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Drug-Free Work Place

The illegal use of controlled substances, substances that cause impairment, and alcohol abuse are harmful to the health, well-being and safety of Isothermal Community College’s (College) employees and students. Employees who illegally use controlled substances, substances that cause impairment, or abuse alcohol are less productive, less reliable and prone to greater absenteeism resulting in unnecessary costs, delays and safety risks. The College is committed to maintaining a safe workplace and an educational environment free from the influence of illegal controlled substances, substances that cause impairment and alcohol.

I. PROHIBITED BEHAVIOR

All employees, including students employed by the College, are prohibited from unlawfully possessing, using, being under the influence of, manufacturing, dispensing, selling or distributing illegal controlled substances, or drug paraphernalia. The illegal use of prescribed or over the counter substances that cause impairment is prohibited for all employees. Possessing, using, being under the influence of alcohol while on campus or off campus while engaging in official College activities or business is prohibited for all employees, including students employed by the College.

This policy does not apply to the use of alcohol in instructional situations (e.g., cooking classes, laboratory experiments), social activities outside of normal business hours when attendance is not required or in conjunction with events at The Foundation Performing Arts and Conference Center which meet the requirements of all state laws and the nonexclusive catering services agreement. This policy does not apply to the proper use of lawfully prescribed controlled substances by a licensed health-care provider. "Proper use" is defined as the manner in which the healthcare provider prescribed the medication.

II. DEFINITIONS

      For purposes of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. Alcohol means any beverage containing at least one-half of one percent (0.5%) alcohol by volume, including malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine, spirituous liquor and mixed beverages.
  2. Controlled Substance means any substance listed in 21 CFR Part 1308 and other federal regulations, as well as those listed in Article V, Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Generally, the term means any drug which has a high potential for abuse and includes, but is not limited to heroin, marijuana, cocaine, PCP, GHB, methamphetamines, and crack. This term also includes any drugs that are illegal under federal, state, or local laws and legal drugs that have been obtained illegally or without a prescription by a licensed healthcare provider or are not intended for human consumption. 
  3. Substance means any substance taken that may cause impairment, including but not limited to bath salts, inhalants, or synthetic herbs.
  4. Conviction means the entry in a court of law or military tribunal of (1) a plea of guilty, nolo contender, no contest or the equivalent; (2) a verdict of guilty; or (3) a prayer for judgment continued or a deferred prosecution.

III. DUTY TO REPORT

All employees are required to inform, in writing, his/her supervisor within five (5) days after a conviction, arrest or receiving a citation for a violation of any federal or state controlled substance or alcohol statute. If an employee’s arrest, conviction, or citation has an effect on the employee’s ability to perform his/her job duties or brings negative attention to the College, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with this Policy.

Convictions of employees working under federal grants that are convicted of violating a federal or state controlled substance or alcohol statute on the College’s property, or as part of any activity initiated by the College, shall be reported to the appropriate federal agency. A College official must notify the U.S. government agency, which made the grant, within ten (10) days after receiving notice from the employee or otherwise receives actual notice of a conviction of a controlled substance or alcohol statute occurring in the workplace.

Students employed under the College Work Study Program are considered to be employees of the College if the work is performed for the College in which the student is enrolled. For work performed for a federal, state, local public agency, a private nonprofit or a private for-profit agency, students are considered to be employees of the College unless the agreement between the College and the organization specifies that the organization is considered to be the employer.

IV. CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATION

Violation of this policy will subject an employee to disciplinary action, up to and including non-renewal or termination of employment or the requirement that the employee satisfactorily participate in a drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program at the employee’s expense and approved by the College and agree to certain employment conditions.

Article V of Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a crime to possess, manufacture, sell or deliver or possess with intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance. N.C.G.S. § 90-95. As citizens, all members of the College community are expected to know and comply with these laws. Legal matters may be referred to local law enforcement. Employees who are in violation of alcohol and drug laws may suffer legal consequences ranging from fines up to incarceration. Furthermore, any substance taken that may cause impairment, including but not limited to bath salts, inhalants, or synthetic herbs, are also considered a violation of the drug and alcohol policy.

V. CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND ALCOHOL TESTING

Employees may be required to be tested for substances, including controlled substances, or alcohol based on individualized, reasonable suspicion. Such a determination that reasonable suspicion exists shall be based on specific, contemporaneous, articulable observations concerning the appearance, behavior, speech or body odors of the employee (e.g., dilated pupils, a lag in response to verbal request(s), staggering or unsteadiness, the smell of alcohol, and/or incoherent communication). The required observations for reasonable suspicion testing shall be made by a supervisor or other trained official and the person who makes the determination that reasonable suspicion exists shall not be the same person who conducts the test. In the event of a work-related injury, a drug and alcohol test will be required during initial evaluation/treatment of the injury. This section does not apply to law enforcement officers serving the College through the local sheriff’s department. Law enforcement officers must adhere to their normal standards when conducting a search.

All substances, including controlled substances, and alcohol testing shall be administered by a non-College, third party laboratory chosen by the President. The testing shall be performed at the laboratory. The chosen laboratory shall use standard testing protocols that will maintain the confidentiality of the employee. All tests shall be reviewed by a medical review officer not affiliated with the College. The College shall be responsible for the cost of the test.

VI. DISSEMINATION TO EMPLOYEES

A copy of this policy will be distributed annually to each employee of the College.

VII. POLICY REVIEW

The College will review this policy in even numbered years.

VIII. COUNSELING, TREATMENT, REHABILITATION AND RE-ENTRY PROGRAMS

The illegal use of controlled substances, substances that cause impairment, and the abuse of alcohol carry significant medical and psychological implications that can jeopardize an individual’s present accomplishments and future opportunities. For more information on the health risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse, consult the National Institute on Drug Abuse website at www.drugabuse.gov.

Local Help Agencies

Blue Ridge Counseling Services (828) 286-0501

Family Preservation Services (828) 287-7945
Lifeline Counseling Center (828) 289-0574
*Life Span Psychological Services (828) 894-2300
*New Hope Counseling Center (828) 894-2238

Preferred Choice Healthcare (828) 287-7806 or (828) 248-4403
Western Highlands, LME 1-800-951-3792
Woodridge Psychological Associates (828) 287-7806
*Located in Polk County

Hotlines

Alcoholics Anonymous - Western Piedmont Intergroup (for Rutherford meetings) (704) 332-4387
Alcoholics Anonymous - N.C. Mountain Central Office (for Polk meetings) (828) 254-8539
Alcohol/Drug Council of NC 1-800-688-4232
National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service 1-800-662-4357

Health Risks

Health risks associated with the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol are wide ranging and varied depending on the specific substance involved and individual abuse pattern. These risks include, but are not limited to, psychological and physical addiction; respiratory depression; depression of the immune system; increased risk of heart disease, cancer, accidents, hypertension; brain damage; damage to unborn fetus; impotence at high dosage levels; liver disease. Even low doses significantly impair judgement and coordination required to drive and operate equipment safely and may increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts. Moderate to high doses can cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering the user’s ability to learn and remember. For more information on the health risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse, consult the National Institute on Drug Abuse website at www.drugabuse.gov.

TYPES OF DRUGS

HEALTH RISKS

Schedule I

Heroin, LSD, Peyote, Mescaline, Psilocybin (Shrooms),Other Hallucinogens, Methaqualone (Quaaludes), Phencyclidine (PCP) and MDA, Fentanyl, Ecstasy, GHB

Psychologically and physically addictive, depression, withdrawal symptoms, convulsions, death, unpredictable behavior with hallucinogens; possible damage to unborn fetus

Schedule II

Morphine, Demerol, Codeine, Percodan, Percocet, Fentanyl, Dilaudid, Secondal, Nembutal, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone Oxycodone, Doriden, and any other opium and opium extracts and narcotics           

