Isothermal Community College

Learning College Manual

Human Resources

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.


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. Using or being under the influence of 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.


      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 include, but are 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 contendere, no contest or the equivalent; (2) a verdict of      guilty; or (3) a prayer for judgment continued or a deferred prosecution.


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.


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.


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.


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


The College will review this policy in even numbered years.


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

Local Help Agencies
Blue Ridge Counseling Services (828) 286-0501
Family Preservation Services (828) 288-8773
Lifeline Counseling Center (828) 289-0574
*Life Span Psychological Services (828) 894-2300
*New Hope Counseling Center (828) 894-2238
*Polk County Community Mental Health & Wellness Center (828) 864-2222
RHA Health Services, Inc. (828)  247-1117
Western Highlands, LME 1-800-951-3792
Woodridge Psychological Associates (828) 287-7806
*Located in Polk County


Alcoholics Anonymous - Western Piedmont Intergroup (for Rutherford meetings) (704) 865-1561
Alcoholics Anonymous - N.C. Mountain Central Office (for Polk meetings) 1-800-524-0465
Alcohol/Drug Council of NC 1-800-688-4232
Crisis Line 1-800-951-3792
National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service 1-800-662-4357


Policy No: 306-02-04BP

Reference:  21 CFR Part 1308; 34 CFR Part 86; N.C.G.S. § 90-86 et seq.
Cross Reference:  601-02-01BP
Adopted: May 11, 2010
Amended: September 11, 2012; November 27, 2012; June 11, 2013; June 13, 2017
Review: Human Resources; Biennial

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