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Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Contents of this page:

  1. Purpose

  2. Definitions

  3. Standards of Conduct

  4. Alcohol and Drug-Free Awareness Program

  5. Suspicion of Usage

  6. Assistance for Employees

  7. Other Regulations

  8. Program Review

Trinity University recognizes its responsibility to provide a healthy environment within which faculty and staff may work in a drug and alcohol free workplace. If an employee is found in violation of University or state alcohol and drug abuse policies, the circumstances accompanying each individual case are considered when determining the consequences. Educational interventions are emphasized; however, when indicated, counseling or other therapeutic activities may be required.

Purpose: Based on its commitment to assure the safety and health of its employees, the University seeks to maintain work and learning environments free of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possess or use of a controlled substance or the abuse of alcohol. Drug and alcohol abuse effects the responsible conduct of business, teaching and learning, and therefore will not be tolerated.

This policy is based on the following objectives:

1.    To maintain a safe and healthy environment for all students and employees;

2.    To maintain the good reputation of the University and its employees within the community;

3.    To minimize accidental injuries to persons or property;

4.    To keep absenteeism and tardiness at a minimum and to improve the effective performance of job duties and productivity of all employees;

5.    In appropriate circumstances, to assist employees in securing alcohol or substance abuse rehabilitation;

6.    To comply with the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and other applicable legislation, and,

7.    To adopt and implement a program to prevent use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol by employees.

Definitions: As used in this policy, the following definitions apply.

1.    “Drugs or other controlled substances” means any substance, including alcohol, capable of altering an individual’s mood, perception, pain level or judgment.

2.    A “prescribed drug” is any substance prescribed for individual consumption by a licensed medical or dental practitioner. It includes prescribed drugs and over-the-counter drugs which have been legally obtained and are being used for the purpose for which they were prescribed or manufactured.

3.    An “illicit drug” or chemical substance is: (a) any drug or chemical substance, the use, sale, or possession of which is illegal under any state or federal law, or (b) one which is legally obtainable but has not been legally obtained. The term includes prescribed drugs not legally obtained and prescribed drugs not being used for prescribed purposes.

4.    The term “controlled substance” means a controlled substance in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C.S. 812) or whose possession, sale or delivery results in criminal sanctions under the Texas Controlled Substances Act (Art. 4476-13, TCS). In general, this includes all prescription drugs, as well as those substances for which there is no generally accepted medicinal use (e.g., heroin, LSD, marijuana, etc.), and substances which possess a chemical structure similar to that of a controlled substance (e.g., “Designer Drugs”). The term does not include alcohol.

5.    “Alcohol” refers to any alcoholic beverage that is “alcohol, or any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume, which is capable of use for beverage purposes, either alone or when diluted.”

6.    “Alcohol abuse” means the excessive use of alcohol in a manner that interferes, but not chronically, with (1) physical or psychological functioning; (2) social adaptation; (3) or occupational functioning.

7.    The term “conviction” means a 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.

8.    “Cause for reasonable suspicion” shall be established by: (1) observation; (2) actions/behaviors of the individual; (3) witness by supervisor or other reliable individual of possession or use; or (4) any other legal measure used for alcohol or drug detection.

9.    The term “criminal drug statute” means a criminal statute involving manufacture, distribution, dispensation, use, or possession of any controlled substance.

10.    “Sanctions” may include completion of an appropriate rehabilitation or assistance program, or termination from employment, or other disciplinary action, or referral to authorities for prosecution. If an employee has been convicted of a criminal drug statute, sanctions must be imposed within 30 days.

11.    “Workplace” means any office, building, classroom, or property (including parking lots) owned or operated by the University, or any other site at which the employee is to perform work.

12.    An “employee” of Trinity University is any faculty, staff or student receiving remuneration for services rendered.

13.    “Possess” means to be contained either on an employee’s person or in an employee’s vehicle, tools, or areas entrusted to the employee.

