Alcohol and Other Drugs
- Health Risks
- Counseling and Treatment Programs
- University Sanctions
- External Sanctions
- Employee Reporting Requirement
The University of Michigan has had a long standing concern about the harmful effects of alcohol abuse and the use of illicit drugs. The University recognizes that the abuse of alcohol and other drugs can significantly interfere with fulfilling the mission of the University and pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of the members of this community. Current prevention efforts are coordinated by the UM Alcohol and Other Drugs Prevention Program.
Under the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1991 the University is required to notify all employees and students of its specific alcohol and drug policy program. The elements of the policy and program include prevention efforts, consequences that may follow the use of alcohol and other drugs, and sanctions that may be applied by both the University and external authorities. The law also requires that individuals be notified of possible health risks associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs and sources of assistance for problems that arise as a result of use.
The University's policy is intended to educate members of the community about the health risks associated with the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs and about the resources available for counseling and therapy. In order to assure a work and learning environment that promotes the University mission and proper function, the University prohibits unlawful possession, use or distribution of alcohol or illicit drugs by faculty, staff or students on University property or as part of any University activity. Federal and state sanctions may also apply to such conduct.
The UM Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Program has developed a comprehensive approach to prevention, which includes the campus and neighboring Ann Arbor community residents. The goal of current prevention efforts is to change the campus culture by intervening in the environmental factors that explicitly or implicitly promote and/or encourage use and misuse. In April 2004, the UM Campus/Community Task Force On Alcohol Misuse and Excessive Use was established and is currently developing and instituting new strategies to reduce harmful use on campus. For more information please contact: (734) 763-7808.
The use or abuse of alcohol and other drugs increase the risk for a number of health related and other medical, behavioral, and social problems. These include acute health problems related to intoxication or overdose (blackouts, convulsions, coma, death); physical and psychological dependence; malnutrition; long-term health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, organic brain damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, and cancer of the liver, mouth, throat, and stomach; contracting diseases, such as AIDS, through the sharing of hypodermic needles; pregnancy problems including miscarriages, still births and learning disabilities; fetal alcohol syndrome (physical and mental birth defects); psychological or psychiatric problems; diminished behavior (hangovers, hallucinations, disorientation, slurred speech); unusual or inappropriate risk-taking which may result in physical or emotional injury, or death; violent behavior towards others, such as assaults and rape; accidents caused by operating machinery while impaired; impaired driving resulting in alcohol and drug-related arrest, traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities; negative effects on academic or work performance; conflicts with co-workers, classmates, family, friends, and others; conduct problems resulting in disciplinary actions, including loss of employment; and legal problems including imprisonment.
The University of Michigan encourages individuals with alcohol or other drug-related problems to seek assistance. The following lists of confidential, no-cost services are available:
These offices can also provide additional information on local, state, and national resources for those seeking assistance.
It is unlawful to possess, use, manufacture, or distribute illicit drugs by faculty, staff or students on University property or as a part of any University activity. All members of the campus community are governed by laws, regulations and ordinances established by the state and local municipalities, and will be held accountable by law enforcement representatives of those entities for any illegal activity. It is the responsibility of all campus members to be aware of these laws.
The Division of Student Affairs (DSA) has established expectations for student conduct under the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities (The Statement). The Statement specifically addresses the illicit use of alcohol and other drugs as follows:
"The following behavior contradicts the values of the University community and is subject to action under this Statement . . . Illegally possessing, using, distributing, manufacturing, or selling alcohol or other drugs."
The Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR) is charged with determining responsibility as well as recommending sanctions when appropriate. Sanctions cover a wide range of educational assignments and obligations, including but not limited to suspension and expulsion from the institution. OSCR may delegate portions of the Conduct Process to other units of the University who have a vested interest in the conduct of smaller student communities (e.g., University Housing, Athletic Department). However, other units of the University may have their own policies and concurrent processes.
Academic units of the University may also have written or implied policies concerning their response to the illicit use of alcohol and other drugs in the academic setting. Students are expected to know and understand these additional policies as consistent with their community membership.
Staff and Faculty
Sanctions for violations by faculty and staff are governed by policies within individual departments and any applicable guidelines set by University regulations (Regents' Bylaw 5.09, Standard Practice Guide 201.12), appropriate collective bargaining agreements, and other applicable policies or procedures. Appropriate sanctions may include: verbal or written warnings, a mandated rehabilitation program, probation, suspension, and termination. In each case there are likely to be different circumstances that are relevant for understanding the situation and determining the appropriate sanction.
Federal laws impose significant criminal penalties for the unlawful possession, uses, manufacture or distribution of alcohol and illicit drugs. These penalties include fines and/or imprisonment.
Under Michigan law it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, consume or possess, or have any bodily content of alcohol. A first-time conviction may result in a fine, substance abuse education and treatment, community service and court-ordered drug screenings. There is also a provision for possible imprisonment or probation for a second or subsequent offense. Use of fake identification by minors in obtaining alcohol is punishable with a fine, loss of driver's license, probation and community service.
Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, in addition to the other requirements of this policy, a faculty or staff member who works in any capacity under a federal grant or contract must notify his or her University supervisor or department head, in writing, of his or her conviction for a violation of any criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace no later than five calendar days after such conviction. This applies to direct charge employees and to indirect charge employees who perform any support or overhead functions related to the grant. The supervisor or department head must then promptly report the violation to the Office of General Counsel.