Apr 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Alcohol/Illegal Substance Policy (SB)

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Policy - To comply with federal laws (the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989), colleges must provide in writing to all students and employees the following information as part of a commitment to the prevention of the use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol.

Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions for Alcohol/Drug Offense Students or employees of Patrick & Henry Community College shall not possess, sell, use, manufacture, give away or otherwise distribute illegal substances including drugs or alcohol while on campus, attending a college sponsored off-campus event, or while serving as a representative of the college at off-campus functions. Students or employees who violate this policy shall have college charges processed against them in the normal manner of due process provided by college rules. Further, students or employees who violate this policy shall have committed a criminal offense, and the college shall notify the appropriate agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, county or city government for investigation and, if warranted, prosecution.

Patrick & Henry Community College intends to maintain a workplace free from the adverse effects of alcohol and other drugs. Employees are forbidden to use these substances at the workplace or to come to the workplace while under the influence of these substances. In addition, employees are expected to notify their supervisors if they are convicted of violating any criminal drug law, either within or outside the work place, or if they are convicted of violating any alcohol beverage control law or law that governs driving while intoxicated, based on conduct occurring in the workplace. Violation of policies related to these matters can result in serious disciplinary action including termination.

Controlled Substances Policy

  1. Definitions
    1. The term “controlled substances,” as used in this policy is defined to include legal and illegal drugs. The use or possession of legal drugs (i.e., those drugs for which a valid prescription is required before the drug may be used or possessed) is not prohibited by this policy unless that use or possession is inconsistent with the prescription or where no such prescription has been provided.
    2. The term “illegal drugs” is defined to include all such drugs of which the use, sale, possession, distribution, manufacture, or transfer is prohibited by law and includes, but is not limited to, marijuana, narcotics, hallucinogens, stimulants, depressants, and so-called designer drugs.
    3. As used in this policy, “under the influence” means that the individual is affected by a controlled substance in a detectable manner.
    4. The term “workplace” as used here shall mean any College premises or work site or customer’s place of business, attending a college sponsored off-campus event, or while serving as a representative of the college at off-campus functions, and College vehicles and public or private means of transportation while engaged in College business.
  2. Policy Statement

The illegal use, sale, possession, distribution, manufacture, or transfer of controlled substances at the workplace or elsewhere during work hours is strictly prohibited. Also prohibited under this policy is use, sale, possession, distribution, manufacture, or transfer of controlled substances on nonworking time, and on or off College property to the extent such use impairs an employee’s ability to perform his/her/their job, or when such activities negatively affect the reputation of the College to the general public or threaten the integrity of the College.

College personnel may not report to work or work while under the influence of illegal drugs, nor may such personnel report to work under the influence of legal drugs for which no prescription has been issued or where the use of the legal drugs is inconsistent with a prescription.

Whereas this policy does not prohibit the use or possession of over-the-counter or prescription drugs where such use or possession is consistent with the proper use of such substances, College personnel are encouraged to advise supervisors of such use where it may affect performance. Should performance be affected by the use of such substances, the individual may be relieved of his or her job duties under the Sick Leave Programs.

College personnel who plead guilty or no contest or are convicted of a violation of a controlled substance statute must inform their supervisor within five days of the conviction or plea. Failure to comply with this requirement will subject College personnel to disciplinary action, which may include termination for a first offense.

Persons violating the College policy regarding substance abuse will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination for a first offense.

Alcohol Policy

The College expects that all personnel will maintain proper professional decorum at all times during the workday, on and off College property. Expressly prohibited under this policy are reporting to work or working while impaired from the use of alcohol and alcohol consumption while on the job or at other times during the workday on or off College property.

As used in this policy, impaired from the use of alcohol means that the individual’s performance or behavior is marked by abnormal conduct or erratic or aberrant behavior, including, but not limited to, sleeping on the job, slurred words, or a significant smell of alcohol about the person.

The legal use of alcohol is not prohibited when an employee is not working and is not at the workplace.

Personnel violating the policy regarding abuse of alcohol will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination for a first offense.


In order to enforce this policy and procedures, the College may investigate potential violations and require personnel to undergo drug and/or alcohol screening, including urinalysis, blood tests, or other appropriate tests and, where appropriate, searches of all areas of the College’s physical premises, including, but not limited to, work areas, personal articles, employees desks, workstations, and College vehicles, etc. Employees will be subject to discipline up to and including discharge for refusing to cooperate with searches or investigations or to submit to screening or for failing to execute consent forms when required by management.

Investigations and Searches

Where a manager or supervisor has reasonable suspicion that an employee has violated the substance abuse policy, the supervisor, or his or her designee, may inspect vehicles, lockers, work areas, desks, and other locations or belongings without prior notice, in order to ensure a work environment free of prohibited substances. An employee may be asked to be present and may remove a personal lock. The employee is hereby notified that locked areas or containers do not prevent a search, and thus employees should understand there is no expectation of privacy on College premises. Where the employee is not present or refuses to remove a personal lock, the College may do so. Any such searches will be coordinated with a representative of the HR department. The College may use unannounced drug detection methods.

Health Risks Associated with Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Drugs and alcohol interfere with student learning and employee performance in the workplace. Use of drugs and alcohol can also have dangerous consequences for personal health and for the safety of others. A list of controlled substances and their effects is provided later in this chapter. Three of the more commonly abused drugs are highlighted below:

  • Alcohol impairs judgment and coordination; can cause damage to the brain, heart, liver and pancreas; increases the risk of birth defects; high doses can cause respiratory depression and death.
  • Marijuana has been linked to lung cancer, memory loss, slowed reaction time when driving, depression of the immune system, and complications for pregnant women.
  • Crack/Cocaine can cause convulsions, infection, heart attack, stroke, respiratory failure, brain seizures, psychosis, and death.

Counseling Services and Treatment Programs

Numerous community and state agencies, medical facilities, and private outpatient counseling/treatment programs are available to help Patrick & Henry students and employees dealing with substance abuse problems. A few examples are listed below:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous, 540.343.6857
  • Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare, 540.981.9351
  • Carilion/Saint Albans, 540.731.2000
  • Lewis-Gale RESPOND Assessment and Referral, 800.541.9992
  • Life Center, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment 866.321.4316
  • Mount Regis Center treatment for addictions, 866.933.5109
  • State Employee Assistance Service 703-552-8960

Local resources:

  • Piedmont Community Services, 276.632.7128
  • Anchor Commission, 276.634.2910