Program to Prevent Use of Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

University Policy 711, Program to Prevent Use of Illegal Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

Executive Summary: 

This policy describes the University's program to address the awareness needs of students, faculty and staff with regard to the use of illegal drugs and alcohol abuse. It reminds all members of the University community of their responsibilities for maintaining a drug free environment. The statement also describes the minimum penalties which will be imposed for particular categories of drug offenses, based on the Policy on Illegal Drugs adopted by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina.

General

In keeping with efforts to maintain an environment that supports and encourages the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge, it is the policy of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte to consider the use of illegal drugs or alcohol abuse by students, faculty and staff or by others on premises under University control to be unacceptable conduct that adversely affects the educational environment.

To remind students, faculty and staff of their responsibilities for maintaining a drug free environment, this Policy will be distributed throughout the University community each year. Further, the University considers a sound awareness, education, and training program indispensable in combating illegal use of drugs and alcohol abuse, both as a preventive measure and as a remedy. The scope of the University program addresses the awareness needs of students, faculty, administrators, and other staff members and includes the following minimum components.

  • The health hazards associated with the use of illegal drugs and alcohol abuse.
  • The incompatibility of the use of illegal drugs or abuse of alcohol with maximum achievement of personal, social, and educational goals.
  • The potential legal consequences (including both criminal law and University discipline) of illegal drug abuse and alcohol abuse.
  • The effective use of available campus and community resources in dealing with illegal drug use and alcohol abuse problems.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Policy, the following definitions apply:

The term “alcohol abuse” is defined as a pattern of alcohol use leading to impairment or distress, including

  1. alcohol use that contributes to (a) a failure to meet satisfactory job expectations or (b) interference with the ability to perform job responsibilities, (including repeated absences or poor work performance related to alcohol use);
  2. alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous to the user or others;
  3. alcohol-related legal problems; or
  4. social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol use.

The term “illegal drug use” is defined as use of those drugs or substances that is prohibited by state or federal law.

Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all students, faculty, and staff to conduct themselves in a way that contributes to an environment free of illegal drug use and abuse of alcohol. In addition, students, faculty and staff are responsible, as citizens, for knowing about and complying with the provisions of North Carolina law that make it a crime to possess, sell, deliver, or manufacture those drugs designated collectively as "controlled substances" in Article 5 of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes, as well as federal law (Drug Free Workplace Act), which prohibits unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance in the workplace of any employer receiving federal grant funds.

The Director of Wellness Promotion is responsible for designing and carrying out a program of awareness education and training for students on the subject of preventing the illegal use of drugs and abuse of alcohol. The Director of Employee Relations, Training, and Compliance in the Human Resources Department is responsible for awareness education and training programs for faculty and staff members in supervisory positions on the subject of preventing substance abuse.

The Director of the Counseling Center shall, within the limits of available resources, provide services and programs to students seeking assistance with problems of illegal drug use or alcohol abuse. In cases in which the treatment needs of such students exceed the resources of the Center, the Center shall provide referral to appropriate facilities in the community.  The Director of Employee Relations in the Department of Human Resources Services shall provide faculty and staff information regarding the University's Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which will offer consultation about alcohol and drug problems and referral to alcohol and drug treatment facilities in the community.  The Counseling Center shall also be available to provide community referral information for treatment of faculty and staff on request

Collaboration with Community Resources

The University's program emphasizes collaboration with local resources such as the Substance Abuse Prevention Services of the Carolinas, Chemical Dependency Center of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Services, McLeod Center, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon,Nar-Anon, etc. To this end, the University shall participate in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Drug Free Coalition andwill work with local advisory boards to further collaborate between the University and the Charlotte Community.

Education and Prevention Activities

The University's awareness, education, and training efforts stress prevention. The goal of these efforts is (l) to encourage non-users of illegal drugs and alcohol to continue to be non-users, (2) to encourage users of alcohol to do so safely and responsibly, and (3) to encourage users of illegal drugs to stop such use.

Illegal Use of Drugs and Abuse of Alcohol

The use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol are considered by the University to be problems that can be overcome. Therefore, the educational and rehabilitative services cited above are available on a confidential basis. However, the possession, sale, delivery, or manufacture of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on campus or off campus in the event that the interests of the University may be affected.

The University will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies and will apply appropriate disciplinary procedures should a student, faculty member, or staff member violate criminal statutes with regard to illegal drugs. Violations may subject a student, faculty member or staff member to prosecution and punishment by civil authorities and to disciplinary action by the University. It does not constitute "double jeopardy" for the University to initiate its own disciplinary proceedings for the same offense when the alleged conduct is deemed to affect the interests of the University.

