion of that system and the dissemination of drug awareness information to the members of the University community. In addition, the University is committed to enforcing the provisions of the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1989 and believes that these acts and their implementation regulations provide a proper framework for the drug and alcohol abuse policies of the University.
3. Health Risks
Outlined below is a listing of drugs of abuse and their health risks taken from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration website. A more complete and detailed accounting may be found at their website at www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/abuse/chart.htm
Alcohol (beer, wine, or liquor) has a high potential for physical and psychological dependence as well as resulting in increased tolerance. Possible effects include impaired memory, slurred speech, drunken behavior, slow onset, vitamin deficiency, and organ damage. Overdose may result in vomiting, respiratory depression, loss of consciousness, and possible death. Withdrawal may include trembling, anxiety, insomnia, vitamin deficiency, confusion, hallucinations, and convulsions.
Females who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics. Alcohol use is often related to acquaintance rape and failure to protect oneself from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Additionally, alcohol-related accidents are the number one cause of death in the 16- to 24-year-old age group.
Narcotics (including heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, and others) have a high potential for both physical and psychological dependence as well as resulting in increased tolerance. The possible effects of using narcotics include euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils, and nausea. Overdose may result in shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma, and death. Withdrawal may include irritability, tremors, panic, nausea, chills, and sweating.
Other depressants (including GHB or liquid ecstasy, valium, xanax, ambien, and barbituates) have a potential for both physical and psychological dependence as well as resulting in increased tolerance. The possible side effects include slurred speech, disorientation, appearance of intoxication, and impaired memory. Overdose may result in shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma and possible death. Withdrawal may include anxiety, insomnia, tremors, delirium, convulsions, and possible death.
Stimulants (including cocaine, methamphetamine, and methylphenidate) have a possible risk of physical dependence and high risk for psychological dependence. Tolerance can develop in all stimulants. The possible side effects include increased alertness, excitation, euphoria, increased pulse rate and blood pressure, insomnia, and decreased appetite. Overdose may result in agitation, increased body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, and possible death. Withdrawal may result in apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability, depression, and disorientation.
Hallucinogens (including MDMA, LSD, Phencyclidine, and others) are less likely to result in physical dependence, with the exception of phencyclidines and analogs, and vary in terms of psychological dependence, ranging from none to moderate (MDMA) to high (phencyclidine and analogs). Tolerance can develop. Possible effects include heightened senses, teeth grinding, and dehydration (MDMA and analogs) and hallucinations, altered perception of time and distance in other types of hallucinogens. Overdose may result in increased body temperature and cardiac arrest for MDMA and more intense episodes for LSD. Some hallucinogens may result in muscle aches and depression when in withdrawal (MDMA) or may result in drug seeking behavior.
Cannabis includes marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and hashish or hashish oil. All may result in moderate psychological dependence with THC resulting in physical dependence. Tolerance can develop in all forms. Possible effects include euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, increased appetite, and disorientation. Overdose may result in fatigue, paranoia, and possible psychosis. Withdrawal may occasionally result in insomnia, hyperactivity, and decreased appetite.
Anabolic Steroids (including testosterone and others) may result in psychological dependence. Less is known as to their potential for physical dependence and increased tolerance levels. Possible effects may include virilization, edema, testicular atrophy, gymecomastia, acne, and aggressive behavior. Effects of overdose are unknown. Withdrawal may possibly include depression.
Inhalants (including amyl and butyl nitrite, nitrous oxide, and others) vary in their level of psychological dependence, with less known about their potential for physical dependence and tolerance. Possible effects may include flushing, hypotension, and headache, impaired memory, slurred speech, drunken behavior, slow onset, vitamin deficiency, and organ damage. Overdose may result in methemoglobinemia, vomiting, respiratory depression, loss of consciousness, and possible death. Withdrawal may result in agitation, trembling, anxiety, insomnia, vitamin deficiency, confusion, hallucinations, and convulsions.
4. Penalties for Violation of the Policy
The University policy prohibiting the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and/or alcohol on the campus and at University-sponsored events held off campus protects and supports the employees and students of the University of Houston.
