Illicit Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Human Resources

Sponsoring Department: Human Resources

Revision Date: 24 January 2014

Errors or changes to: aim@uta.edu

Procedures
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    Standards of Conduct

    1. Students

      Subsection 2 – 100 and 2 – 200 of Chapter 2 of the University of Texas at Arlington’s Handbook of Operating Procedures provides for disciplinary action against any student who engages in conduct that is prohibited by state, federal, or local law. This includes those laws prohibiting the use, possession, or distribution of drugs and alcohol.

    2. Employees
      The use or possession of alcohol or drugs by an employee on University premises is defined as misconduct by The University of Texas System's "Policies and Procedures for Discipline and Dismissal of Employees." The unlawful use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol by an employee is prohibited by Alchohol and Drug-Free Workplace (Procedure 3-41).

      The “Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Policy” statement of The University of Texas at Arlington further notifies all employees that the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, possession or use of a controlled substance in or on any premises or property owned or controlled by the University is prohibited.
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      Health Risks of Alcohol and Drugs

      1. Alcohol

        Health hazards associated with the excessive use of alcohol or with alcohol dependency include dramatic behavioral changes, retardation of motor skills, and impairment of reasoning and rational thinking. These factors result in a higher incidence of accidents and accidental death for persons with such dependency than for non-users of alcohol. Nutrition also suffers and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are frequent. Prolonged alcohol abuse causes bleeding from the intestinal tract, damage to nerves and the brain, psychotic behavior, loss of memory and coordination, damage to the liver often resulting in cirrhosis, impotence, severe inflammation of the pancreas, and damage to the bone marrow, heart, testes, ovaries, and muscles. Damage to the nerves and organs is usually irreversible. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in alcoholics and is 10 times more frequent than in non-alcoholics. Sudden withdrawal of alcohol from persons dependent on it will cause serious physical withdrawal symptoms.

      2. Drugs

        The use of illicit drugs usually causes the same general type of physiological and mental changes as alcohol, though frequently those changes are more severe and more sudden. Death or coma resulting from overdose of drugs is more frequent than from alcohol, but unlike alcohol, abstinence can lead to reversal of most physical problems associated with drug use.

        1. Cocaine

          Cocaine is a stimulant that is most commonly inhaled as a powder. It can be dissolved in water and used intravenously. The cocaine extract (freebase) is smoked. Users progress from infrequent use to dependence within a few weeks or months. Psychological and behavioral changes resulting from use include over-stimulation, hallucinations, irritability, sexual dysfunction, psychotic behavior, social isolation, and memory problems. An overdose produces convulsions and delirium and may result in death from cardiac arrest. Discontinuing the use of cocaine requires considerable assistance, close supervision and treatment.

        2. Amphetamines (speed, love drug, ecstasy)

          Patterns of use and associated effects are similar to cocaine. Severe intoxication may produce confusion, rambling or incoherent speech, anxiety, psychotic behavior, ringing in the ears, hallucinations, and irreversible brain damage. Intense fatigue and depression resulting from use can lead to suicide. Large doses may result in convulsions and death from cardiac or respiratory arrest.

        3. Heroin and other opiates

          These drugs are usually taken intravenously. "Designer" drugs similar to opiates include fentanyl, Demerol, and "china white". Addiction and dependence develop rapidly. Use is characterized by impaired judgment, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Overdose is manifested by coma, shock, and depressed respiration, with the possibility of death from respiratory arrest. Withdrawal problems include sweating, diarrhea, fever, insomnia, irritability, nausea and vomiting, and muscle and joint pains.

        4. Hallucinogens or psychedelics

          These include LSD, mescaline, peyote, and phencyclidine (PCP or "angel dust"). Use impairs and distorts one's perception of surroundings, causes bizarre mood changes and results in visual hallucinations that involve geometric forms, colors, and persons or objects. Users who discontinue use experience "flashback" consisting of distortions of virtually any sensation. Withdrawal may require psychiatric treatment for the accompanying persistent psychotic states. Suicide is not uncommon.

        5. Solvent Inhalants, e.g. glue, lacquers, plastic cement

          Fumes from these substances cause problems similar to alcohol. Incidents of hallucinations and permanent brain damage are more frequent.

        6. Marijuana (Cannabis)

          Marijuana is usually ingested by smoking. Prolonged use can lead to psychological dependence, disconnected ideas, alteration of depth perception and sense of time, impaired judgment, and impaired coordination.

