Drug-free Workplace, Alcohol, and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Programs
Memorandum #310 Drug-free Workplace, Alcohol, and Other Drug Abuse Prevention Programs
March 10, 2015
Date of Original Issuance: March 1, 2006
Drug & Alcohol Free Workplace
It is the policy of the Community College of Philadelphia to maintain a drug-free workplace in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. This institution is committed to protecting the safety, health, and well-being of its employees, students, and all people who come into contact with its workplace and property and/or use its services. Recognizing that alcohol and drug abuse pose a direct threat to this goal, this institution is committed to assuring a drug-free environment for all of its employees and students.
The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance, including alcohol, in the workplace, as defined in the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. Additionally, while the College respects the privacy of its employees, it also recognizes that it has an obligation to maintain a drug/alcohol free workplace because substance abuse can have a harmful effect on the learning and work environment. Therefore, employees are expected to report for work physically and mentally able to safely and effectively perform their essential functions. Compliance with this requirement is considered to be an essential job qualification for all faculty and staff. Violation of this policy, or conviction, may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has been established to provide professional counseling and rehabilitation programs for employees in need of these services due to alcohol and/or substance abuse. Within thirty (30) days of receiving notification of an employee's drug statute conviction, the College will initiate appropriate personnel actions which may include imposing a sanction or requiring the satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program through the EAP or another approved agency.
As a condition of employment, all employees must abide by the above policy statement. Any employee who is convicted of any drug violation in the workplace must inform the Associate Vice President for Human Resources within five (5) days of the conviction. The College is required to notify the proper federal agency of this conviction within ten (10) days of receiving a notice of conviction from the employee.
College officials will cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities to ensure compliance with laws for unlawful use, possession, manufacture, distribution, or sale of illicit drugs or alcohol and will advise employees that convictions or violations of these laws can lead to fines and/or imprisonment. This policy statement does not alter any rights of employees which exist under applicable collective bargaining agreements.
Drug & Alcohol: Student Standard
Community College of Philadelphia is dedicated to providing a quality comprehensive educational program designed to meet and balance the diverse and changing educational, social, economic, and cultural needs of the community while providing a safe and healthful environment. The College is committed not only to learning and to the advancement of knowledge but also to the education of ethically sensitive and responsible persons. The College seeks to achieve these goals through a sound educational program and through rules and regulations governing student life that encourage responsibility and respect for the rights and viewpoints of others.
Therefore, the use, sale, distribution, possession of alcohol or any drug, including prescription medication used in an unauthorized manner, is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, expulsion.
The College believes that students are adults who are responsible for their own actions, and who should be free to pursue their educational objectives in an environment that promotes learning, protects the integrity of the academic process, and protects the learning community.
The College’s rules and regulations concerning student conduct may be found within the Student Code of Conduct via the Student Handbook (also available online). These rules and regulations are in effect when attending or participating in any class or activity sponsored by the College either on campus or at an off-campus event.
Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program
Community College of Philadelphia is committed to providing its students and employees a drug and alcohol free workplace and learning environment to promote the reputation of the College and its employees as responsible citizens of public trust, and to provide a consistent model of substance-free behavior for students.
The College shall provide a safe, responsive environment for all students and employees. Employees and students are informed of the program and policy by means of the website, student handbook, and electronic mail. Annually, employees and students are made aware of the College’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program and Policy which provides access to the following information:
The College has established a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program to inform its faculty, staff, and students about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, penalties that may be imposed for drug and alcohol abuse violations, and available resources to combat drug and alcohol related issues.
The College will review this policy on a biennial basis. A biennial review shall be conducted: (1) to determine the effectiveness of the policy and (2) to ensure that the policy has been implemented consistently. Should the College Administration deem it necessary to review or revise the policy at that time or any time prior to a scheduled biennial review, the Administration shall prepare revisions consistent with College policy development practices. All biennial review documents shall remain on file for compliance purposes.