Any employee admitting to or convicted of the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on the campus or at university sponsored events held off campus, will be subject to disciplinary action (up to and including termination), may be referred for prosecution, and may be required to satisfactorily participate in a drug and alcohol assistance or rehabilitation program, as agreed upon between the employee and the Department of Human Resources. Further information concerning employee penalties is available from the Department of Human Resources at 713-743-5770
Any student admitting to or proven to have violated the University of Houston’s policies and procedures regarding the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on campus or at university sponsored events (see the UH Student Code of Conduct http://www.uh.edu/dos/codeofconduct/index.html) will be subject to disciplinary action (up to and including expulsion), may be referred for prosecution, and may be requested to satisfactorily participate in a drug and alcohol assistance or rehabilitation program. Further information concerning student penalties is available from the Dean of Students Office at 713-743-5470. Also refer to the Dean of Students website for an outline of penalties under State and Federal law at http://www.uh.edu/dos/pdf/DrugPenalties2008.pdf.
5. Employee and Student Assistance Programs
The University offers the following drug and alcohol abuse information, counseling, assistance and services:
Information and Referral
All members of the University community are eligible to consult with the professional staff of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) regarding the availability of drug abuse assistance programs. Drug and alcohol abuse counseling and rehabilitation program referrals are routinely made to mutual help organizations, private hospitals, public treatment programs, and private drug treatment practitioners. CAPS also maintains a collection of resource materials pertinent to issues of drug abuse. In addition, UH Wellness, the campus wide education and prevention program, provides education and prevention on alcohol/drug abuse and related concerns for the University community and maintains a library of materials on substance use and abuse.
Currently enrolled students may receive an initial consultation and brief substance abuse counseling. For substance dependence issues, a referral may be made to an appropriate treatment provider. Faculty and staff are eligible for an initial consultation and referral for such services.
There is an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) chapter which meets on campus periodically. When unavailable on campus, referrals can be made to local AA or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) chapter meetings with the Greater Houston Community. This service is free to University of Houston students, faculty, and staff. You can also call AA Intergroup at 713-686-6300 to get a referral to an AA group meeting near you.
On a periodic basis, group programs focusing on the development of strengths and skills related to the effective management of drug related problem areas are offered by Counseling and Psychological Service and UH Wellness. These programs are open to University of Houston students, faculty and staff at no charge. UH Wellness offers an evidence based alcohol education intervention to student groups every semester. Additionally, a computer interactive program entitled Alcohol 101 Plus is available through UH Wellness. UH Wellness conducts exit interviews for students who complete the Marijuana 101 online workshop as a result of a disciplinary referral from the Dean of Students Office. UH Wellness also offers an approved Alcohol Education Course for Minors in Possession available to students who receive a court ordered citation or referrals from the Dean of Students Office or other campus departments.
Houston Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
This community resource offers short-term counseling for anyone affected in any way by alcohol or other drug abuse. Trained alcohol and drug abuse counselors can help select a 12-step program (AA, Alanon, NA, Cocaine Anonymous (CA), etc.) and/or appropriate treatment. Their address is 3333 Eastside, 713-520-5502. Further information regarding these referrals may be secured from University of Houston Counseling and Psychological Services located in Room 226 of the Student Service Center, 713-743-5454.
6. Application of Policy
The Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy is supported by a drug-free awareness and alcohol education and prevention program available to the faculty, staff, and students of the University. Specific compliance and reporting items enumerated below (items b, c, d, and e) are applicable to all persons employed on federal contracts and grants. In support of this policy, the University:
a. has established a drug-free and alcohol abuse awareness program to inform its faculty, staff, and students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace, the University’s policy of maintaining a drug free workplace and a workplace which prohibits the illicit use of alcohol, available drug and alcohol counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs, and the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug and alcohol abuse violations.
b. will provide each student and employee a copy of this policy. In addition, all faculty, staff, and students will be notified of this policy through appropriate publications.
c. will notify each university employee and each student that, as a condition of employment on a federal grant or contract, the person, once so employed, must abide by the terms of the policy, and must notify his/her supervisor and the Department of Human
Resources of any criminal drug statue conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after such conviction.
d. will notify the appropriate federal agency within ten (10) days after receiving notice of criminal drug statute conviction of any university employee engaged in performance of the grant or contract.
e. will impose sanctions on, or require the satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program, by any employee so convicted.
Sanctions imposed on employees for violation of this policy may include suspension, suspension without pay and termination.
f. will make a good faith effort to continue to maintain an environment that complies with the Drug-Free Workplace Act 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
g. will conduct a biennial review of its programs to assess their effectiveness, what changes need to be made, and to ensure the uniform application of sanctions to employees and students.