Policy Number: 173
Subject: Substance Abuse
Date Reviewed: May 2009
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
Next Review Date: May 2012
Responsible Office: Human Resources; Office of Academic Affairs
Responsible Executive: Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Provost and Executive Vice President of Research
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:
- Purchasing, manufacturing, distributing, possessing, selling, storing or using an illegal drug or controlled substance while on the premises or property owned or controlled by the university or in vehicles used for university business. Controlled substances may be used in research settings, provided the principal investigator has acquired the appropriate licensing and follows the requirements in the Chemical Hygiene Plan. Further information can be found inHOOP Policy 90 Safe Use of Hazardous Materials in the Laboratory (to view you must be connected to the UTHealth network) and HOOP Policy 79 Purchase of Drugs, Pharmaceuticals and Controlled Substances;
- Using alcohol in a manner that adversely affects the safety of other students, employees, visitors, or patients or job performance. This includes the authorized use of alcohol at official university functions or on premises or property owned or controlled by the university that may adversely affect the safety of any other person (See HOOP Policy 9 Alcoholic Beverages (to view you must be connected to the UTHealth network));
- Using prescription or over-the-counter medications without heed to warnings about impact on performance or safety; and
- Distributing drugs or controlled substances obtained pursuant to a prescription, except by a duly licensed and certified person, while on premises or property owned or controlled by the university
A. Referral and Treatment
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 (to view you must be connected to the UTHealth network), 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.
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
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
- Any student convicted of illegal use, possession, and/or sale of a drug or narcotic shall be suspended from the institution for a specific period of time and/or suspended of rights and privileges.
- A felony conviction of a violation of any criminal drug statute for use, possession, dispersion, distribution, or manufacture of an illegal drug will result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsions.
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:
- submit a signed, written report to the Board identifying the student, and provide additional information required by the Board; or
- report the student to the Dean of the School of Nursing or his or her designee.
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.
|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 Affairs (students and fellows with questions regarding this policy)||713-500-3062|