The Catholic University of America
Archived 2/19/08
Policy

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance or alcohol by a student or employee on university property or as any part of a university-sponsored program off campus is strictly prohibited.

Local and federal laws prohibit the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, control, sale and dispensation of any illegal narcotic or dangerous drugs. These laws carry penalties for violations, including monetary fines and imprisonment.

The risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol are numerous and include physical and mental impairment, emotional and psychological deterioration, and devastating effects on family and friends. There are obvious risks, such as suffering a hangover, being charged with driving under the influence or while intoxicated, and sustaining or causing personal injury. There are a number of less obvious risks associated with alcohol and other drug abuse that students or employees might not realize, including:

Poor academic performance

Poor job performance

Unwanted sexual activity (i.e., acquaintance rape)

Sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS

Pregnancy

• Jeopardizing future career prospects, (e.g., admission to law school, employment
with the federal government

Jeopardizing continued employment

In addition, alcohol and other drug abuse puts the user at considerable health risk, which can include nausea, vomiting, cancer, liver damage, elevated blood pressure, psychotic episodes, hallucinations and, in some cases, death. In addition to the risk to the abuser of illicit drugs and alcohol are the risks to coworkers, students, the public and to unborn children (i.e., fetal alcohol syndrome).

The Counseling Center can provide consultation and referral to students with problems or concerns related to alcohol and drug use. Student Health Services can also provide these services to students. Faculty and staff with problems or concerns related to alcohol and drug use should contact the Office of Human Resources for referrals to treatment programs.

Information about substance abuse and treatment programs is available in the Office of Human Resources, the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Health Services and the Counseling Center. All have procedures to assure confidentiality. Individuals whose performance is impaired as a result of use or abuse of drugs or alcohol (either on or off campus); who illegally use or abuse drugs or alcohol on campus or on university business; who violate any provision of the university's employment rules, the Code of Student Conduct or the Use of Alcoholic Beverages by Students Policy; or who have been convicted of violating any criminal drug statute while on university property or as any part of a university-sponsored program off campus are subject to severe sanctions. These can include required completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program, suspension, expulsion, termination of employment and referral to law enforcement authorities. Sanctions or required participation in a rehabilitation program for students will be determined by the appropriate student life or academic officials. Sanctions or required participation in a rehabilitation program for employees will be determined and implemented by the provost (in the case of faculty) in consultation with the general counsel and by the cognizant vice president in consultation with the general counsel and director of human resources (in the case of staff). Any such actions will be in compliance with the Faculty Handbook, the Staff Handbook, union contracts and other specific university policies and regulations regarding termination and suspension of employees.

As a condition of enrollment and employment, each student, faculty member and staff member will abide by the terms of this policy and will notify the dean of students (in the case of students), the provost (in the case of faculty) and the director of human resources (in the case of staff) no later than five days after any conviction for a criminal drug statute offense or alcohol offense committed on university property or as any part of a university-sponsored program off campus. Failure to comply with these conditions will constitute unsatisfactory conduct and lead to appropriate sanctions.

The university cooperates fully with law enforcement authorities. Violations of the CUA drug and alcohol policy which are also violations of federal or local law may be referred to the appropriate agencies. In such situations, cases may proceed concurrently at the university and in the criminal justice system.

This policy is effective Aug. 1, 1990, and implements the Drug Free Workplace Act (41 U.S.C. 701) and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (20 U.S.C. 1145g). This policy will be incorporated into the university's personnel and student manuals.