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RSCC Policies
RSCC Policy GA-21-03; Drug-Free Environment
RSCC Policy GA-21-03; Drug-Free Environment
Roane State Community College
Policy Number: GA-21-03
Subject: Drug-Free Environment

This statement is being distributed online to all Roane State Community College employees, faculty, and students in compliance with the provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. 701, et. seq.) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (20 U.S.C. 3171, et. seq.).

  1. Policy
    Roane State Community College supports the provision of a drug-free environment by:
    1. Providing notice to all employees and students that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace, and that violation of any of these prohibitions may result in termination of employees or expulsion of students.
    2. Establishing a drug-free awareness program to inform employees and students about:
      1. The dangers of drug abuse in the workplace
      2. The college policy of maintaining a drug-free environment
      3. The availability of drug counseling referral services
      4. The penalties that may be imposed for drug abuse violations (termination of employees or dismissal for students)
      5. Notification of Roane State administration of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction
    3. Providing any person employed under a grant of federal monies notice that as a condition of employment under the grant, the employee will:
      1. Abide by the terms of paragraph A
      2. The college will provide notice of the violation to the appropriate federal agency within ten days after receiving notice under subparagraph B.5., and take appropriate personnel action against the employee up to and including termination or requiring the employee to participate in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved by a Federal, state, or local health law enforcement or other appropriate agency.
    4. Providing that any student receiving federal grants, as a condition of the grant, will certify that they will not engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance in conducting any activity connected with the grant.
  2. Legal Sanctions
    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 if an individual, 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 college campus or, 2) distribution to persons under 21 years of age. Repeat offenders may be punished to a greater extent as provided by statue. 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 minor, the offense is classified a felony as provided in T.C.A. §39-17-417. (21 U.S.C. 801, et. seq.; T.C.A. §39-17-417)

    It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one (21) to buy, possess, transport (unless in the course of his 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 $2500, or both (T.C.A. §1-3-113, 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. §39-15-404) 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. §39-17-310)
  3. Institutional/School Sanctions
    Roane State Community College will impose the appropriate sanctions 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
      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

        See Student Disciplinary Policy SA-06-01 for the full detailed version of student due process procedures for violations of this policy. Access the complete detailed RSCC policy, Student Disciplinary, at RSCC's policy website.
  4. Health Risks Associated With the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol
    A cursory description of the health risks associated with the use of beverage alcohol and illicit drugs are as follows:
    1. Alcohol
      Use or abuse of alcohol is the most neglected health problem in the United States today. Alcoholism is a complex, progressive disease in which the use of alcohol interferes with health, social and economic functioning. Untreated alcoholism results in physical incapacity, permanent mental damage and/or premature death.

      Alcohol is involved in one-third of all suicides, half of all murders, and is involved in over 50% of all arrests. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person's ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death.

      Alcohol is the third leading cause of birth defects involving mental retardation. Use during pregnancy may cause spontaneous abortion, various birth defects, or fetal alcohol syndrome.

      Drinking is implicated in cancer, heart disease, liver disease, gastrointestinal disease, and other illnesses. Alcoholism reduces life expectancy by twelve years.

      Beverage alcohol can damage all body organs, leading to liver, heart and digestive problems, circulatory system interference, personality disorders, reproductive problems, and central nervous system disorders such as poor vision, loss of coordination, memory loss, loss of sensation, mental/physical disturbances and permanent brain damage.

      The physical and psychological changes that occur as a result of addiction to alcohol can pave the way for addiction to pharmacologically similar (mood altering) drugs.
    2. Illicit Drugs
      Illicit drugs are natural and synthetic chemical substances used to affect body processes, the mind and nervous system and behavior and feelings used without medical supervision to alter the sensorium of the user. The use of illicit drugs results in many of the health risks that are involved with alcohol use. However, specifically, the illicit use of drugs increases the risk of: mental deterioration, death from overdose, physical and mental dependence or addiction, hepatitis and skin infections from needle use, psychotic reactions, inducement to take stronger drugs, brain damage, danger of "flash-back phenomenon", hallucinations, unconsciousness, deep depression, distortion of time and space, permanent damage to the lungs, brain, kidneys and liver, death from suffocation or choking, anemia, amnesia, AIDS and other infections.

      If used excessively, the use of alcohol and drugs singularly or in certain combinations may cause death.
  5. Available Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Treatment, Rehabilitation Programs, and Employee Assistance Programs
    The counselors in the Roane State Counseling and Career Services Centers provide short term supportive counseling only for students who now have or have had a drug and/or alcohol problem. The procedures are:
    1. To encourage the individual with a problem to seek the assistance of a qualified drug/alcohol therapist or seek treatment from a drug treatment center or mental health center.
    2. Provide information to the individual regarding treatment resources in the surrounding area and how to secure their services. Description materials are provided when available detailing the facility, length of stay, cost, etc. Also see RSCC Quick Reference Community Resource List at http://www.roanestate.edu/webfolders/JARABEKLC/disabilityResources/Resource%20Quick%20Reference%20List%20March%202014.pdf.
    3. Assist the student and/or employee in making the initial contact with an outside agency or provide emotional support on an on-going basis.

      Various public and private drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers are located in our service areas. They provide medical treatment, if indicated, and include individual, group, and family counseling.
Revision History: 03/27/1989, 07/01/1995, 11/15/1999, 12/04/2006, 06/02/2008, 09/15/2014
Revision Date Effective: 09/15/2014
Revision Approval By: Christopher L. Whaley, President
Original Date Effective: 02/20/1989
Original Approval By: Sherry L. Hoppe, President
Office Responsible: Vice President Student Affairs & Workforce Development
Reviewed: 03/07/2014
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