Under federal law, employees convicted of any criminal drug offense occurring in the workplace are required to notify the University by informing the appropriate Vice Chancellor's office no later than five (5) days after such conviction. Disciplinary action and/or participation in a drug rehabilitation/education program as a result of University disciplinary proceedings must commence within 30 days of notice of conviction.

Upon receiving notice of a violation of this Policy, the University will initiate disciplinary procedures applicable to one's status as a member of the University community:

(Minimum sanctions set forth below shall also apply to employees who do not fall in any of the categories above.)

In the event a student is also an employee of the University, the minimum sanctions for employment status as well as student status shall apply.

The use of illegal drugs may result in a variety of sanctions, from written warnings with probationary status to expulsion from enrollment or discharge from employment. However, in accordance with the Policy on Illegal Drugs adopted by the Board of Governors of The University of North Carolina, the following minimum penalties shall be imposed for the particular offenses described:

Manufacture, Sale, or Delivery of Illegal Drugs

  1. For the illegal manufacture, sale, or delivery of, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver any controlled substance identified in Schedule I, N.C. General Statutes 90-89, or Schedule II, N.C. General Statutes 90-90, a student shall be expelled and a faculty member or staff member shall be discharged.
  2. For a first offense involving the illegal manufacture, sale or delivery of, or possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver any controlled substance identified in Schedules III through VI, N.C. General Statutes 90-9190-9290-93, and 90-94, the minimum penalty shall be suspension from enrollment or from employment for a period of at least one semester or its equivalent. For a second offense, a student shall be expelled and a faculty member or staff member shall be discharged. 

Illegal Possession of Drugs

  1. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedule I, N.C.General Statutes 90-89, or Schedule II, N.C. General Statutes 90-90, the minimum penalty shall be suspension from enrollment or disciplinary suspension without pay from employment for a period of at least one semester or its equivalent.
  2. For a first offense involving the illegal possession of any controlled substance identified in Schedules III through VI, N.C. General Statutes 90-9190-9290-93, and 90-94, the minimum penalty shall be probation, for a period to be determined on a case-by-case basis. A person on probation must agree to participate in a drug education and counseling program, consent to regular drug testing, and accept such other conditions and restrictions, including a program of community service, as the Chancellor or the Chancellor's designee deems appropriate. A requirement to undertake community service under this Policy may not be fulfilled by using paid Community Service Leave. Refusal or failure to abide by the terms of probation shall result in suspension from enrollment or disciplinary suspension without pay from employment for any unexpired balance of the prescribed period of probation.
  3. For second or other subsequent offenses involving the illegal possession of controlled substances, progressively more severe penalties shall be imposed, including expulsion of students and discharge of faculty members or staff members.

Suspension for a Minimum Period of "One Semester or Its Equivalent"

Suspension for a minimum period of “one semester or its equivalent” means forfeiture of at least one full semester of academic credit or attendance. Such a sanction may be accomplished either (l) by suspending the student for the unexpired balance of the semester during which responsibility is determined, with attendant loss of all academic credit for that semester, or (2) by placing the student on probation for the unexpired balance of the semester during which responsibility is determined and suspending the student for the duration of the next succeeding semester.

In the case of a faculty member or staff member, suspension for a minimum period of “one semester or its equivalent” means forfeiture of pay for a period of eighteen weeks. Since the current State Personnel Act specifies that disciplinary suspensions cannot exceed two work weeks, offenses for which an eighteen-week minimum suspension is required by the Board of Governors' policy will result in discharge of an employee subject to the State Personnel Act.

Suspension Pending Final Disposition

When a student, faculty member, or staff member has been charged by the University with a violation of policies concerning illegal drugs, he or she may be suspended from enrollment or employment before initiation or completion of regular disciplinary proceedings if, assuming the truth of the charges, the Chancellor or, in the Chancellor's absence, the Chancellor's designee concludes that the person's continued presence within the University community would constitute a clear and immediate danger to the health or welfare of other members of the University community; provided, that if such a suspension is imposed, an appropriate hearing of the charges against the suspended person shall be held as promptly as possible thereafter

References

The use of alcoholic beverages on the University campus is as prescribed in University Policy 706, Alcoholic Beverages.

University Policy 101.9, Employee Assistance Program, establishes a free employee assistance service as part of the Department of Human Resources.

Personnel Information Memorandum #18, Drug Free Workplace Reporting Requirements

 

Revision History: 
  • Initially approved June 8, 1987
  • Revised June 3, 1988
  • Revised November l, 1989
  • Revised July 8, 2002
  • Revised March 15, 2007
  • Revised April 25, 2007

Authority: Board of Trustees

Responsible Office: Student Affairs

Related Resources:

Memo: Compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act & the Drug-Free Workplace Act