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The University of Alabama at Birmingham:
resources ipvDrug-Free Schools and Communities Act

UAB’s Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy (link) applies to all members of the University community, including all students, faculty, staff, as well as visitors. It applies to behavior that occurs on the University campus, on property owned or controlled by the University, or at University-sponsored or University-supervised activities. This policy works in conjunction with the UAB Student Conduct Code, HR Policy 634 – Alcohol and Drug Testing for Reasonable Cause, and the General Policy Regarding the Use and Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages.

Every UAB community member has a personal responsibility to adhere to all applicable laws, policies, and regulations concerning the use of alcohol or other drugs. These include federal and state laws, city ordinances, the Student Conduct Code, the faculty standards of conduct, and other University policy statements. Any student, faculty or staff member found to be in violation of these policies will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension/expulsion (students) or immediate termination (faculty / staff) by the university. Furthermore, certain legal sanctions may be imposed (i.e., imprisonment, fines, and assigned community service) by federal, state, and local authorities.

Under Alabama law, the possession, purchase, or consumption of alcoholic beverages by a person under 21 years of age is punishable by a fine of up to $100 and by up to thirty days in jail. § 28-1-5, Alabama Code. Also, for a first offense, unlawful possession of a controlled substance (that is, an illegal drug) may be punished by imprisonment up to ten years and imposition of a $15,000 fine, and unlawful distribution of controlled substances is punishable by imprisonment up to 20 years and a $30,000 fine. §§ 13A-12-211, 212; 13A-5-6, 11, Alabama Code. Subsequent offenses may result in more stringent punishment. Possession and distribution of marijuana is subject to separate statutory penalties.

Under federal law, for a first offense, unlawful possession of a controlled substance (including marijuana) is punishable by a minimum fine of $1,000 and up to one year imprisonment. 21 U.S.C. 844(a). Unlawful distribution of a controlled substance (including marijuana) may result in fines of between $100,000 and $10 million and up to life imprisonment, depending on the circumstances and the quantity and type of controlled substance distributed, with greater penalties for subsequent offenses. For a more complete summary of federal laws and penalties for illegal drug use, possession, and distribution, see https://www.dea.gov/drug-information/drug-policy and http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL30722.pdf


Health Risks

Extensive medical research has identified various health risks associated with the use, misuse or abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Alcohol or any other drug used in excess over time can produce illness, disability, or death. The health consequences of substance abuse may be immediate and unpredictable, such as cardiac arrest with cocaine use, or more subtle and long-term, such as liver deterioration associated with the prolonged use of alcohol. In addition to health-related problems, other substance abuse concerns include the following:

  • Individuals who abuse alcohol and other drugs often have erratic lifestyles which interfere with work and family responsibilities, sleep, nutrition and exercise.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse may lead to financial difficulties, domestic violence, deterioration of the family structure, motor vehicle accident injuries and reduced job performance.
  • Repeated use, misuse or abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to various forms of dependence.

For more detailed descriptions of commonly-abused drugs, including specific health effects and treatment options, refer to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Resources for Students and Employees

UAB is committed to the reduction of alcohol and substance use disorders by students and employees through various resources including:

  • Student Counseling Services offers a safe place for all students to discuss and resolve issues that interfere with personal and academic goals.
  • The UAB Collegiate Recovery Community promotes and advances students’ personal, academic and professional achievement in pursuit of long-term recovery from addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders, health and wellbeing, and productive engagement in society.
  • The UAB Medicine Addiction Recovery Program offers an individualized approach to the assessment and treatment of alcohol and substance use disorders. The staff is comprised of licensed and certified counselors and social workers who work individually and in groups with patients to provide thoughtful, caring treatment for addiction.
  • The Employee Assistance and Counseling Center (EACC) offers confidential support services for UAB employees and members of their immediate household as well as a dedicated team of certified counselors, an extensive collection of online resources, and various programs and events.