The University of West Alabama is committed to providing a campus environment free of the abuse of alcohol and the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs.
In order to promote a safe and efficient educational as well as work environment, the Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy Statement has been adopted to supplement existing University policies, practices and procedures.
Implementation of this policy statement is subject to restrictions contained in all local, state, and federal laws. This policy statement is in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.
Standards of Conduct
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illicit drugs or alcohol by students or employees is prohibited at any time on any University property or at any University activity. No employee who is impaired by an illegal drug or by alcohol will report to work or will work or be present in the workplace. No student who is impaired by illegal drugs or alcohol will attend classes or any University activity.
The University will impose sanctions (consistent with local, state, and Federal Law) upon all employees and students who violate these standards of conduct. Such sanction, may include but are not limited to:
- referral for prosecution
- probation, suspension or expulsion of students
- suspension or termination of employees
Types of Drugs & Possible Effects
Alcohol is a powerful depressant. Alcohol use decreases alertness and inhibition. Accidents and/or risky behaviors occur with negative consequences to health such as disease transmission. Long-term, heavy drinking is linked to cancer, gastrointestinal problems, heart and liver damage, birth defects, and psychological dependence develop.
Tobacco use in the form of cigarette smoking is linked to emphysema, lung cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses. Physical and psychological dependence can develop. Smokeless tobacco use leads to cancer of the head and neck areas. Passive smoking increases upper respiratory illness.
Anabolic Steroids may produce behavior effects including aggressiveness, irritability, impaired judgment, impulsiveness, mania, and paranoid delusion. Sexual functioning is frequently impaired. Serious health problems include liver and heart disease, cancer, and death.
Stimulants, such as dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and methylphenidate (Ritalin) increase blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. Taking high doses of a stimulant can result in an irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures, and/or the potential for cardiovascular failure or seizures. Taking high doses of some stimulants repeatedly over a short period of time can lead to hostility or feelings of paranoia in some individuals. Tolerance as well as psychological and physical dependence develop. Continued use can cause heart problems, malnutrition, and death.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. Methamphetamine is chemically related to amphetamine, but the central nervous system effects of methamphetamine are greater. Methamphetamine is referred to by many names, such as “speed,” “meth,” and “chalk.” Methamphetamine hydrochloride, clear chunky crystals resembling ice, which can be inhaled by smoking, is referred to as “ice,” “crystal,” “glass,” and “tina.” The use of methamphetamine can cause irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, convulsions, anxiety, paranoia, and aggressiveness. Methamphetamine causes increased heart rate and blood pressure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes. Other effects of methamphetamine include respiratory problems, irregular heartbeat, and extreme anorexia. Its use can result in cardiovascular collapse and death.
Cocaine and Crack
Cocaine is a powerfully addictive drug. The powdered, hydrochloride salt form of cocaine can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected. Crack is cocaine that has not been neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. This form of cocaine comes in a rock crystal that can be heated and its vapors smoked. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when it is heated. The use of cocaine or crack can cause confusion, depression, and hallucinations. Tolerance and physical dependence develop. Effects are unpredictable; psychosis, convulsion, coma, cardiac arrest, and death are possible. Nasal membranes may be destroyed. Smoking causes lesion in the lungs. Brain damage may occur.
Depressants relax the central nervous system. Barbiturates, tranquilizers (Valium, Xanax), and Methaqualine may cause confusion and loss or coordination. Tolerance as well as physical and psychological dependence develop. Overdoses cause coma and death. Overdoses taken in combination or with alcohol are especially dangerous due to their combined effects.
Cannabis alters mood and perception. Marijuana may cause confusion and loss of coordination. Long-term use leads to tolerance and psychological dependence. Users frequently begin using other drugs. Long-term use causes damage to lung tissue and other illnesses.
Hallucinogens temporarily distort reality. Lysergic Acid Diethyfamine (LSD causes hallucinations and panic. Effects may recur (“flashback”) even after use is discontinued. Tolerance and psychological dependence develop. Birth defects occur in user’s children.
Phencyclidine causes depression, hallucinations, confusion, and irrational behavior. Tolerance develops. Overdoses cause convulsion, coma, and death.
Mescaline, Ecstasy, and other “Designer Drugs”
“Designer Drugs” cause anxiety, depression, paranoia, illusion, and hallucination. Impaired perception occurs. Irreversible brain damage may occur.
