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Substance and Alcohol Abuse Policy

Image of drugsThe federal Drug-Free Workplace Act is the foundation for the Baylor College of Medicine Substance and Alcohol Abuse Policy. Three particular areas of emphasis in this act are:

  • Publishing a policy statement notifying BCM Persons of prohibitions against the use, possession, distribution, dispensing, or manufacture of any Prohibited Substance in the workplace and on Baylor College of Medicine premises and against the excessive consumption of alcohol, in the circumstances described in this policy.
  • Establishing an ongoing drug-free awareness program that periodically informs BCM Persons of the dangers of drug abuse and explains our drug-free workplace policy, possible penalties for policy violations, and of the available drug counseling, rehabilitation and assistance programs.
  • Establishing a mechanism for reporting suspected violations of this policy.

Creating a healthy and safe work environment is a top priority of Baylor College of Medicine. This substance and alcohol abuse policy has been established to help keep BCM persons healthy, productive, and free from injury. Compliance with this policy is a condition to continued employment, enrollment, or association, as applicable, of all Baylor Persons.

The term, Baylor College of Medicine premises, includes any and all property owned or leased by Baylor College of Medicine, hospitals, clinics, and any other practice site affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine, and any vehicle engaged in Baylor College of Medicine operations.

The term, prohibited substance, includes illegal drugs, controlled substances being misused, and prescription and over-the-counter drugs with abuse potential being taken in amounts not in accordance with the prescribed or recommended dosage.

Policy

Prohibited Substance

All BCM persons are strictly prohibited from engaging in the use, possession, distribution, dispensing, manufacture, or sale of any prohibited substance while on Baylor College of Medicine premises, while on Baylor College of Medicine business, or while representing Baylor College of Medicine in any educational, research, clinical, or community service activity. Any BCM person who comes to work or class, as applicable, under the influence of any prohibited substance will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal and referral to law enforcement agencies.

In situations in which a supervisor of a BCM person at work or in class has a reasonable suspicion that such BCM person may be using a prohibited substance, Baylor College of Medicine may require the Person to submit to testing. A reasonable suspicion of use does not necessarily imply a reasonable suspicion of impairment. A supervisor is either defined by an approved job description or identified by title as a chair or section chief.

Circumstances that may create reasonable suspicion of use include, but are not limited to, physical symptoms of impairment; observable phenomena, such as direct observation of drug use or possession; a pattern of abnormal or erratic behavior; arrest or conviction for a drug-related offense, or identification of an employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal drug possession, use or trafficking; or reports from reliable and credible sources.

Alcohol

BCM persons found to have consumed alcohol in excess of the applicable legal limit while on Baylor College of Medicine premises, while on Baylor College of Medicine business, or while representing Baylor College of Medicine in an educational, research, clinical, or community service activity also may be subject to testing and/or discipline under the terms of this policy. Any BCM person who comes to work or class, as applicable, under the influence of alcohol, in excess of the applicable legal limit, will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.

If authorized in advance by the Office of Public Affairs, alcohol may be consumed on Baylor College of Medicine premises.

Additional Guidelines

Vendors who appear at BCM under the influence of any prohibited substance or under the influence of alcohol will be removed from the premises and possibly prohibited from doing future business with the College.

BCM persons convicted of a criminal drug offense that occurred on Baylor College of Medicine premises (or while the person was engaged in Baylor College of Medicine business) must notify Baylor College of Medicine in writing of the conviction within five days thereof and satisfactorily complete an approved rehabilitation program.

Baylor College of Medicine will establish such procedures as it deems necessary to effectively enforce its substance and alcohol abuse policy. Refusing to cooperate with these procedures may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Baylor College of Medicine will make every effort to keep the results of drug and alcohol tests confidential. The BCM person’s supervisor will be notified of the test results, and other management personnel may be notified of the test results. BCM persons should be aware that test results may be used in administrative hearings and court cases. Results also may be sent to state and/or federal agencies as required by applicable law.

BCM persons who perform activities in BCM affiliated institutions are also subject to the substance and alcohol abuse policies of each such affiliated institution.

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