Policy Number: 173

Substance Abuse

Subject:

Substance Abuse

Scope:

Employees, students, and fellows. Medical school residents should refer to the Resident Impairment Policy found in The University of Texas Medical Foundation Graduate Medical Education Resident Handbook

Date Reviewed: May 2009

Responsible Office: Human Resources; Office of Academic and Research Affairs

Responsible Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Executive Vice President for Academic and Research Affairs

I.     POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("university") is committed to maintaining an environment free from substance abuse. The university expects impaired employees, students and fellows to seek help voluntarily and to assume responsibility for their professional and personal conduct. In any case where an employee, student or fellow causes harm to or appears to endanger the safety of himself or herself or others, the employee, student or fellow will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with university policy.

Employees, students and fellows are prohibited from:

II.     PROCEDURE

A. Referral and Treatment

1. Self-referral

University employees, students and fellows are encouraged to obtain assistance for the treatment of chemical dependence. Such assistance may be provided through UT Counseling & WorkLife Services, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, private physicians or community agencies with expertise in treating chemical dependence.

2. Observed Impairment

In accordance with HOOP Policy 163 Fitness for Duty/Fitness for Participation, co-workers or others whose observations lead them to question an employee's fitness for duty, must report their observations to the applicable supervisor. The supervisor will take action in accordance with HOOP Policy 163 Fitness for Duty/Fitness for Participation. Students or others whose observations lead them to question a student's fitness for participation in university activities, must report their observations to the applicable school's Student Affairs office. The applicable Associate/Assistant Dean for Student Affairs will take action in accordance with HOOP Policy 163 Fitness for Duty/Fitness for Participation.

Additionally, the dean may have other mechanisms for prevention, evaluation, referral, and monitoring of students for which there is a reasonable suspicion of impairment due to substance abuse. Deans' offices may be contacted for more information.

B. Education

Annually, UT Counseling and WorkLife Services will distribute to all employees and students educational materials which include standards of conduct, a description of the various laws regarding alcohol and drugs, a description of the health risks of drug and alcohol abuse, a description of counseling and treatment programs available, and a copy of this policy.

C. Reporting of Criminal Convictions

1. Students

a. Criminal Convictions

Students convicted under a criminal statute for a drug-related offense are required to notify their dean or the dean's designated representative not later than five days after such conviction. The following are the sanctions for students convicted of substance-abuse-related crimes which occur on premises or property owned or controlled by the university

b. Impaired Student Nurses

If the Dean of the School of Nursing or his or her designee has reasonable cause to suspect the ability of a professional nursing student to perform the services of the nursing profession would be or would reasonably be expected to be impaired by chemical dependency, the Dean must cause to be submitted a signed, written report to the Texas Board of Nursing ("Board") identifying the student and providing any additional information required by the Board.

Any nurse associated with the university as an employee or as a student, who has reasonable cause to suspect the ability of a professional nursing student to perform the services of the nursing profession would be, or would reasonably be expected to be, impaired by chemical dependency must either:

2. Employees and Fellows

Employees and fellows convicted under a criminal statute for a drug-related offense occurring on property or premises owned or controlled by the university are required to notify their immediate supervisor not later than five days after the conviction. The supervisor must inform the Office of Institutional Compliance immediately after receiving notice of such conviction. For employees and fellows working on certain federally funded contracts and grants, the Office of Institutional Compliance is responsible for ensuring the contracting agency is notified within ten days after receiving notice that an employee or fellow has been convicted of a drug-related criminal offense.

Employees or fellows convicted of a felony offense related to use, possession, dispersion, distribution or manufacture of an illegal drug occurring on property or premises owned or controlled by the university will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or dismissal.

D. Biennial Review

The Office of Institutional Compliance will review the university's drug and alcohol abuse prevention program every two years in accordance with applicable law and regulation.

III.     CONTACTS

ContactTelephoneEmail/Web Address
Human Resources (employees with questions regarding this policy) 713-500-3130 http://hr.uth.tmc.edu/Employee_Relations/employee_relations_staff.html
Office of Academic and Research Affairs (students and fellows with questions regarding this policy) 713-500-3062

http://www.uth.edu/evpara/personnel.htm

http://www.uth.edu/academics/