Narcotics lower perception of pain. Heroin, Morphine, Codeine, and Opium cause lethargy, apathy, loss of judgment and self-control. Tolerance as well as physical and psychological dependence develops. Overdoses cause convulsions, coma and death. Risks of use include malnutrition, hepatitis and AIDS.
Deliriants cause mental confusion. Aerosol products, lighter fluid, paint thinner, amyl nitrate and glue cause loss of bowel and bladder control, confusion, and hallucinations. Overdoses cause convulsions, cardiac arrest, and death. Psychological dependence develops. Permanent damage to lungs, brain, liver and immune system may occur.
Possession, Use or Distribution of Alcohol Beverages
- Alabama state law prohibits the purchase, consumption, possession, or transpiration of alcoholic beverages by persons under 21 years of age. Penalties for conviction may include a fine and/or jail sentence.
- Public intoxication, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), and the unlicensed sale of alcoholic beverages are also against the law. Penalties for such convictions may include a fine, jail sentence, suspension of driver’s license, and/or required completion of an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Possession of Controlled or Illicit Drugs
- Possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use only is a misdemeanor punishable by a prison sentence of up to 1 year, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
- Possession of marijuana for other than personal use or a second conviction for personal use is a felony punishable by a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
- Possession of more than 2.2 ponds of marijuana is considered “drug trafficking” and is punishable by a minimum prison sentence of three years and a fine of at least $25,000.
All Other Controlled Substances
- Possession of a controlled substances other than marijuana is a felony punished by a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years and a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
- Possession of large amounts of a controlled substance other than marijuana is considered “drug trafficking” and I publishes by a minimum prison sentence of three years and a fine ranging from $50,000 of $500,000.
Sale of Controlled or Illicit Drugs
- The sale of any controlled substance is a felony punishable by a term of 2 to 10 years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- The sale or distribution of a controlled substance within a three –mile radius of any school or college is punishable by a mandatory prison sentence of five years in addition to other penalties described above.
- Federal trafficking penalties for first offenses range from up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000 to life imprisonment and a fine of up to $4 million, depending on the illicit drug involved.
- Repeat offense penalties range from up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $4 million, depending on the illicit drug involved.
- Repeat offense penalties range from up to two years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $200,000 to mandatory life imprisonment and a fine of up to $8 million, depending on the illicit drug involved.
Drug Education & Treatment Programs
A full range of education and treatment programs is available to students and employees of The University of West Alabama. Programs fall generally into three categories.
- Professional Treatment
- Counseling Center, Foust Hall, Room 7
The University of West Alabama
Livingston, AL 35470
- West Alabama Mental Health Center
P.O. Drawer J
Demopolis, Al 36732
Other Area Programs
- Alethia House (Residential & Out Patient)
201 Finely Avenue West
Birmingham, Alabama 35204
- Bradford Health Services (Out Patient)
515 Energy Center Blvd.
Northport, AL 35473
- Bradford Health Services (Residential)
1189 Allbritton Rd
Warrior, AL 35180
- Hill Crest Behavioral Health Services (Residential)
6869 5th Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35212
Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act Requirements
Each employee who is employed under a federal grant will be given a copy of this policy statement and will sign a statement certifying that the employee will, as a condition of employment under the grant:
- Abide by the terms of this policy statement on a drug-free workplace, and
- Notify The University of West Alabama of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction.
Upon receiving such notification from an employee or otherwise receiving actual notice of such conviction, The University of West Alabama will:
- Within ten days, notify the agency responsible for the grant, and
- Within thirty days, take appropriate personnel action against any employee who is so convicted, up to and including termination; and/or require such employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state, or local health, law enforcement or other appropriate agency.
Implementation of The University of West Alabama Drug Prevention Program
An Advisory Committee for a Drug-Free Campus and Workplace has been appointed to:
- establish procedures and develop informational materials for annual distribution to students and employees,
- provide recommendations to promote and further develop the University’s drug prevention program, and
- evaluate the University’s drug prevention program biennially to determine its effectiveness and ensure that disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.
The University’s full policy statement is available for review in the Student Affairs Office. Inquiries concerning matters described here or the full policy statement should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs at 205-652-3581.