Distribution to Students
Students will be informed about the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy at the New Student Orientation sessions, as well as through communications by email and pamphlets from Student Life to enrolled credit students each semester and portal announcement. This will include information about health risks associated with drug and alcohol use, standards of conduct expected of students, a description of sanctions for violation of state, federal, local laws relating to the use, possession, sale or distribution of drugs and alcohol, the College’s Counseling Center, and community resources available to assist students dealing with issues related to drug and alcohol use and/or abuse.
In subsequent years during a student’s enrollment in the school, they will be reminded of the policy by email and on the College’s portal. To the extent there are changes to the policy at any time, students will be sent a notification via email
Preventing Drug & Alcohol Abuse: Health Risk
The use and abuse of alcohol and drugs pose significant physical and mental health risks. Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use increases people’s chances of living long, healthy, and productive lives. Excessive alcohol use includes binge drinking (i.e., five or more drinks during a single occasion for men, four or more drinks during a single occasion for women), underage drinking, drinking while pregnant, and alcohol impaired driving. Drug abuse includes any inappropriate use of pharmaceuticals (both prescription and over-the counter drugs) and any use of illicit drugs. Alcohol and other drug use can impede judgment and lead to harmful risk-taking behavior. Preventing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use improves quality of life, academic performance, workplace productivity, and military preparedness; reduces crime and criminal justice expenses; reduces motor vehicle crashes and fatalities; and lowers health care costs for acute and chronic conditions. The National Institution of Drug Abuse provides an overview of various drugs and their effects on individuals. Below is a list of commonly abused substances:
- Alcohol: Although legal, alcohol is a toxic substance, particularly to a developing fetus when a mother consumes this drug during pregnancy.
- Amphetamines: This group of drugs comes in many forms, from prescription medications like methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall) to illegally manufactured drugs like methamphetamine ("meth"). Overdose of any of these substances can result in seizure and death
- Anabolic steroids: A group of substances abused by bodybuilders and other athletes, this group of drugs can lead to significant psychological effects like aggression and paranoia, as well as other long-term physical effects like infertility and organ failure.
- Caffeine: While it is consumed by many coffee, tea and soda drinkers, when consumed in excess this substance can produce palpitations, insomnia, tremors and significant anxiety.
- Cannabis: More commonly called marijuana, the scientific name for cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In addition to the negative effects the drug itself can produce (for example, infertility, paranoia, lack of motivation), the fact that it is commonly mixed ("cut") with other substances so drug dealers can make more money selling the diluted substance or expose the user to more addictive drugs exposes the marijuana user to the dangers associated with those added substances. Examples of ingredients that marijuana is commonly cut with include baby powder, oregano, embalming fluid, PCP, opiates, and cocaine.
- Cocaine: A drug that tends to stimulate the nervous system, cocaine can be snorted in powder form, smoked when in the form of rocks (crack cocaine), or injected when made into a liquid.
- Ecstasy: Also called MDMA to denote its chemical composition (methylenedioxymethamphetamine), this drug tends to create a sense of euphoria and an expansive love or desire to nurture others. In overdose, it can increase body temperature to the point of being fatal.
- Hallucinogens: Examples include LSD and mescaline, as well as so-called naturally occurring hallucinogens like certain mushrooms, these drugs can be dangerous in their ability to alter the perceptions of the user. For example, a person who is intoxicated with a hallucinogen may perceive danger where there is none and to think that situations that are truly dangerous are not. Those misperceptions can result in dangerous behaviors (like jumping out of a window because the individual thinks they are riding on an elephant that can fly).
- Inhalants: One of the most commonly abused group of substances due to its accessibility, inhalants are usually contained in household cleaners, like ammonia, bleach, and other substances that emit fumes. Brain damage, even to the point of death, can result from using an inhalant just once or over the course of time, depending on the individual.
- Nicotine: The addictive substance found in cigarettes, nicotine is actually one of the most habit-forming substances that exist. In fact, nicotine addiction is often compared to the intense addictiveness associated with opiates like heroin.
