Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
Section: Human Resources Index: C-19
The University of Houston-Victoria (the “University”) prohibits the unlawful use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illicit drugs in the workplace, on the campus, or at any University activity. Penalties for violation of this policy are indicated below.
Consequently, the use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on the campus or as part of any University activity unless for an approved sponsored activity where alcoholic beverages may be legally distributed. For more information, review University policy A-41, Alcoholic Beverage Use on Campus.
This policy applies to all University of Houston-Victoria employees and students.
The unlawful use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession 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. The University has a drug and alcohol abuse prevention program 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 the proper framework for the drug and alcohol abuse policies of the University.
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.
Controlled substance: 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 and Safety Code, §481.001 et seq).
Contract: a legal instrument reflecting a relationship between the federal government and a recipient whenever the principal purpose of the instrument is 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.
Conviction: 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.
Criminal drug statute: a federal or non-federal criminal statute involving the manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, use, or possession of any controlled substance.
Employee: an individual receiving salary, wages, other compensation and/or stipend support from the University.
Federal agency or agency: 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.
Grant: 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.
Grantee: a legal entity which applies for or receives a grant or contract directly from a federal agency.
Illicit drug use: the use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illegal drugs and the abuse of other drugs and alcohol.
Student: an individual registered or enrolled for credit or non-credit in a course or program offered by the University or any of its units.
University activities: an activity officially sponsored by the University.
Workplace: the physical boundaries of the University and facilities owned or controlled by the University.
Effects and Health Risks
Refer to Attachment A for Health Risks of Alcohol and Drugs
Penalties for Violation of This Policy
University policy prohibits the unlawful use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illicit drugs and/or alcohol on the campus and at University-sponsored activities held off campus. The policy protects and supports the employees and students of the University of Houston-Victoria.
Any employee who admits to or is found to have violated the University’s substance abuse policies regarding the unlawful use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illicit drugs and alcohol on the campus or at University activities 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, the employee's supervisor and the Director of Human Resources/Affirmative Action.
Any student who admits to or is found to have violated the University's Student Code of Conduct regarding the unlawful use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illicit drugs and alcohol on the campus or at University activities held off-campus 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, as agreed upon by the student and the University.
In addition, any student athlete should reference the UHV Athletic Department Drug Testing and Education Policy along with the Student Code of Conduct in the Student-Athlete's Handbook for specific policies which govern student athlete’s conduct including sanctions for the unlawful use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illicit drugs and alcohol on the campus or at University activities held off-campus. Student athletes should reference the Athletics Department’s Drug Education and Drug Testing Program to understand prevention and intervention concerning the abuse of certain legal and illegal substance.
Students and employees are subject to criminal sanctions of varying severity as provided for by federal, state, and local laws if convicted of the unlawful use, manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, or possession of illicit drugs and alcohol.
Refer to Attachment B for a summary of penalties under Texas and federal law. A more detailed summary of penalties may be found at the U.S. Department of Justice website at Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide.
Further information concerning disciplinary action and appropriate procedures for employees is available from the Human Resources Department. Further information concerning disciplinary action and appropriate procedures for students is available from the Department of Student Life and Services.
Loss of Student Eligibility for Federal Aid
(34 CFR § 668.40 – Conviction for possession or sale of illegal drugs)
The 2008 Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, as amended, include a revised student eligibility provision. It provides that a student is ineligible for federal student aid if convicted, under federal or state law, of any offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment in which federal student aid was received. Federal aid can be grants, student loans, and/or college work study. The period of ineligibility begins on the date of conviction and lasts until the end of a statutorily specified period. The student may regain eligibility early by completing a drug rehabilitation program or if the conviction is overturned.
Section 484®, Higher Education Act of 1965, detailing the suspension of eligibility for drug-related offenses and rehabilitation follows:
Suspension of Financial Aid Eligibility for Drug-Related Offenses
1) In General – A student who has been convicted of any offense under any Federal or State law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance shall not be eligible to receive any grant, loan, or work assistance under this title during the period beginning on the date of such conviction and ending after the interval specified in the following:
a) If convicted of an offense involving the Possession of a Controlled Substance the ineligibility period is:
- The first offense is 1 year
- The second offense is 2 years
- The third offense is indefinite suspension
b) If convicted of an offense involving the Sale of a Controlled Substance the ineligibility period is:
- The first offense is 2 years
- The second offense is indefinite suspension
2) Rehabilitation – A student whose eligibility has been suspended under paragraph (1) may resume eligibility before the end of the ineligibility period determined under such paragraph if -
- the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that –
- complies with such criteria as the Secretary (Department of Education) shall prescribe in regulations for purposes of this paragraph; and
- includes two unannounced drug tests;
- b) the conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise rendered nugatory.
3) Definitions – In this subsection, the term "controlled substance" has the meaning given the term in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C.802(6)).\
1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965
Employee and Student Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Programs
The Human Resources Department has information available on the UT Employee Assistance Program (UTEAP). Through the Employee Assistance Program, or EAP, employees can access free, convenient, and confidential professional services which include alcohol/drug assessments and referral programs. EAP is available to all benefits eligible University employees.
Visit the UTEAP Website to view educational materials or to review the UTEAP Employee Orientation. This brief presentation discusses the different services available to you and your family under the EAP.
Student Assistance Programs
All UHV students are eligible for services through the Counseling Center. Students who have concerns about alcohol and other drug use are welcome to consult with the professional staff regarding available drug and alcohol counseling on campus and in the community. Referrals can also be made to rehabilitation programs, mutual help organizations, private hospitals, and private and public treatment programs. The Counseling Center can also provide resource materials pertinent to substance use.
Individuals are seen free of charge on a short-term basis for assistance with substance related problems at the Counseling Center. For alcohol and drug dependence, the Counseling Center staff will likely make a referral to comprehensive services.
The Counseling Center provides group counseling free of charge to students. Additionally, there are several Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups in the Victoria area. There are also Narcotics Anonymous groups in the Coastal Bend area.
Counseling Center staff can arrange for psycho-educational programs to the university community upon request.
To learn more, visit the Counseling Center website or request an appointment.
Application of Policy
The Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy is supported by a drug abuse awareness and alcohol education and prevention program available to employees and students of the University. Specific compliance and reporting items enumerated below (b, c, d, e) are applicable to all persons employed through federal contracts and grants. In support of this policy, the University:
- has established a drug-free and alcohol abuse awareness program to inform its employees and students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace;
- will notify employees and students of this policy through appropriate publications and will post information on appropriate websites;
- 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. Employees must notify their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace not later than five (5) days after such conviction;
- Human Resources Department will notify the appropriate federal agency within ten (10) days after receiving notice of a criminal drug statute conviction of any University employee engaged in performance of the grant or contract;
- 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;
- will make a good faith effort to continue to maintain an environment that complies with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989;
- 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 Department of Business Services, 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 policy and its programs. A biennial review of this policy will be undertaken to determine its effectiveness and implement changes to the policy and its programs if they are necessary and to ensure that its disciplinary standards are consistently enforced.
- UH Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy
- UHV Administrative Policy A-41, Alcoholic Beverage Use on Campus
- UH Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Biennial Review
- UHV Alcohol and Other Drug Initiatives and Policies Biennial Review
- U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
- Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide
- UHV Student Code of Conduct
- UHV Student-Athlete’s Handbook
- UHV Drug Education and Drug Testing Program
- 34 CFR § 668.40 – Conviction for possession or sale of illegal drugs
- UT Employee Assistance Program (UTEAP)
Raymond V. Morgan, Jr., Ph.D.
Responsible Party: Business Services, Safety and Risk
Next review date: November 2019