Drug-Free Policy Statement

  1. Introduction. The purpose of this statement is to provide each member of the Tennessee Technological University community(Faculty, Staff and Students) with official notification of the policies and penalties relative to controlled substances (illicit drugs) and alcohol, as required by the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. As an employee and/or student at Tennessee Technological University, you are required to be knowledgeable of and comply with the Drug Free Campus/Workplace Policy, the applicable provisions of which are summarized below.
  2. Policy. It is the policy of this institution that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, use or abuse of alcohol and/or illicit drugs on the Tennessee Technological University campus or on property owned or controlled by the University is strictly prohibited. All categories of employees and students are subject to this policy and to applicable federal, state and local laws related to this matter. Additionally, any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary actions as set forth in the applicable sections of this policy.
  3. Standards of Conduct. Tennessee Technological University employees and students are prohibited from engaging in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use or being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol on the University campus, and at off-campus facilities owned or controlled by the University. At off-campus events, to the extent that off-campus activities are considered to be University activities, the standards of conduct (of the act) must apply, and alcohol shall not be abused by those of legal drinking age, nor used, possessed or distributed by those who have not attained legal drinking age.
  4. Legal Sanctions Under Local, State and Federal Law. Various federal, state and local statutes make it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver, sell or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute dispense, deliver or sell, controlled substances. The penalty imposed depends upon many factors which include the type and amount of controlled substance involved; the number of prior offenses, if any; whether death or serious bodily injury resulted from the use of such substance; and whether any other crimes were committed in connection with the use of the controlled substance. Possible maximum penalties for a first-time violation include imprisonment for any period of time up to a term of life imprisonment; a fine of up to $4,000,000; supervised release; any combination of the above or all three. These sanctions are doubled when the offense involves either: 1.) distribution or possession at or near a school or University campus, or 2.) distribution to persons under 21 years of age. Repeat offenders may be punished to a greater extent as provided by statute. Further, a civil penalty of up to $10,000 may be assessed for simple possession of “personal use amounts” of certain specified substances under federal law. Under state law, the offense of possession or casual exchange is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor; if there is an exchange between a minor and an adult at least two years the minor’s senior, and the adult knew that the person was a minor, the offense is classified a felony as provided in T.C.A. S39-17-417. It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one (21) to buy, possess, transport (unless in the course of his/her employment), or consume alcoholic beverages, wine, or beer, such offenses being classified Class A misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for not more than 11 months, 29 days, or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both (T.C.A. SS1-3-113, 57-5-301). It is further an offense to provide alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of twenty-one (21), such offense being classified a Class A misdemeanor (T.C.A. S39-15 -404). The offense of public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of not more than 30 days or a fine of not more than $50, or both (T.C.A. S39-17-310).
  5. Health Risks Associated With Use of Illicit Drugs and/or Abuse of Alcohol. Every drug, including alcohol, is a potential poison which may cause disability and death if it is taken incorrectly into the body, consumed in wrong amounts or mixed indiscriminately with other drugs. Drugs cause physical and emotional dependence. Drugs and their harmful side effects can remain in the body long after use has stopped. The extent to which a drug is retained in the body depends on the drug’s chemical composition, that is whether or not it is fat-soluble. Fat-soluble drugs such as marijuana, phencyclidine (PCP), and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) seek out and settle in the fatty tissues. As a result, they build up in the fatty parts of the body such as the brain and reproductive system. Such accumulations of drugs and their slow release over time may cause delayed effects weeks, months and even years after drug use has stopped. There are many health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol including organic damage; impairment of brain activity, digestion, and blood circulation; impairment of physiological processes and mental functioning; and, physical and psychological dependence. Such use during pregnancy may cause spontaneous abortion, various birth defects or fetal alcohol syndrome. Additionally, the illicit use of drugs increases the risk of contracting hepatitis, AIDS and other infections. If used excessively, the use of alcohol or drugs singly or in certain combinations may cause death.
  6. Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Treatment and Rehabilitation.
    1. Health Services. Campus Health Services provides information to students and employees on drug and alcohol related problems. Referral services are also provided for professional counseling, treatment and rehabilitation programs that are available on campus and in the local community.
    2. Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Employees of the University and their dependents are eligible to participate in the State of Tennessee Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Professional counseling services for drug and alcohol related problems are available through United Behavioral Health. The counseling services are voluntary and strictly confidential. The services are free of charge for employees and their immediate family members. Appointments for counseling are made by calling 1-877-237-8574.
  7. Institutional/School Sanctions. Tennessee Technological University will impose appropriate sanction(s) on any employee or student who fails to comply with the terms of this policy.
    1. Employees. As a condition of employment, each employee, including student employees, must abide by the terms of this policy, and must notify their department head/supervisor of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction. A conviction includes a finding of guilt, a plea of nolo contendere, or imposition of a sentence by any state or federal judicial body. Possible disciplinary sanctions for failure to comply with this policy, including failure to notify of conviction, may include one or more of the following:
      1. Termination
      2. Suspension
      3. Mandatory participation in, and satisfactory completion of, a drug/alcohol abuse program, or rehabilitation program
      4. Recommendation for professional counseling
      5. Referral for prosecution
      6. Letter of warning
      7. Probation
    2. Students. Any alleged violation of the act by a student of the University shall be reported to the Dean of Students. Possible disciplinary sanctions for failure to comply with the terms of this policy may include one or more of the following:
      1. Expulsion
      2. Suspension
      3. Mandatory participation in, and satisfactory completion of, a drug/alcohol abuse program, or rehabilitation program
      4. Referral for prosecution
      5. Probation
      6. Warning
      7. Reprimand