Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA)
The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (DFSCA) of 1989- also known as the Drug-Free Schools and Campuses Act- requires institutions of higher education to establish policies that address unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs. The DFSCA also requires the establishment of a drug and alcohol prevention program (DAAPP).
All members of the HSC community are encouraged to review the information on the following pages. This information is distributed on an annual basis.
Students, faculty, and staff may request information about the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Review by contacting the Division of Student and Academic Affairs at 817-735-2505. The full report is located HERE.
We also encourage the HSC community to learn more about the results of the 2020 National College Health Assessment. An executive summary, key findings, and action items can be found HERE. Additionally, information regarding DAAPP and wellness related programming can be found by clicking the links below:
Standards of Conduct
Use of illegal drugs, and the illegal use of alcoholic beverages, is identified as “conduct which adversely affects the university community.” University regulations prohibit any unlawful possession, use, distribution, or sale of alcohol and other drugs by University students, faculty, staff, or guests to the University, on University-owned property and at all University sponsored activities.
HSC students are also prohibited from the illegal use of drugs or alcohol whether on or off campus.
The legal age for the consumption of alcohol is 21 years of age. Any underage student consuming alcohol is violating standards for student conduct. Additionally, excessive alcohol use can lead to additional violations, such as driving while intoxicated or public intoxication.
HSC may impose disciplinary sanctions for violations relating to the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol. The penalties for misconduct range from a consultation to expulsion or termination of employment. Typically, students who have violated the Student Code of Conduct & Civility will be referred to the Care Team and the Student Support Program, My SSP through LifeWorks, to complete an individualized education plan that includes an assessment covering alcohol and other drug use history, reason for referral, family and personal history, health concerns, safety issues, and the consequences associated with use. The assessment will also include the student’s readiness for change and establish behavior change goals.
These sanctions are outlined in the Student Code of Conduct and Civility (7.105) and the Drug-Free Workplace Policy (5.508).
Specific serious health risks are associated with the use of alcohol and illicit drugs. Some of the major risks are listed below.
Alcohol and Other Depressants (barbiturates, sedatives, and tranquilizers)
Addiction, accidents as a result of impaired ability and judgments, alcohol poisoning, overdose when used with other depressants, damage to a developing fetus, heart and liver damage.
Impaired short-term memory, thinking, and physical coordination. Can cause panic reaction and increase the risk of lung cancer and emphysema. Can interfere with judgment, attention span, concentration, and overall intellectual performance. Impairs driving ability. May cause psychological dependence and compromise the immune system.
Addiction, cardiovascular system damage including heart attack, brain damage, seizures, lung damage, severe depression, paranoia, psychosis. Similar risks are associated with other stimulants, such as speed and uppers.
Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemical compounds, many of which are known to cause cancer. Nicotine, which is a central nervous system stimulant, produces an increase in heart and respiration rates, blood pressure, adrenaline production and metabolism. People can rapidly become physically and psychologically dependent on tobacco. Compromises the immune system.
Inhalants are a diverse group of chemicals that easily evaporate and can cause intoxication when their vapors are inhaled. Most inhalants are central nervous system depressants. Use of these drugs slows down many body functions. High doses can cause severe breathing failure and sudden death. Chronic abuse of some of these chemicals can lead to irreversible liver damage and other health problems.
Prescription Drug Abuse
Adverse reactions, dependency, withdrawal, and overdose.
Treatment Options/University & Community Resources
A variety of resources exist for alcohol and other drug prevention including education, programming, counseling, and referral.
For detailed information concerning these resources available from both the university and community agencies, students may contact the Division of Student and Academic Affairs in the Student Service Center, Suite 220 or at (817) 735-2505 or the Care Team at (817) 735-2740 or CareTeam@unthsc.edu. Faculty and staff may contact HSC Human Resources at (817) 735-2690 or the Employee Assistance Program at 855-784-1806.
Student Health (817) 735-5051 – Medical and psychiatric services
HSC Police Department (817) 735-2210 – Presentations on legal aspects of alcohol and other drug use and related issues
Division of Student and Academic Affairs (817) 735-2505 – Address Student Code of Conduct & Civility, enforces policies and procedures, and provides students with resources necessary to resolve personal disputes.
HSC Human Resources (817) 735-2690 – Provide services, guidance, education, and training (faculty and staff), referrals to Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for faculty and staff, enforces policies and procedures for faculty and staff; assistance with disciplinary action for faculty and staff; assistance with mediation procedures for faculty and staff.
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – The EAP is designed to aid employees in managing daily responsibilities, life events, work stresses or issues affecting quality of life. Confidential services are provided at no cost to employees and their benefits eligible dependents including assessments, referrals and short-term problem resolution, by calling a toll-free number available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (855) 784-1806.
In addition to the toll-free number, the EAP has established Guidance Resources Online, an online database housing over 1500 tip sheets, resources, interactive tools, prevention guides and self-assessments geared towards assisting employees with various work and personal issues, with substance abuse and treatments as one of the main areas of focus.
Solution-focused counseling is short-term in nature and focuses on solutions rather than problems. Counselors work with the client to develop an action plan and can help employees and their families with challenges that may affect their personal lives, relationships, job performance, and work behavior. Referrals to external resources are also provided to employees and their family members if issues expand beyond the scope of the EAP.
The EAP offers trainings geared towards addressing the topic of substance abuse. The course, “Addiction Resource Guide” is designed to increase employees’ knowledge of the problems associated with alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace, as well as to assist in identifying the signs and symptoms of substance abuse.
Employees of HSC with health insurance benefits may have coverage for assistance with drug or alcohol related problems and should check with the health insurance provider for the specifics, if any, included in their policy.
Online resources, education and training
- A brochure, Illicit Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, is also distributed through the Human Resources website at https://www.unthsc.edu/administrative/human-resource- services/drug-free-workplace/.
- Alcoholics Anonymous: 1-212-870-3400 or https://aa.org/ Narcotics Anonymous: 1-818-773-9999 or www.na.org
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE or www.thehotline.org National Drug Helpline: 1-844—289—0879 or http://drughelpline.org/
- National Institute on Drug Abuse/Treatment Hotline: 301-443-1124 or www.drugabuse.gov/nidahome.html
- National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline: 1-800-662-4347 or https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
- Texas Medical Board: www.tmb.state.tx.us