- Opiates: This group is also called narcotics and includes drugs like heroin, codeine, Vicodin, Percocet, and Percodan. This group of substances sharply decreases the functioning of the nervous system. The lethality of opiates is often the result of the abuser having to use increasingly higher amounts to achieve the same level of intoxication, ultimately to the point that the dose needed to get high is the same as the dose that is lethal for that individual by halting the person's breathing (respiratory arrest).
- Phencyclidine: Commonly referred to as PCP, this drug can cause the user to feel extremely paranoid, become quite aggressive and to have an unusual amount of physical strength. This can make the individual quite dangerous to others.
- Sedative, hypnotic, or anti-anxiety drugs: As these substances quell or depress the nervous system, they can cause death by respiratory arrest of the person who either uses these drugs in overdose or who mixes one or more of these drugs with another nervous system depressant drug (like alcohol or an opiate).
For more information please visit the following link: www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/alcohol.
Drug & Alcohol Counseling: Supports Available to Student
Counselors are available for students at the College’s campuses, on a confidential basis, to respond to student needs and concerns related to drug and alcohol use. Information about counseling services is available by contacting the Counseling Center at 215.751.8169 (main campus) or by visiting the Center in room BG-07 of the Bonnell Building.
In addition to on-campus support programs and resources, below are available treatment centers that may be helpful in addressing issues of mental health and substance abuse:
- Saint Jude Retreats
1.888.424.2626 (Office Number)
- Psychological Research Center
1509 Cecil B. Moore Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19121
- Addiction Medicine and Health Advocates, Inc.
928 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Belmont Center for Comprehensive Treatment - Drummond Rd
10360 Drummond Rd Philadelphia, PA 19154
Relevant Alcohol & Drug Laws & Sanctions
In addition to College disciplinary actions and applicable sanctions, any student who violates this policy may be subject to criminal prosecution and penalties under applicable local, state, and federal laws. Where appropriate or necessary, College officials will cooperate with local, state, and federal authorities to ensure compliance with laws for unlawful use, possession manufacture, distribution or sale of illicit drugs or alcohol and will advise employees and students that convictions or violations of these laws can lead to fines and/or imprisonment.
The following is a brief review of the legal sanctions under local, state, and federal law for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board website explains alcohol and the law in the state of Pennsylvania, programs and resources available, as well as provides information for parents. (Source: University of Pennsylvania, 2012)
The Pennsylvania Liquor Code, 47 Pa., C.S.A., 1-101 et seq., controls the possession and sale of alcoholic beverages within the Commonwealth. The Code, as well as portions of the Pennsylvania Statutes pertaining to crimes and offenses involving minors, 18 Pa., C.S.A. 6307 et seq., provides the following:
- It is a summary offense for a person under the age of twenty-one to attempt to purchase, consume, possess or knowingly and intentionally transport any liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty for a first offense is suspension of driving privileges for 90 days, a fine up to $300 and imprisonment for up to 90 days; for a second offense, suspension of driving privileges for one year, a fine up to $500, and imprisonment for up to one year; for subsequent offense, suspension of driving privileges for two years, a fine up to $500 and imprisonment for up to one year. Multiple sentences involving suspension of driving privileges must be served consecutively.
- It is a crime intentionally and knowingly to sell or intentionally and knowingly to furnish or to purchase with the intent to sell or furnish, any liquor or malt or brewed beverages to any minor (under the age of twenty-one). “Furnish” means to supply, give or provide to, or allow a minor to possess on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged. Penalty for a first violation is $1,000; $2,500 for each subsequent violation; imprisonment for up to one year for any violation.
- It is a crime for any person under twenty-one years of age to possess an identification card falsely identifying that person as being twenty-one years of age or older, or to obtain or attempt to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages by using a false identification card. Penalties are stated in (1) above.
- It is a crime intentionally, knowingly or recklessly to manufacture, make, alter, sell or attempt to sell an identification card falsely representing the identity, birth date, or age of another. Minimum fine is $1,000 for first violation; $2,500 for subsequent violations; imprisonment for up to one year for any violation.
