Higher Education Act

» SPSU Home / Higher Education Act / Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program

Higher Education Act

SPSU Higher Education Act
1100 South Marietta Pkwy
Marietta, GA 30060

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program

IA.  Standards of Conduct--Employees

Southern Polytechnic State University prohibits the unlawful possession, manufacture, distribution, furnishing, or use of illicit drugs on the premises of the University.  This policy also applies to alcoholic beverages, except as provided for by the University's Alcohol Policy for Non-Student Groups.  Policy and Procedure 860.0 details SPSU's Drug-Free Workplace policy.  It states:

Southern Polytechnic State University adopts the following as its drug-free workplace policy:

  1. Southern Polytechnic State University considers the illegal use of drugs something that can affect the work performance of the employee, may affect the attendance record of the employee, and could cause danger to the employee or others at the university.
  2. The use of illegal substances, or behavior brought on by the use of illegal substances, is unacceptable in a university environment where the education of young persons is undertaken.
  3. Employees who need advice concerning drug abuse may obtain information about drug counseling programs from Human Resources or the Counseling Center.
  4. Employees of Southern Polytechnic State University may not illegally engage in
  5. the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance while at the workplace. Such unlawful activity will be considered sufficient grounds for a serious adverse personnel action, including possible dismissal from employment.
  6. If an employee is convicted (including a plea of nolo contendre) for violating any criminal drug law by an action in the workplace, the employee must notify Human Resources in writing within five days of the conviction.
  7. This policy will be distributed annually to all employees and will be given to every new employee at the initial time of employment at Southern Polytechnic State University.

This policy is further stated in the Human Resources handbook, in the section entitled You and Your Job.

IB.  Standards of Conduct--Students

Southern Polytechnic State University prohibits the use of alcohol and illicit drugs by students.  The policy is found in the Student Handbook, and states:

Alcoholic Beverages

a.  Consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited unless authorized by the Dean of Students.

b.  Intoxication made manifest by disorderly conduct, including fighting, boisterousness, rowdiness, obscene or indecent conduct or appearance, or vulgar, profane, lewd or unbecoming language is behavior considered unacceptable to the institution, and subject to discipline as Non-academic Misconduct.

Drugs

Use, possession (without valid medical or dental prescriptions), manufacture, furnishing, sales or any distribution of any narcotic or dangerous drug controlled by law is prohibited.  Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

This policy  is further amplified in the University's Alcohol Policy for Students.

II.  Applicable Legal Sanctions

State of Georgia Sanctions for Drug and Alcohol Offenders:

The Georgia penal code defines "CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES" in Drug Schedules I-V, Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), sections 16-13-25 to 16-13-29, covering 14 pages of text, including a long list of chemical compounds, opiates, hallucinogens, derivatives, isomers, and other materials.  The State board of Pharmacy may add new material to the list as required.

An even broader category of dangerous drugs is defined in O.C.G.A. section 16-13-71, covering 41 pages of text describing hundreds of chemicals and other compounds.  The Georgia General Assembly may add drugs to the list as required.

Criminal Punishment:

The following are some of the criminal penalties imposed by the State of Georgia regarding illegal drugs:

"First Offender" – A person never before convicted of possession of a small amount of any controlled substance may at the discretion of the judge, be afforded the first offender treatment, resulting in no entry of a plea of guilty and no record of any conviction if the defendant successfully completes a court-monitored comprehensive rehabilitative program (O.C.G.A. 16-13-2(b)).

Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana may result in imprisonment for 12 months and/or a fine not to exceed $1000, or "public works" not to exceed 12 months (O.C.G.A. 16-13-2(b)).

Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana is a felony and is punishable by confinement of not less than one year nor more than 10 years (O.C.G.A. 16-13-30(j)(2)).

Trafficking of cocaine, illegal drugs and/or marijuana is a felony.  Depending on the amount, confinement ranges form 5 to 15 years with fines from $100,000 to $1,000,000.

The penalties for violation of the "controlled substances" provision are numerous and vary depending on the drug schedule under which the substance is listed, whether the act charged includes trafficking, and how much of the substance is involved.  Penalties range from 5 to 30 years and include life for a second conviction of transferring a narcotic (Schedule II).

Possession on an alcoholic beverage by any person under age 21 may result in confinement, not to exceed 30 days, or a fine of not more that $300, or both.