        7. Damage from Intravenous Drug Use

          In addition to the adverse effects associated with the use of a specific drug, intravenous drug users who use unsterilized needles or who share needles with other drug users can develop AIDS, hepatitis, tetanus (lock jaw), and infections in the heart. Permanent brain damage may also result.

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        University Penalties

        1. Students

          The University will impose a minimum disciplinary penalty of suspension for a specified period of time or suspension of rights and privileges, or both, for conduct related to the use, possession, or distribution of drugs that are prohibited by state, federal, or local law. Other penalties that may be imposed for conduct related to the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs or alcohol include disciplinary probation, payment for damage to or misappropriation of property, suspension of rights and privileges, suspension for a specified period of time, expulsion, or such other penalty as may be deemed appropriate under the circumstances.

        2. Employees

          The unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs or alcohol will result in disciplinary probation, demotion, suspension without pay, or termination depending upon the circumstances.

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          Available Drug or Alcohol Counseling or Rehabilitation Services for Students

          The Health Education and Substance Abuse Prevention Center, at The University of Texas at Arlington’s Health Services, offers a program to assist students in making appropriate decisions regarding the use of alcohol and other drugs. The program does not provide long-term treatment for those individuals with alcohol/other drug problems but has emphasis on education, programming, support, intervention, and short-term counseling. Additional counseling and psychotherapy are available from clinical psychologists on staff in UTA Health Services. Referrals are also made to metroplex resources when a person is identified as being chemically dependent. When the individual returns to campus after undergoing treatment, support is available to facilitate the recovery process. More information about these services and referral resources is available by contacting Health Services at (817) 272-2771.

          1. UT Arlington has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for benefits eligible employees and their dependents which is coordinated through the Office of Human Resources. The program includes four prepaid sessions for evaluation, short-term counseling and referral for alcohol/drug abuse as well as other problem areas. The program is offered through Alliance Work Partners (AWP) which has a staff of trained, professional counselors. These services are available at over 200 offices in the DFW area catered for the needs and convenience of U.T. Arlington employees.

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            Penalties under State and Federal Law

            1. TEXAS LAW

              OFFENSEMINIMUM PUNISHMENTMAXIMUM PUNISHMENT
              Manufacture or delivery of controlled substances (drugs)Confinement in the jail for a term of not less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.Confinement in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 15 years, and a fine not to exceed $250,000.
              Possession of controlled substances (drugs)Confinement in jail for a term of not more than 180 days, and a fine not to exceed $2,000 or both.Confinement in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000.
              Delivery of MarijuanaConfinement in jail for a term of not more than 180 days, and a fine not to exceed $2,000 or both.Confinement in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000.
              Possession of MarijuanaConfinement in jail for a term of not more than 180 days, and a fine not to exceed $2,000 or both.Confinement in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years, and a fine not to exceed $50,000.
              Driving while Intoxicated (includes intoxication from alcohol, drugs, or both)Confinement in jail for a term of not more than 180 days or less than 72 hours, and a fine of not more than @2,000.Confinement in jail for a term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years, and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
              Public IntoxicationA fine not to exceed $500.
              Purchase, Consumption, or Possession of alcohol by a minor.A fine of not less than $25 nor more than $200.For a subsequent offense, a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $2000, confinement in jail for up to 180 days or both as well as automatic Driver’s License suspension.
              Sale of alcohol to a minorFine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or confinement in jail for not more than one year or both.For a subsequent offense, a fine of up to $4000, confinement in jail for not more than one year, or both as well as automatic Driver’s License suspension.
              Purchase, consumption, or possession cigarettes or tobacco products by a minorFine not to exceed $250 or attend a tobacco awareness program.
              Sell (Give) cigarettes or tobacco product to person younger than 18Fine not to exceed $500.
            2. FEDERAL LAW

              OFFENSEMINIMUM PUNISHMENTMAXIMUM PUNISHMENT
              Manufacture, distribution or dispensing drugs (includes marijuana)A term of imprisonment for up to 5 years, and a fine of $250,000.A term of life imprisonment without release (no eligibility for parole) and a fine not to exceed $8,000,000 (for an individual) or $20,000,000 (if other than an individual).
              Possession of drugs (includes marijuana)Imprisonment for up to 1 years, and a fine of $1,000.Imprisonment for not more than 20 years or not less than 5 years, a fine of not less than $5,000 plus costs of investigation and prosecution.
              Operation of a Common Carrier under the influence of alcohol or drugsImprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine not to exceed $250,000.