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Drug-Free Workplace Statement

The University of Florida is committed to providing a campus environment free of the abuse of alcohol and the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs. The university has adopted and implemented programs that seek to prevent the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by university community members.

This summary of policies on the use of alcohol and other drugs is provided to you in response to the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989.

Standard of Conduct

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance or the unlawful possession and use of alcohol are harmful and prohibited in and on property owned and controlled by the university or any other university. No employee or student is to report to work, class, or any university activity while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. The use of alcoholic beverages by members of the university is at all times subject to the alcoholic beverage laws of the state of Florida, applicable county and city regulations, and the University Alcohol Policy, Regulation 6C1-2.019, Florida Administrative Code. The possession and use of controlled drugs by members of the university community must at all times be in accordance with the provisions of Florida law, the regulations of the Board of Education, and the regulations of the university. Under Florida law, no person may possess substances regulated under the provisions of Chapter 893, Florida Statutes (controlled substances and “designer drugs”), unless dispensed and used pursuant to prescription or otherwise authorized by law. Sale and delivery of such substances are prohibited unless authorized by law.

University of Florida Sanctions

Violation of the policies and laws described in this statement by an employee or student is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion in accordance with applicable university and the Florida Board of Education regulations and/or collective bargaining agreements. Such disciplinary actions also may include reprimand or suspension. Student organizations may be sanctioned for violation of these policies and laws. Sanctions may range from written reprimand to revocation of recognition as a student organization.

Additionally, a violation may be reason for evaluation and treatment of a drug- and/or alcohol-use disorder or referral for prosecution consistent with local, state, and federal criminal law. Disciplinary action by the university does not preclude the possibility of criminal charges against a student or employee. The filing of criminal charges similarly does not preclude action by the university.

Other Legal Sanctions

State law prohibits the possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21. Violation of this offense is punishable by a definite term of imprisonment of up to 60 days and/or a $500 fine; a subsequent offense is punishable by a definite term of imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of $1,000. Possession of alcoholic beverages by a person under age 21 may also result in curtailment of driving privileges. No person may sell, give, serve or permit to be served alcoholic beverages to a person under 21, and it is unlawful for a person under 21 to misrepresent his age in order to obtain alcohol. Violation of either of these offenses is also punishable by a definite term of imprisonment of up to 60 days and a fine of $500. Misrepresentation of age may also lead to curtailment of driving privileges.

Under state law, it is a crime for any person to possess or distribute controlled substances/drugs as described in Section 893.03, Florida Statutes, except as authorized by law. Punishment for such crimes ranges from first-degree misdemeanors (up to one-year imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine) to first-degree felonies (up to 30 years imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine). Specifically, possession of fewer than 20 grams of marijuana is punishable with imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000; possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a third-degree felony with imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000. Trafficking (distributing specified large quantities of various controlled substances) is punishable by a term of imprisonment up to life and a fine of $25,000 to $500,000, depending on the particular illicit drug and the quantity involved. Thus, possession of fewer than 28 grams of cocaine is a third-degree felony, while possession of more than 28 grams of cocaine—trafficking in cocaine—is a first-degree felony, punishable with a fine of up to $250,000 and imprisonment up to life without eligibility for early release. The death penalty may be imposed if a person has brought large quantities of the substances into the state knowing the result would be the death of any person.

Individuals who have been convicted of a felony involving the sale of or trafficking in, or conspiracy to sell or traffic in, a controlled substance under certain circumstances may be disqualified from applying for state employment. Penalties under federal law for drug trafficking generally are greater than penalties under state law. Convictions on drug-related charges also may result in disqualification for federal financial aid. Punishments may include a fine of up to $8 million and life imprisonment.

Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses of alcohol significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. The use of small amounts of alcohol by a pregnant woman can damage the fetus. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts.
Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairment in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Heavy use may result in chronic depression and suicide and also may be associated with the abuse of other drugs. Very high doses can cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects described. Even occasional heavy drinking may be associated with the harmful effects described above. Binge drinking, which occurs over an extended period of time, involves repeated use of alcohol to the point of intoxication. A person may give up usual activities and responsibilities during this time in order to use the alcohol, and serious impairment in all areas of functioning may occur.

Long-term heavy alcohol use can cause digestive disorders, cirrhosis of the liver, circulatory system disorders, and impairment of the central nervous system—all of which may lead to early death. Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence, and at least 15 to 20 percent of heavy users eventually will become problem drinkers or alcoholics if they continue drinking. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions, which can be life threatening.

The use of illegal drugs and the misuse of prescription and other drugs also pose a serious threat to health. The use of marijuana (cannabis) may cause impairment of short-term memory, comprehension, and ability to perform tasks requiring concentration. Marijuana use also may cause lung damage, paranoia, and possible psychosis. The use of narcotics, depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogens may cause nervous system disorders and possible death as the result of an overdose. Illicit inhalants can cause liver damage.

For More Information

Detailed information about alcohol consumption, the use of illegal drugs, and the misuse of prescription and other drugs is available from GatorWell Health Promotion Services at 273-4450 or by visiting its website.

Drug and Alcohol Counseling, Rehabilitation, Reentry Programs: By calling the university’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 392-5787 employees can receive individual consultation sessions or be referred to community providers or agencies for assistance in dealing with drug and alcohol abuse. The EAP is free and confidential, and all university employees, including Other Personal Services (OPS) employees, are eligible.

Students may seek assistance at GatorWell Health Promotion Services, Room 104 Counseling and Wellness Center, 273-4450; and the Counseling and Wellness Center, 655 J. Wayne Reitz Union Drive STE 1100, 273-4450. Many student organizations also provide alcohol and drug education projects. For information about student organizations, call the Student Activities Center at 392-1671.

Help for all members of the university community is available through Alcoholics Anonymous at 372-8091 and Narcotics Anonymous at 376-8008. Additional places where one can get treatment are listed in the Gainesville telephone directory under “Alcoholism Information and Treatment Centers” and “Drug Abuse and Addiction—Information and Treatment.”

Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act 

The following are required of the University of Florida and its employees:

  1. An employee shall notify his or her supervisor or other appropriate management representative of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five days after such conviction.
  2. The university shall notify any federal contracting agency within ten days of having received notice that an employee engaged in the performance of such contract or grant has had a criminal drug statute conviction for a violation in the workplace.
  3. The university will take appropriate action against any employee who is convicted for a violation occurring in the workplace or will require the employee’s satisfactory participation in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

Additional Information 

Please contact Employee Relations at 392-1072, or EmployeeRelations@hr.ufl.edu with questions you may have about university policies and procedures. Questions about students may be directed to Student Affairs at 392-1265 or the Dean of Students Office at 392-1261. Detailed information about alcohol consumption, the use of illegal drugs, and the misuse of prescription and other drugs may be obtained by calling GatorWell Health Promotion Services at 273-4450.

Please direct your questions about the university’s commercial motor vehicle operator program and federally mandated drug and alcohol testing at the university to the UF Workers’ Compensation Office, Human Resource Services, at 392-4940.

Revised August 2008.

This publication is available in alternative form; call Human Resource Services at (352) 392-4626 or TDD 1-800-955-8771.