14.    “Impaired” means under the influence of an illegal drug or alcohol such that the employee is unable to perform his/her assigned tasks properly.

Standards of Conduct:

1.    The unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession or use of illicit drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited.

2.    Sanctions will be imposed on employees (consistent with local, state, and federal law), up to and including termination of employment and referral for prosecution, for violation of the standards of conduct set forth above.

3.    The University shall conduct a biennial review of its drug and alcohol abuse prevention program. It shall determine and put in report format: (1) the effectiveness of the program, and (2) the consistency of the enforcement of sanctions imposed pursuant to the program. It shall also evaluate whether any changes are needed and shall implement any such changes.

4.    The University shall have available for review by the Secretary of Education, or designee, other applicable governmental agencies, and the general public, if requested, copies of all documents distributed to employees under the drug and alcohol abuse prevention program, and also copies of the biennial review.

Alcohol and Drug-Free Awareness Program.

The University will establish or participate in an alcohol and drug-free awareness program to inform employees about: (1) the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse; (2) the University policy of maintaining a workplace and learning environment free from drug and alcohol abuse; (3) any available alcohol and drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs; and (4) the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for alcohol and drug abuse violations.

Suspicion of Usage:

1.    If a supervisor reasonably suspects that usage of a controlled substance or of alcohol has affected an employee’s job performance, the supervisor shall immediately notify the appropriate department head, or other designated administrative official and, upon direction, the supervisor or other designated administrative official shall discuss with the employee the suspected alcohol or drug-related problems. The employee should be advised of any available alcohol and drug counseling, rehabilitation, or employee assistance programs, and the terms of any applicable disciplinary sanctions. All such meetings between the employee and the supervisor or other designated administrative official to address the suspected alcohol or drug-related problem and/or its resolution shall be documented in a memorandum to the record.

2.    Should such discussion and/or participation in any available alcohol or drug counseling, rehabilitation, or employee assistance program fail to resolve the suspected alcohol or drug-related problems, or should the employee fail to meet the terms of any applicable disciplinary sanctions, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Assistance for Employees:

The Office of Counseling and Health Services will provide referrals to substance abuse treatment clinics, drug abuse counselors and to private community organizations involved in rehabilitation programs for alcohol and drug impairment. Literature and other relevant information on alcohol and drug abuse may be obtained at University Health Services.

Other Regulations:

1.    A copy of the University’s drug and alcohol abuse policy shall be provided to each employee on or before the first day of employment, along with a signed acknowledgment of receipt of the policy. The signed statement will be kept in the employee’s file.

2.    Any employee whose off-duty use of alcohol, drugs, or other controlled substances results in absenteeism, tardiness, impairment of work performance, or is the cause of workplace accidents, will be reported to the immediate supervisor and the Office of Human Resources. Referrals to drug abuse counselors will be provided by the Office of Counseling and Health Services.

3.    Any disciplinary action shall be governed by University policies on discipline and dismissal. A record of the action will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

4.    As a condition of employment, employees on government grants or contracts must abide by the required notification statement and must report any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction. The employer, in turn, must so notify the contracting federal agency within 10 days after receiving notice from an employee or otherwise receiving actual notice of such conviction, and within 30 days must impose sanctions on the employee involved. Such sanctions may take the form of personnel actions against such an employee, up to and including termination, or requiring the employee to satisfactorily participate in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Program Review

Trinity University will conduct a biennial review of the program to determine the effectiveness and implement changes to the program if they are required and ensure that sanctions for violations are consistently enforced.

Information on the Health Risks of Alcohol, Drugs and Chemicals and Legal Implications of Alcohol and Drug Use may be obtained from the Office of Human Resources.

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For further information, please call (210) 999-7306, or write to:

Trinity University
Office of Finance & Administration
One Trinity Place
San Antonio, TX   78212-7200

This page is provided to you for informational purposes.   Trinity University does not assume liability for omissions, typographical errors, or policy changes that are not updated immediately on this or other official university web pages.

This page was last modified on June 25, 2012.