- It is a crime to misrepresent one’s age knowingly and falsely to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalties are as stated in (1) above.
- It is a crime knowingly, willfully and falsely to represent that another is of legal age to obtain liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
- It is a crime to hire, request or induce any minor to purchase liquor or malt or brewed beverages. Penalty is a minimum fine of $300 and imprisonment for up to one year.
- Sales without a license or purchases from an unlicensed source of liquor or malt or brewed beverages are prohibited.
- It is unlawful to possess or transport liquor or alcohol within the Commonwealth unless it has been purchased from a State Store or in accordance with Liquor Control Board regulations.
- The use in any advertisement of alcoholic beverages of any subject matter, language or slogan directed to minors to promote consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
The College will cooperate with the appropriate law enforcement authorities for violations of any of the above-mentioned laws by an employee in the workplace or student.
Drugs & Controlled Substances
The United States Department of Education in Section 484(r) of the Higher Education Reconciliation Act explains the circumstances related to convictions of controlled substances that may affect or suspend a student’s eligibility for financial aid and assistance. The suspension of eligibility for federal student aid ranges from as much as one year to an indefinite period of time, depending upon the number and type of convictions.
- The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, 35 Pa. C.S.A. 780-101 et seq., sets up five schedules of controlled substances based on dangerousness and medical uses. It prohibits the manufacture, distribution, sale or acquisition by misrepresentation or forgery of controlled substances except in accordance with the Act, as well as the knowing possession of controlled substances unlawfully acquired. Penalties for first-time 8 violators of the Act range from thirty days imprisonment, $500 fine, or both, for possession or distribution of a small amount of marijuana or hashish, not for sale, to fifteen years or $250,000 or both for the manufacture or delivery of a Schedule I or II narcotic. A person over eighteen years of age who is convicted for violating The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, shall be sentenced to a minimum of at least one year total confinement if the delivery or possession with intent to deliver of the controlled substance was to a minor. If the offense is committed within 1,000 feet of the real property on which a college is located, the person shall be sentenced to an additional minimum sentence of at least two years total confinement.
- The Pharmacy Act of 1961, 63 Pa. C.S.A. 390-8 makes it unlawful to procure or attempt to procure drugs by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge or by forgery or alteration of a prescription. The first offense is a misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year’s imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both.
- The Vehicle Code, 75 PA, C.S.A. 3101 et seq., which was amended effective July 1, 1977, prohibits driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or both, if the driver thereby is rendered incapable of safe driving. A police officer is empowered to arrest without a warrant any person whom he or she has probable cause to believe has committed a violation, even though the officer may not have been present when the violation was committed. A person so arrested is deemed to have consented to a test of breath or blood for the purpose of determining alcoholic content, and if a violation is found, it carries the penalties of a misdemeanor of the second degree, which includes imprisonment for a maximum of thirty days.
- The Federal drug laws, The Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 801 et seq., are similar to the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, but contain, for the most part, more severe penalties. Schedules of controlled substance are established, and it is made unlawful knowingly or intentionally to manufacture, distribute, dispense, or possess with intent to distribute or dispense a controlled substance. If the quantity of controlled substance is large (e.g. 1,000 kg of a mixture or substance containing marijuana), the maximum penalties are life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, or both. Lesser quantities of controlled substance (e.g. 100 kg of a mixture or substance containing marijuana) result in maximum penalties of life imprisonment, a $2,000,000 fine, or both. According to state law, the distribution of 30 grams or less of marijuana for no remuneration or simple possession of a controlled substance carries a maximum of 30 days imprisonment, a $500 fine, or both, with the penalties for the second offense possibly doubling. Conditional release with conviction is possible for first offenders. Distribution to minors may carry double penalty.
Distribution or manufacture of a controlled substance in or on or within 1,000 feet of the property of a school or college may result in imprisonment of between two and four years.
- Students who have been convicted under state or federal law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance are ineligible for federal student aid for specific periods (ranging from one year to an indefinite period depending on the nature of the offense and whether the student is a repeat offender).