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.

I. 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 use and alcohol abuse.
  • The effective use of available campus and community resources in dealing with illegal drug use and alcohol abuse problems.

II. 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.

III. 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 the Center for 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 Center also coordinates a collegiate recovery program, which provides consultation and referral to appropriate facilities in the community for students who may be in need of treatment for substance use disorders and support to students in recovery from chemical dependence.  The Executive Director of Human Resources for EHRA Non-faculty Administration, Employee Relations, 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 Employee Relations Manager in the Department of Human Resources 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

IV. Collaboration with Community Resources

The University's program emphasizes collaboration with local resources, including the Center for Prevention Services, Dilworth Center for Chemical Dependency, Anuvia Prevention and Recovery Center, McLeod Addictive Disease Center, Carolinas Medical Center Behavioral Health Services, Eastover Psychological and Psychiatric Group, The Insight Program, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon, and Nar-Anon. To this end, the University shall participate in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Drug Free Coalition and will work with local advisory boards to further collaborate between the University and the Charlotte community.

V. 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.

VI. 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 or alcohol abuse. 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 no later than five (5) days after such conviction. University Policy 101.23, Employment Related Background Checks and Criminal Activity Reporting, requires that an employee report any conviction to his/her immediate supervisor or unit head as soon as possible and no later than the beginning of the next business day immediately following the conviction.  As an alternative to notifying their immediate supervisor or unit head, SHRA and EHRA non-faculty staff may notify the Department of Human Resources in writing through its Executive Director of Human Resources for EHRA Non-faculty Administration, Employee Relations, and Compliance, and faculty may notify Academic Affairs in writing through the Associate Provost for Academic Budget and Personnel. 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:

The use of illegal drugs or alcohol abuse may result in a variety of sanctions depending on the nature and seriousness of the offense, up to and including expulsion from enrollment and discharge from employment. 

For second or other subsequent offenses involving illegal drugs, progressively more severe penalties shall be imposed.  However, nothing in this Policy shall be construed as prohibiting significant penalties, such as expulsion from enrollment or discharge from employment, for a first offense.

A student, faculty member, or staff member found to have violated applicable law or University policies concerning illegal drug use or alcohol abuse may be required to participate in a substance use education and counseling program, consent to regular drug testing (if applicable), 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 such conditions and restrictions may result in additional disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from enrollment and discharge from employment.

VII. 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 drug use or alcohol abuse, he or she may be suspended from enrollment or employment before initiation or completion of regular disciplinary proceedings if the Chancellor or 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 in accordance with applicable campus disciplinary policy.