The following property is subject to seizure by the state under public condemnation action, if such property was used in a criminal violation:

~All contraband drugs.

~All products used in drug manufacture and possession.

~Any property used as a container for drugs.

~Aircraft, vehicles, vessels, and other conveyances used or intended for use in the transportation or storage of illegal substances.

~Books, records, formulas, and other data.

~Cash, negotiable instruments, securities, or anything of value used in exchange for illegal purposes.

Section 20-1-23 of The Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990 states that any student of a public educational institution who is convicted of a felony offense involving a controlled substance or a dangerous drug shall of the date of conviction be suspended from the public educational institution in which they are enrolled.  The student shall forfeit any right to any academic credit otherwise earned or earnable for such semester, and the educational institutional institution shall subsequently revoke any such academic credit which is granted prior to the completion of administrative actions necessary to implement such suspension.

Federal Sanctions for Drug Offenders:

Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841-858 describes the acts, criminal penalties, and civil and criminal forfeiture provisions established by Congress covering 28 pages of text.

Title 21, U.S.C. Section 812, contains five schedules of "controlled substances".  Schedule I describes certain opiates and other substances; Schedule II contains opium, cocaine, and other addictive substances; Schedule III lists amphetamine, phencyclidine (PCP) and other like matter; Schedule IV involves barbiturates; Schedule V concerns codeine and atropine sulfate, among other preparations.  The Attorney General of the United States is authorized to add items to the several schedules.

Criminal Punishment

The following are some of the criminal penalties imposed by the Federal Government regarding illegal drugs:

The manufacture, or distribution of various controlled substances, depending upon their schedule sequence and the amount of substance involved, is punishable by confinement ranging from not less than 5 nor more than 40 years and fines from $200,000 to $10,000,000.

The penalties for "simple possession" of illegal drugs is from not more than 1 to 20 years, depending upon the substance schedule, amount possessed, and the number of convictions (Title 21 Section 844).

The distribution, manufacture, or possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance is punishable by twice the sanction provided in Section 841 (b) (not less than 10 nor more than 80 years, depending upon the schedule and amount), where such offense was performed on or within one thousand feet of a college or university.  Section A denies certain "federal benefits" to drug traffickers and possessors, such as federal grants, contracts, loans, and professional licenses.

Section 853 provides for forfeiture of possession and title to the federal government of any property used in drug offenses, including realty (land growing crops and timber) and any tangible and intangible property including, but not limited to:  aircraft, vessels, vehicles, as well as rights, privileges, interests, claims, and securities.

III.  Health Risks Associated with Drug and Alcohol Use

The Career and Counseling Center maintains a website related to the health risks associated with the use of drugs or alcohol.  An extensive array of information may be found there about alcohol and major illicit drug types, including both short-term and long-term effects of their use.

Additional information about Health Risks Associated with Alcohol is maintained by the University's Health and Wellness Coordinator.

IV.  Available Counseling, Treatment, Rehabilitation, or Re-entry Programs

SPSU's Human Resources Office (for employees) and Career and Counseling Center (for students) will provide referrals to counseling, treatment, rehabilitation, and re-entry programs available in the community.

A number of resources are also available online related to alcohol and drug counseling and treatment:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Marijuana Anonymous
  • Cocaine Anonymous
  • Stop Drugs
  • Ridgeview Institute
  • Charter Peachford
  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
  • American Council for Drug Education
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Web of Addictions
  • EROWID

V.  Sanctions for Violation of Standards

As stated in the Standards of Conduct for Employees:

Employees of Southern Polytechnic State University may not illegally engage in the manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance while at the workplace. Such unlawful activity will be considered sufficient grounds for a serious adverse personnel action, including possible dismissal from employment.

Violation of the Standards of Conduct for Students related to drugs will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Also, intoxication is behavior considered unacceptable to the institution, and subject to discipline as Non-academic Misconduct.

Federal law  mandates serious penalties for students who violate the Standards of Conduct:

Section 20-1-23 of The Drug-free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990 states that any student of a public educational institution who is convicted of a felony offense involving a controlled substance or a dangerous drug shall of the date of conviction be suspended from the public educational institution in which they are enrolled.  The student shall forfeit any right to any academic credit otherwise earned or earnable for such semester, and the educational institutional institution shall subsequently revoke any such academic credit which is granted prior to the completion of administrative actions necessary to implement such suspension. 

 ©