February 7, 2019

USC Drug-Free

The Federal Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and its amendments of 1989 (Public Law 101-226, 20 U.S.C. 1011i) require all federal grant recipients to certify a drug-free environment.

A message from Interim President Wanda Austin

The University of Southern California is committed to maintaining a community in which teaching, research, and learning can thrive. That mission can succeed only if health and wellness also thrive. To that end, USC remains dedicated to upholding the requirements of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act and its related provisions.

We want to reduce the risks from alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs so that our entire community can enjoy a safe and sustaining academic environment. This applies to our faculty and staff members and also of course to our students, who are learning habits and coping skills that will help set the direction of their adult lives. Our work does not stop in our lecture halls. We want to help young people grow in ways that enable them to succeed in their careers and personal lives. 

This is why the university provides its entire community – students, faculty, and staff – with resources that promote wellness and help avoid the harmful effects that can come from abusing alcohol and other drugs. I hope that everyone who cares about USC will read the following material and learn more about our university’s programs. 

Sincerely,
Wanda M. Austin, Interim President

**

It is the policy of the University of Southern California (USC) to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989 and its amendments (DFSCA). The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act require USC to adopt and put into effect programs to prevent the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of illegal drugs or alcohol by students and employees on USC property, at USC sponsored activities or events, and to offer anti‐drug and alcohol abuse programming. These federal regulations also require USC to distribute annually to students and employees information which outlines the following:

1). The health risks associated with alcohol and drug use and abuse;

2). Alcohol and drug abuse resources for students and employees;

3). Policies on alcohol and other drugs;

4). Information on state, municipal and federal laws and sanctions; and

5). Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on its property or as part of its on-campus or off-campus activities.

These guidelines are reviewed by USC annually to determine the effectiveness of the program and consistency of sanction enforcement, in order to identify and implement any necessary changes. Anyone receiving funding from federal sources should carefully read the section on “Special requirements for those working on or with federal contracts and grants.”

Introduction

USC recognizes that illegal or abusive use of alcohol and other drugs by members of the university community has a detrimental effect on the university’s commitment to provide continual excellence in teaching, research and education. Misuse of drugs by students, faculty and staff members poses hazards both to the individual involved and to the community. Students, faculty and staff share the responsibility for creating attitudes conducive to eliminating the abuse of alcohol and other drugs within the university community.

USC’s comprehensive approach to addressing substance abuse emphasizes:

  • Taking effective steps to create and maintain a drug-free workplace and educational environment for students, faculty and staff.
  • Providing continuous access to medical and behavioral healthcare services, along with referrals to off-campus treatment facilities as appropriate.
  • Engaging in a robust health promotion process that includes reorienting all sectors towards prevention, the development of personal skills and systemic environmental management.
  • Encouraging individuals who are diagnosed with at-risk substance abuse disorder or are otherwise experiencing problems associated with alcohol and other drugs to seek assessment and treatment.
  • Engaging in ongoing self-assessment of university sanctions for the illegal manufacture, distribution, use or possession of drugs and the unlawful possession or use of alcohol. (See “Sanctions” section of this policy for an overview of possible university and criminal sanctions.)

Health risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs

General health risks

Many well-documented risks are associated with alcohol and other drugs, affecting not only the individual user but also the user’s family, friends and communities. Alcohol is frequently implicated in cases of sexual misconduct on campus, for example, and the misuse of other drugs is sometimes a factor in other violent behavior. Problems associated with alcohol and other drugs include impaired brain function; poor academic or job performance; relationship difficulties, including sexual dysfunction; a tendency to verbal and physical violence; financial distress; injuries or accidents; violations of the law such as driving under the influence; willfully destroying property; and death.

The following summaries describe some of the additional substance-specific risks associated with the use and misuse of alcohol and other substances.

Alcohol

For men, at-risk alcohol consumption is drinking more than four standard doses (or drinks) of alcohol a day and/or more than 14 drinks per week. For women, at-risk drinking is drinking more than three standard doses (or drinks) drinks a day and/or more than seven drinks a week. (One drink is equal to 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine, or 1.5 oz. liquor.) While any alcohol use has the potential to contribute to problems (e.g., alcohol use impairs brain function and motor skills even when not legally drunk), studies show that certain “at-risk” drinking patterns are associated with an increased likelihood of negative outcomes.

At-risk drinking can cause poor performance in school or at work, accidents, injuries, arguments, legal problems (including DUI), strained relationships, undesirable or even dangerous sex, and verbal or physical violence, including the perpetration of sexual assault. At-risk and other risky patterns of alcohol consumption also contribute to sleep problems, prolonged intoxication aka hangovers, cancer, liver disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, Alcohol Use Disorder and Alcohol Dependence.

Alcohol consumption is involved in the majority of violent acts on campuses, including sexual assault, vandalism, fights, and accidents involving cars, pedestrians and bicycles.

THC and other cannabinoids

THC, is the primary mind altering chemical from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica, plant. THC is found in marijuana as well as concentrated THC extracts and resins.  THC is stored in the fat cells of the body and can stay in the body from a few days to about two months. Short-term use impairs or distorts short-term memory and comprehension and alters the user’s sense of time, and reduces coordination.

