DRUGS & ALCOHOL POLICY
It is MediaTech Institute’s desire to provide a drug-free, healthy, and safe workplace. To promote this goal, employees are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs in a satisfactory manner.
While on MediaTech Institute premises and while conducting business-related activities off MediaTech Institute premises, no employee may use, unlawfully possess, distribute, sell, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. The legal use of prescribed drugs is permitted on the job only if it does not impair an employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job effectively and in a safe manner that does not endanger other individuals in the workplace.
Violations of this policy and the standard of conduct may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion, immediate termination of employment, referral for possession, and/or required participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment program. Such violations may also have legal consequences consistent with local, state, and federal law.
General State Laws
Alcoholic beverages may not be purchased, accepted as a gift, or possessed on any street or highway or other public place by any individual under the legal age of 21. It is illegal for minors to consume or possess alcohol. It is unlawful for anyone of legal age to purchase or obtain alcoholic beverages and then sell, give, or deliver them to a minor. Open containers are prohibited while driver, unless transported to the trunk of the car where neither the driver nor passengers have access. If the driver has a blood-alcohol level of anything over .08, they will be charged as a Driving Under the Influence conviction.
Federal Sanctions (according to Title 21 U.S.C. 844a)
Federal penalties and sanctions for illegal possession of a controlled substance include the following:
- First Conviction Up to 1 year in prison, fine of $1,000 to $100,000, or both
- After 1 Prior Conviction At least 15 days in prison, not to surpass 2 years, $5,000 to but not exceeding $250,000 fine, or both
- After 2 or more Prior Convictions At least 90 days and up to 3 years in prison, $5,000 to $250,000 fine, or both.
- Special federal sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine: Mandatory minimum imprisonment of 5 years, not to exceed 20 years and fined up to $250,000, or both, if: (a) 1st conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 5 grams. (b) 2nd crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 3 grams. (c) 3rd or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds 1 gram.
Additional federal sanctions may also apply including forfeiture of property and transportation methods used to contain and/or convey controlled substances. Denial of federal benefits includes student loans, grants, and contracts and denial or revocation of certain federal licenses and benefits for up to one year under the first offense and up to 5 years for the second or more offenses.
Civil Fines of up to $10,000 may be issued upon incrimination for possession, use or distribution of drugs and alcohol in an unlawful manner. Employees with problems with alcohol and certain drugs that have not resulted in, and are not the immediate subject of, disciplinary action may request approval to take unpaid time off to participate in a rehabilitation or treatment program. Leave may be granted if the employee agrees to abstain from use of the problem substance and abides by all MediaTech Institute policies, rules, and prohibitions relating to conduct in the workplace, and if granting the leave will not cause MediaTech Institute any undue hardship.
Health Risks Information Taken From: www.med.unc.edu/alcohol/prevention/health.html
Alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream, physically affecting the whole body. Some illnesses and health problems caused by alcohol include:
- High blood pressure. Along with being overweight, high blood pressure is associated with many serious health problems.
- Depressed immune system. Impaired immunity makes you more likely to contract viral illnesses such as flu and infections.
- Liver disease.
- Heavy drinking can cause fatty liver, hepatitis, cirrhosis and cancer of the liver. The liver breaks down alcohol at the rate of only one drink per hour.
- Alcohol poisoning. Drinking large amounts can result in alcohol poisoning, which causes unconsciousness and even death. Breathing slows, and the skin becomes cold and may look blue. Don’t let a person in this condition “sleep it off.” Call 911.
- Heart or respiratory failure. Excessive drinking can have serious results. Heart or respiratory failure often means death.
- Alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease to which some people seem predisposed. Alcoholics are unable to control their drinking–how much, when, and if. Alcoholism puts you at great risk for other health problems, and it can shorten your life by more than 10 years. Alcoholism cannot be cured, but it can be treated. Other long-term effects of heavy alcohol use include loss of appetite, vitamin deficiencies, stomach ailments, sexual impotence, central nervous system damage, and memory loss.
Like many prescription drugs, “recreational” drugs come with potentially harmful side effects that can have serious and long-term effects on your health.
High doses of many of the drugs, or impure or more dangerous subsitutes for these drugs, can cause immediate life-threatening health problems such as heart attack, respiratory failure, and coma. Combining drugs with each other or with alcohol is especially dangerous.
Barbiturates and tranquilizers are commonly abused prescription drugs. They can cause hangover-like symptoms, nausea, seizures, and coma. Overdose or mixing these drugs with alcohol can be fatal. Cocaine can cause such long-term problems as tremors, seizures, psychosis, and heart or respiratory failure. LSD can cause nausea, rapid heart rate, depression, and disorientation. Long-term effects include paranoia and psychosis.
Marijuana and hashish can cause rapid heart rate and memory impairment soon after use. Long-term effects include cognitive problems, infertility, weakened immune system, and possible lung damage.
Narcotics such as heroin can bring on respiratory and circulatory depression, dizziness, impotence, constipation, and withdrawal sickness. Overdoses can lead to seizures and death. PCP, in addition to triggering unpredictable and violent behavior, can cause dizziness, numbness, high heart rate and blood pressure, convulsions, and in high amounts fatal heart and lung failure or ruptured blood vessels.
Stimulants such as amphetamines have health effects that include high heart rate and blood pressure, headache, blurred vision, dizziness, impotence, skin disorders, tremors, seizures, and psychosis
Employees with questions or concerns about substance dependency or abuse are encouraged to discuss these matters with their supervisor or the Vice President to receive assistance or referrals to appropriate resources in the community.
There are several ways to prevent drug and alcohol abuse. Telling a trusted source and keeping the lines of communication open with someone you feel close enough to share that information with is a good step in preventing further abuse. There are support groups and awareness programs dedicated to the prevention of drug and alcohol abuse. Educating yourself on health risks associated with substance abuse and practicing abstinence from substances is an effective way towards prevention. A pamphlet with educational content will be available to each employee of MediaTech Institute, as well as the below listed information on programs available:
- Homeward Bound Inc, Residential short-term sober living drug treatment, Residential long-term drug rehab treatment sober living, outpatient drug rehab, Substance abuse day treatment for Recovery Related Services
- Nexus Recovery Center, Residential short-term sober living drug treatment, Residential long-term drug rehab treatment sober living, Outpatient drug rehab, Substance abuse day treatment for Recovery Related Service, Outpatient substance abuse treatment and drug rehab program
- Salvation Army, Residential short-term sober living drug treatment, Residential long-term drug rehab treatment sober living, outpatient drug rehab, Substance abuse day treatment for Recovery Related Services
- Primary Purpose Group, Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Study
- Drug Addicts Anonymous, Narcotics Big Book Study
- For a full list substance abuse and recovery resources, visit http://interventionamerica.org
Employees with questions on this policy or issues related to drug or alcohol use in the workplace should raise their concerns with their supervisor or the Vice President without fear of reprisal.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) permits MediaTech Institute to prohibit the use of any illegal drugs while on school premises or on the clock, whether a prescription has been issued to the employee or not. The term “illegal use of drugs” means using and possessing drugs of which is unlawful under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The term thus includes the use of marijuana for any purpose, including medical prescriptions.
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