Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy
It is the policy of the University that illicit drug use, including their manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use is prohibited in the workplace, on the campus, or as part of any university activities. Sanctions imposed 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 the college student can not be overlooked in terms of its cost to the individual student and the institution. For specific information related to alcohol and other drug consumption and consequences, go to the Higher Education Center website at www.higheredcenter.org.
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 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 of Houston.
l. Workplace means the physical boundaries of the University and facilities owned or controlled by the University.
The unlawful use of drugs or abuse of other drugs and 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 program 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 others. 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.
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 Student Disciplinary Policies and Procedures regarding the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on campus or at university sponsored events (see Student Disciplinary Policies and Procedures Section) 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.
In addition, there are penalties under Texas and federal law. For more information on the range of penalties, refer to the Dean of Students website at www.uh.edu/dos/publications/flyers.php.
Employee and Student Assistance Programs
The University of Houston offers the following drug and alcohol abuse information, counseling, assistance and services:
1. Information and Referral - Faculty, Staff and Students may schedule an initial consultation appointment with a clinician at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for assistance with drug and/or alcohol concerns. CAPS is located in Student Service Center 1 in room 226 and can be reached at 713-743-5454. During an initial consultation, the CAPS clinician will gather information and give feedback. In cases where treatment is indicated, the clinician will determine which services would be the best match for the presenting concerns (e.g. treatment at CAPS or a specialist in the community) In addition, UH Wellness, the campus wide education and prevention program, provides education and prevention on alcohol/drug abuse and related concerns for the campus community and maintains a library of materials on substance use and abuse.
2. Individual Counseling - CAPS focuses on brief clinical services that address the mental health needs of college students. Faculty and staff are eligible for an initial consultation and, when indicated, sometimes meet for a follow-up session to assist in making referrals as needed. Given that the severity of drug and alcohol problems can be wide-ranging, referrals are often made to treatment providers in the community for long-term or specialized treatment.
3. Group Counseling - Current information about local support groups is available at www.aahouston.org and www.al-anon.alateen.org
4. Psycho-Educational Programs - UH Wellness offers an evidence based alcohol education intervention to student groups every semester. Additionally, a computer interactive program entitled Alcohol 101 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.
5. The University of Houston offers an Employee Assistance Program through UT Employee Assistance Programs (UTEAP) which will assist in mental health concerns including alcohol and other drug issues. The service can be accessed by calling 713-500-3327 or 1-800-346-3549.
6. Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston – a local community resource for treatment and referrals, located at 303 Jackson Hill Street, 713-942-4100
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, E) are applicable to all persons employed on federal contracts and grants. In support of this policy, the University:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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 days after such conviction.
4. Will notify the appropriate federal agency within 10 days after receiving notice of criminal drug statute conviction of any university employee engaged in performance of the grant or contract.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Implementation of this policy is a joint responsibility of the Department of Human Resources, the Division of Research, the Police Department, the Office of Financial Aid and the Division of Student Affairs. Notification of the program, including information about health risks and sanctions for violation of the policy, will be provided annually to students and employees. In addition, the University is committed to monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of this program. A biennial review of the program will be undertaken to determine its effectiveness and implement changes to the program if they are needed and to ensure that its disciplinary standards are consistently enforced.