Physical effects of use include breathing problems, increased heart rate, problems with child development during and after pregnancy, and with chronic use, intense nausea and vomiting. Long-term marijuana use has been linked to impaired brain development in adolescents and mental illness in some people, such as temporary hallucinations, temporary paranoia, and worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia.

Cocaine (crack and other stimulants)

The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and increased blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration rate followed by a crash when the drug wears off. Over the longer term, cocaine users often have nasal passage and nasal septum problems. There is a high rate of addiction among users.

Hallucinogens (LSD, mescaline, psilocybin)

Hallucinogens cause illusions and distortions of time and perception. The user may experience episodes of panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety and loss of control. Flashbacks can occur even after use has stopped. PCP or phencyclidine has been shown to produce violent behaviors which can lead to injuries to the user or a bystander.

Heroin (other opioids)

Heroin causes the body to experience diminished pain. If injected, it can result in blood vessel damage (and possibly the transmission of infections such as hepatitis and HlV if needles are shared). There is a high rate of addiction among users.

Tobacco (cigarettes, chew, and other products)

Tobacco use has been proven not only to be addictive, but to have serious, well-documented health consequences. While many people, particularly students, look to smoking as a way of reducing stress, it should be remembered that there is no comparison between the stress of facing emphysema or lung cancer and the stress of preparing for midterms. There is a high rate of addiction among users.

USC resources for faculty and staff

Trojans Care for Trojans is an initiative within the Office of Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention that empowers USC students, faculty and staff to take action when they are concerned about a fellow Trojan challenged with personal difficulties. For more information, contact USC Support and Advocacy at (213) 821-4710 or visit STU 201. https://studentaffairs.usc.edu/trojans-care-for-trojans-tc4t/

BASICS and CASICS assist you in examining your drinking or cannabis use and other drug use behavior in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational manner to reduce risky behavior and harmful consequences. These services are available at The Haven at College (310) 822-1234. See http://www.thehavenatcollege.com/usc-basicscasics/

Center for Work and Family Life – no cost education, information, assessments, referrals and treatment for all faculty and staff (including hospital staff), and their dependent family members. (213) 821-0800. https://employees.usc.edu/work-family-life/

USC Faculty/Staff Health Clinic, for medical assessment and referrals to counseling and treatment.

Engemann Student Health Center (ESH 435)
http://www.keckmedicine.org/locations/
(800) USC-CARE (800-872-2273)

Faculty Mediation Officer
(213) 740-4794

Anthem Blue Cross, for hospital employees represented by a collective bargaining unit
www.anthem.com/ca/
HMO (800) 227-3613
PPO (800) 759-3030

Kaiser (Member Service Call Center)
https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/html/kaiser/index.shtml
(800) 464-4000

USC resources for students

Trojans Care for Trojans is an initiative within the Office of Campus Wellness and Crisis Intervention that empowers USC students, faculty and staff to take action when they are concerned about a fellow Trojan challenged with personal difficulties. For more information, contact USC Support and Advocacy at (213) 821-4710 or visit STU 201. https://studentaffairs.usc.edu/trojans-care-for-trojans-tc4t/

BASICS and CASICS assist you in examining your drinking or cannabis use and other drug use behavior in a non-judgmental, non-confrontational manner to reduce risky behavior and harmful consequences. These services are available at The Haven at College (310) 822-1234. See http://www.thehavenatcollege.com/usc-basicscasics/

AlcoholEdu for College – whether or not you decide to drink alcohol while you are at USC, AlcoholEdu for College will assist you in making well-informed decisions and responding to the possible drinking-related behavior of your peers. Please note that incoming undergraduate students are required to complete USC’s AlcoholEdu for College and pass the final exam even if you have done so at another institution. For technical support, call (866) 384-9062 or visit support.everfi.com. For program questions, contact alcedu@usc.edu.

USC Student Health

Additional resources

Alcoholics Anonymous
www.lacoaa.org/
English (323) 936-4343
en Español (323) 750-2039

Al-Anon
(www.alanonla.org)
(818) 760-7122

Adult Children of Alcoholics
www.adultchildren.org
(310) 534-1815

Cocaine Anonymous
www.ca4la.org/
(888) 714-8341

Family Anonymous Drug Abuse
famanon@familiesanonymous.org
(847) 294-5877

Marijuana Anonymous
www.marijuana-anonymous.org/ (English/Español)
(800) 766-6779

Narcotics Anonymous
www.todayna.org/ (English)
www.todayna.org/espanol.html (Español)
English (800) 863-2962
en Español (888) 622-4692

National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency
www.ncadd-sfv.org/
(818) 997-0414

Drug Enforcement Agency Resource Guide 2017 Edition:  Drugs of Abuse https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/drug_of_abuse.pdf

Drug Enforcement Agency Resource:  Campus Drug Prevention website: https://www.campusdrugprevention.gov/

Drug Enforcement Agency List of Controlled Substances: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/orangebook/c_cs_alpha.pdf

Drug Enforcement Agency Drug Facts and Scheduling: https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling

University policy on alcohol and other drugs for students

Unauthorized use, possession or dissemination of alcohol, tobacco products, unauthorized or illegal drugs, or drug-related paraphernalia in the university community or at university-sponsored activities, is prohibited. (See SCampus, Part B, Section 11; SCampus, Part F, Sections 4 and 5.)

