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Drug and Alcohol-free Campus and Workplace

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) encourages and maintains a safe, healthy, alcohol and drug-free work environment. Therefore, in collaboration with the local, state, and federal laws, the university prohibits unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students or employees on campus property or as part of any University affiliated activity. Specifically, the seriousness of this matter is reiterated in the Code of Conduct, HR Policy/Procedure 0720 and the student Centerscope.

Standards of Conduct

UTHSC has policies and procedures in place to deal with the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol

Policies and Procedures for Employees  Policies and Procedures for Students

Employee Code of Conduct

HR 720 Drug Free Campus and Workplace

Student Code of Conduct

SA 116 Drug and Alcohol Policy

Did you know?

Drug and alcohol abuse can cause seriously fatal health problems such as cancer, brain damage/seizures, nerve damage, heart disease and more. The following are some common health problems associated with drug and alcohol abuse:

The use of alcohol can lead to…

Alcoholism, damage to brain cells, increased risk of cirrhosis, ulcers, heart disease, heart attack, cancers of liver, mouth, throat, and stomach, hallucinations, personality disorders, loss of muscle control, poor coordination, slurred speech, fatigue, nausea, headache, increased likelihood of accidents, impaired judgment, respiratory paralysis, death, and birth defects/fetal impairment.

The use of illegal drugs can lead to…

Increased susceptibility to disease due to a less efficient immune system, increased likelihood of accidents, personality disorder, addiction, death by overdose, anemia, poor concentration, and fetal impairment/addiction.


The University of Tennessee will impose disciplinary sanctions on students and employees for the violations of the respective Codes of Conduct.  The sanctions are described in detail in the policies listed and may include sanctions up to and including dismissal of students or termination of employment and/or referral for prosecution.


A student or student organization may be disciplined for the following types of misconduct which includes, but is not limited to:

  • Consuming, manufacturing, possessing, distributing, selling, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, if prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
  • Using, manufacturing, possessing, distributing, selling, or being under the influence of drugs or drug paraphernalia, if prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
  • Using or possessing a prescription drug if the prescription was not issued to the student.
  • Distributing or selling a prescription drug to a person to whom the prescription was not originally issued. 

University students and student organizations are required to comply with all relevant university policies, including the Standards of Conduct outlined in the CenterScope Student Handbook under the Student Code of Conduct.

Violation of university policy or the Code of Conduct can lead to disciplinary sanctions ranging from warning, probation, suspension, or dismissal. A student may also be required to participate in specified assessment, educational or counseling program(s) relevant to the offense, or complete other educational sanctions.

As members of the University community, students are also subject to city ordinances and to state and federal law. Arrest and prosecution for alleged violations of criminal law or city ordinances may result from the same incident for which the University imposes disciplinary sanctions.

For more information regarding the standards of conduct for students with respect to the use of alcohol and drugs please review the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the University’s Drug-Free Campus and Workplace policy, HR0720.

For Employees

Violations of this prohibition by employees may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination, as well as the possibility of required participation in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

All employees are required to notify the university of any Criminal Drug Statute Conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace or affiliated activity within five (5) days after such conviction. Failure to report a criminal conviction may result in termination once the conviction is discovered.

Legal Sanctions

In addition to University disciplinary action, the illegal possession, use, or distribution of drugs, drug paraphernalia, or alcohol by University students or employees on campus or at any University sponsored or related activity is subject to applicable federal, state and local laws. Criminal sanctions for illegal drug and alcohol activity can be severe. University students and employees are not exempt from these laws by virtue of their status as students or their presence on university property. Penalties may include fines and possible jail time. 

The link provided below includes all federal, state and local sanctions for drug and alcohol violations.

Need Help?

The Health Science Center is focused on helping individuals overcome obstacles that prevent them from achieving strategic goals and/or developing as a healthy individual. Therefore, if you or someone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol abuse, the University offers the following resources to students, faculty, and staff.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - 1.855.437.3486

Student Assistance Program (SAP) - 1.800.327.2255

University Health Services (UHS) - 901.448.7255

Student Academic Support Services and Inclusion (SASSI) - 901.448.5056

Reasonable Suspicion

Reasonably suspicious signs and symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse may include, but are not limited to the following: odor of alcohol, odor of marijuana, slurred speech, flushed, swollen face, red eyes, pupils dilated or constricted, unusual eye movement, lack of coordination, tremors or sweats, weariness, exhaustion and sleepiness.

To report a person you may reasonably suspect under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs contact the UTHSC Campus Police at 901.448.4444.

Please view our UTHSC Drug Free Brochure


The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and the U.S. Department of Education’s supporting regulations require the UTHSC adopt and implement programs “to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by all students and employees on school premises or as part of any of its activities” (EDGAR Part 86 Support A 86:3).

Sep 28, 2023