Community College of Rhode Island

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Drug & Alcohol Policy Statement

Drug Free Schools and Communities Act

The Community College of Rhode Island seeks to encourage and sustain an academic and work environment that both respects individual freedom and promotes the health, safety and welfare of all members of its community. The College recognizes that substance abuse is a complex problem that may require professional assistance or treatment. Faculty and staff with substance abuse problems are encouraged to take advantage of available diagnostic, referral, counseling and prevention services. Faculty and staff are expected to maintain appropriate standards of conduct while on campus and will not be excused from being held accountable for misconduct due to impaired judgment caused by substance abuse.

Sales, Possession and Use of Alcoholic Beverages

In keeping with these objectives, the College has established a policy governing the possession, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the campus and conforming to the laws of the State of Rhode Island. Possession and/or consumption of alcohol is strictly controlled by the College. Rhode Island Law states that no alcoholic beverages can be sold, delivered or in any way be given to a person under 21 years of age. Anyone under the age of 21 who knowingly makes false statements as to his/her age in order to purchase or in any way procure alcoholic beverages shall be subject to appropriate prosecution existing under state law. Assistance is available in finding community resources for those who are experiencing alcohol related difficulties.

Illegal Drugs

The possession, use, manufacture or distribution of illegal drugs is prohibited at any time on college property or on college business. Any employee who uses, possesses, distributes or manufactures narcotics, opiates, hallucinogens or any other controlled substances while on college property or on college business is subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge and is liable to public law enforcement actions.

Legal Sanctions

The College campus is subject to state and federal laws concerning the use and possession of alcohol and drugs. Employees must be aware of and abide by these laws or face legal prosecution.

Alcohol:
Sections 3-8-6(d) and 3-8-10 of the Rhode Island General Laws describe the sanctions imposed for the sale to, purchase and/or possession of alcohol by a minor. Sanctions may include fines of at least $100 and loss of driver’s license.

Drugs:
Rhode Island General Law 21-28-4 covers a wide range of drug offenses, including the use, possession, sale, distribution, transportation and manufacture of various types of drugs. Among other provisions, the state law has created mandatory minimum prison sentences and/or fines for offenders who are not “drug dependent persons” as defined in the law. The fines and sentences may reach $500,000 and 50 years in prison respectively. Actual fines and sentences depend on the severity and the circumstances of the offense, and the character and background of the offender.

Disciplinary Sanctions

Employees who violate the Community College of Rhode Island Drug and Alcohol Policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Employees may, depending on the individual merits of such case, be offered an opportunity for rehabilitation through a referral to the Care24 Employee Assistance Program.

Health Risks

The fast paced and high stress environment in which we live puts us all at greater risk for abusing alcohol and other drugs. The use of substances can negatively affect job performance, academic standing and personal safety. Long before a drug can threaten essential bodily functions, it places the individual at risk for committing acts that he/she would normally never do.

Medical Consequences:

Drug usage has profound effects on the body. Increases in the amount, and/or frequency of drug usage lead to general deterioration of health. The following are just some of the serious possible medical consequences of drug usage:

  • Heart failure
  • Liver disease, i.e., hepatitis, cirrhosis
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Cancer of the lungs, pancreas, and esophagus
  • Respiratory tract disorders, i.e., tuberculosis, pneumonia, and chronic bronchitis
  • Malnutrition
  • High blood pressure
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • AIDS
  • Impotency
  • Depression
  • Perforation of the nasal septum and destruction of the palate and throat
  • Birth and development defects
Employee Assistance Program/Education and Awareness

It is the intent of the College to offer an opportunity for rehabilitation to those employees who are impaired by controlled substances and have violated the foregoing section(s) of this policy. This action will not excuse them from the consequences of illegal acts or require or result in any special privileges or exemptions from standard job performance requirements, general disciplinary action or established personnel policies or practices. The College will provide access to information concerning drug use and related problems to all employees by means of the educational services of the Care24 Employee Assistance Program.

  1. Awareness sessions will be made available for all employees of the Community College of Rhode Island.
  2. Literature will be made available at various campuses.
  3. Confidential consultation on personal concerns are available by calling the Care24 Employee Assistance Program at the toll free number 1-866-869-6358.  A professional staff person will be available to answer your questions.
  4. Confidential consultation is also available through the Community College of Rhode Island Office of Human Resources at 825-2311.

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Last Updated: 2/20/14