University policy on alcohol and other drugs for faculty

Disciplinary procedures for faculty are discussed in the Faculty Handbook.

University policy on alcohol and other drugs for staff

See Staff Disciplinary Practices policy.

Federal, state and municipal law

The following provisions of federal, state and municipal law serve as the foundation for USC’s policy on the unlawful use of alcohol, including university disciplinary action. (Note: this list is not a complete summary of relevant laws and ordinances.)

State and municipal laws and ordinances

  • The purchase, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
  • The selling, either directly or indirectly, of alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) except under the authority of a California Alcoholic Beverage Control Board license is prohibited. This includes selling glasses, mixes, ice, tickets for admission, etc.
  • The serving of alcohol to an intoxicated person is prohibited.
  • The serving of alcohol to someone to the point of intoxication is prohibited.
  • The manufacture, use or provision of a false state identification card, driver’s license, or certification of birth or baptism is prohibited.
  • The act(s) of being drunk and disorderly in public view, including on public sidewalks and walkways, is prohibited.
  • The consumption of alcoholic beverages in a public place (unless licensed for consumption of alcohol on the premises) is prohibited. This includes a prohibition of alcoholic beverages in public areas of academic facilities, recreation fields, university housing corridors and lounges.
  • The act of driving a motor vehicle or a bicycle while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited.
  • The possession of an alcoholic beverage in an open container in a motor vehicle or on a bicycle is prohibited regardless of who is driving or whether one is intoxicated.

State and federal criminal sanctions

The following is a brief summary of the state and federal criminal sanctions that may be imposed upon someone who violates the alcohol and other drug policy at USC or elsewhere in the state of California.

  • A violation of California law for the unlawful sale of alcohol may include imprisonment in the county jail for six months, plus fines and penalties.
  • A violation of California law for the use of alcohol by obviously intoxicated individuals will vary with the particular circumstances but may include imprisonment in the county jail and substantial fines and penalties. Additionally, minors who are arrested for violations concerning the use of alcohol run the risk of having their driving privileges suspended or revoked until they are 18.
  • A violation of California law for the possession, use and/or sale of narcotics, marijuana and/or other illicit drugs includes imprisonment in the county jail or state prison for one to nine years, plus fines up to $100,000 for each count.
  • A violation of federal law for the possession, use and/or sale of narcotics, marijuana and/or other illicit drugs may include imprisonment in the federal penitentiary for one to fifteen years plus substantial financial penalties.
  • A violation of the law involving an individual being under the influence of a combination of alcohol and other drugs (itself potentially deadly), may result in an increase in criminal sanctions and penalties.

Actions taken for policy violations

Student involvement in illegal underage consumption of alcohol or the manufacture, use, possession, distribution or sale of illicit drugs is illegal and against university policy, and will subject a student involved in such activity to disciplinary action. Depending on the nature of the violation, university sanctions may include educational intervention, mandated community reparations, suspension, or expulsion.

In addition to the sanctions imposed by the university, individuals who have violated state and federal law regarding possession, use, and/or distribution of alcohol and other drugs may be referred by the university to the appropriate authorities for arrest and prosecution.

When problems arise due to alcohol and other drug use and abuse, the university’s goal is to provide employees, whenever possible, with options for assessment, recommendations, counseling, referrals and/or treatment. If a faculty or staff member violates university policy the individual may be subject to university disciplinary sanctions up to and including dismissal, in addition to federal, state and municipal legal action and penalties. Thus, self-referral and early detection and referral are critical to the rehabilitation of employees. Disciplinary procedures for faculty are discussed in the USC Faculty Handbook; for staff, see the Staff Disciplinary Practices policy.

Smoke-free policy

To provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our faculty, staff and students, the university maintains a smoke-free policy. Questions regarding the smoke-free policy should be directed to Risk Management at (213) 740-6204.

Special requirements for those working on or with federal contracts and grants

The Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-690, Title V, Subtitle D) and the State Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990 require that university employees directly engaged in the performance of work on a federal or state contract or grant must abide by this policy as a condition of employment.

USC’s Department of Contracts and Grants must be notified within five calendar days if an employee working on a contract or grant supported by federal funds is convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring in the workplace or while on university business. The university is required to notify the federal contracting or granting agency within 10 calendar days of receiving notice of such conviction and to take appropriate corrective action or to require the employee to participate satisfactorily in available counseling, treatment and approved substance abuse assistance or rehabilitation programs within 30 calendar days of having received notice of such conviction.

Responsible office

Student Affairs
https://studentaffairs.usc.edu/
(213) 740-2421

Issued by

Wanda M. Austin
Interim President