Psychologically and physically addictive, withdrawal symptoms, convulsions, respiratory failure, frequent accidents, possible damage to unborn fetus; death; cocaine and amphetamines increase blood pressure which can lead to irregular heartbeat and death; amphetamines can cause agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions, possible death

Schedule III

Certain barbiturates such as amobarbitol and codeine containing medicine such as Fiorinal #3, Tylenol #3, Empirin #3, and codeine-based cough suppressants such as Tussionex; Hydrocodone, and all anabolic steroids

Psychologically and physically addictive, potential liver damage, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, disorientation, shallow breathing, cold and clammy skin, coma, possible death; withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, tremors, insomnia, convulsions, possible damage to unborn fetus

Schedule IV

Barbiturates, narcotics, and stimulants including Valium, Talwin, Librium, Equanil,  Placidyl, Tranzene, Serax, Ionamin (yellow jackets), Xanax

Psychologically and physically addictive; drowsiness, withdrawal symptoms, tremors, abdominal and muscle cramps, insomnia, anxiety, convulsions, possible death; possible damage to unborn fetus

Schedule V

Compounds that contain very limited amounts of codeine,  opium, and atropine, Robitussin AC

Psychologically and physically addictive; nausea, gastrointestinal symptoms, drowsiness, withdrawal symptoms including runny nose, watery eyes, panic, chills, cramps, irritability, possible damage to unborn fetus

Schedule VI

Marijuana, THC, Hashish, Hash Oil, Tetrahydrocannabinol

Psychologically addictive; increased risk of lung cancer, bronchitis, and emphysema; contributes to heart disease, fatigue, paranoia, possible psychosis; withdrawal  symptoms including insomnia, hyperactivity and decreased appetite;  depression of the immune system; decreased sperm count in men and irregular ovulation in women

 

USE OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS

Isothermal Community College is a tobacco-free campus effective January 1, 2019.  This applies to all employees, students, contractors, vendors, and visitors.  For policy details, see policy 802-02-01BP Use of Tobacco Products. 

STATE AND FEDERAL LEGAL SANCTIONS

The possession, sale, manufacture, or distribution of any controlled substance is illegal under both state and federal laws. Such laws are strictly enforced by contracted campus enforcement officers as well as local law enforcement. Violators are subject to College disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fine, and imprisonment. For the most recent and complete Federal Trafficking Penalties information, visit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration webpage. North Carolina Controlled Substances Act describes state specific penalties at https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/PDF/ByArticle/Chapter_90/Article_5.pdf.

 

NORTH CAROLINA LAWS: TO PURCHASE, OR ATTEMPT TO PURCHASE; TO SELL OR GIVE

Specific ordinances regarding violations of alcohol laws, including driving while intoxicated, are available from the North Caroling General Assembly. Distribution of malt beverages, unfortified wine, fortified wine, spirituous liquor, or mixed beverages to anyone under twenty-one (21) years old carries a: maximum penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding 120 days or a fine, or both, in the discretion of the court (misdemeanor); however, to possess, consume, attempt to purchase, or purchase by 19 or 20 year old is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

North Carolina General statue defines an Aider and Abettor as:

  1. Any person who is under 21 years of age to purchase and who aids or abets anyone to attempt to purchase, or to possess, sell or give shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
  2. Any person over 21 years of age to purchase and who aids or abets another to attempt to purchase, or possess, sell or give shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  3. Any parent or person who has legal or physical custody of a person less than 21 years of age who aids or abets the person less than 21 years of age to attempt to purchase, or possess, sell or give shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and shall pay a fine of $500.00.

Additionally, some violations may result in driver’s license revocation.

Policy Number: 306-02-04BP

Reference: 21 CFR Part 1308; 34 CFR Part 86; N.C.G.S. § 90-86 et seq.

Cross-reference:

Adopted: May 11, 2010

Reviewed: Jan 2020, Human Resources; Biennial

Amended: September 11, 2012; November 27, 2012; June 11, 2013; June 13, 2017, January 29, 2019