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Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy
is required to be in compliance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, as mandated by the Department of Education (DoE). The policy is based on a manual produced by the DOE to assist higher education institutions with compliance with this act.
Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco-Free Campus
It is Los Angeles Pacific University’s (LAPU’s) policy to make every effort to provide and maintain a drug-free campus and workplace.
All employees and students are prohibited from manufacturing, cultivating, distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using illegal drugs and marijuana (regardless of prescription) or other unauthorized, mind-altering, or intoxicating substances while on University property (including parking areas, grounds, buildings, property, facilities, service areas, and satellite centers of the University), or while performing University business away from the University’s premises. Included within this prohibition are lawful controlled substances which have been illegally or improperly obtained. This policy does not prohibit the possession and proper use of lawfully prescribed drugs other than marijuana taken in accordance with the prescription.
Employees are also prohibited from having any such illegal or unauthorized controlled substances (and marijuana regardless of a prescription) in their system while at work and from having excessive amounts of an otherwise lawful controlled substance in their systems. It is unlawful to manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, use, or sell controlled substances or illicit drugs, alcohol, or substances containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at University worksites (e.g., buildings, property, facilities, service areas, and satellite centers of the University), activities or events, or while performing University business. All employees are required to comply with this policy as a condition of their continued employment. Any employee violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment. All employees are prohibited from distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using alcohol while at work or on duty. Furthermore, off-duty alcohol use, while generally not prohibited by this policy, must not interfere with one’s ability to perform the essential functions of one’s job. Likewise, students are required to comply with this policy whenever they are on the LAPU campus and/or satellite centers of the University. Any student violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, including possible dismissal from the University.
Local, state and federal laws establish severe penalties for violations of drug and alcohol statutes. These sanctions, upon conviction, may range from a fine to life imprisonment. In the case of possession and distribution of illegal drugs, these sanctions could include the seizure and summary forfeiture of property, including vehicles. It is especially important to know that federal laws have established penalties for illegally distributing drugs to include life imprisonment and fines in excess of $1,000,000. Some examples of local or state laws are as follows:
- Unlawful possession of a narcotic drug is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
- The purchase, possession, or consumption of any alcoholic beverages (including beer and wine) by any person under the age of 21 is prohibited.
- It is not permissible to provide alcohol to a person under the age of 21.
- Serving alcohol to an intoxicated person is prohibited.
- Selling any alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly, except under the authority of a California Alcoholic Beverage Control License, is prohibited.
- It is a felony to induce another person to take various drugs and “intoxicating agents” with the intent of enabling oneself or the drugged person to commit a felony. The person who induced the other may be regarded as a principal in any crime committed.
- Any person found in a public place to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug and unable to care for his/her own safety, or who is interfering with the use of a public way, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.
For information about alcohol/drug abuse counseling, treatment, rehabilitation information, professional resource information, and social service directories for Los Angeles County, employees should contact the Office of Human Resources and students should seek assistance through TimelyCare and/or send inquiries to email@example.com.
Employees must perform job duties unimpaired by illegal drugs or the improper use of legal drugs. Any employee who demonstrates impaired judgment, performance, or behavior, which is reasonably judged to be the result of drugs, may be subject to drug testing.
Individuals who refuse to be tested will be assessed as having a positive result. Accordingly, the employee will be subject to the same assessment and treatment process as an employee who tests positive.
If a supervisor or employee suspects any violation of this policy, they should contact the Office of Human Resources.
For health and safety considerations, LAPU prohibits smoking. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on LAPU property, including buildings and vehicles. This policy specifically extends to electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”) or any other personal vaporizing devices.
Twenty-eight percent of American adults (18+ years old) “drink at levels that put them at risk for alcoholism, liver disease, and other problems” (NIH, 2016, p. 1). In 2016, alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities comprised 28% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes (NHTSA, 2018, p. 13). Alcohol is the third leading preventable cause of death in the USA (NIAAA, 2019).
Although some studies have shown health benefits of light to moderate drinking, heavy drinking has been shown to result in higher chances of injury and fatalities; greater risk for health problems; potential brain defects and/or other serious problems for developing babies when the mother drinks too much during pregnancy; and alcohol use disorder (NIH, 2016, p. 5).
Drug abuse includes the use of illicit drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines, as well as the improper use of prescription drugs, such as pain relievers. The abuse of opioids, which include both illicit and prescription drugs, has risen to the level of a national health crisis (NIDA, 2019). The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse provide information about the names, use, and health risks of commonly abused drugs (NIDA, 2019; NCASA, 2017), with special emphasis on the opioid crisis (NIDA, 2019). One specific type of synthetic opioids that has proved particularly dangerous is fentanyl, which is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine. Very small doses of fentanyl have proved fatal and have contributed to a significant rise in overdose rates. Nationally, overdose rates have more than doubled from 2015 to 2021 with a 50% increase occurring between 2019 and 2021 (NIDA, 2023). During the latter time period illicit fentanyl pills seized by law enforcement have increased by more than fourfold (Palmer, et al., 2022).
LAPU expects employees who suspect they have an alcohol or drug problem to seek treatment. The institution will help employees who abuse alcohol or drugs by providing a referral to an appropriate professional organization through the institution’s employee assistance program. However, it is the employees’ responsibility to seek and accept assistance at their own expense before drug or alcohol problems lead to disciplinary action and/or termination. Failure to enter, remain in, or successfully complete a prescribed treatment program may result in termination of employment.
Employees should notify their direct supervisor or the Office of Human Resources if assistance is needed.
Students who suspect they have an alcohol or drug problem are also encouraged to seek treatment. LAPU provides access to TimelyCare, a student-focused telehealth provider offering 24/7 mental health services via licensed therapists. Students who are actively enrolled in an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree program at LAPU are eligible to participate in two available services: TalkNow and Scheduled Counseling. TalkNow provides access to immediate on-demand support (connected within 5 minutes) for anything from feeling stressed out about an assignment, to processing a life event, to being in a state of crisis. Scheduled Counseling allows students to schedule up to 12 sessions per year with a therapist licensed in their state. Both services include the option to speak to counselors who specialize in substance abuse. In addition, LAPU has compiled a list of resources to assist students dealing with addiction, substance abuse, and other personal issues, which is available via the Self-Help Resources page (see Substance Use) in the course portal. While the links provided on this page are intended to be helpful resources, the content of these links comes from a variety of sources, and LAPU cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information contained in the links. The information contained in these links does not necessarily reflect the views of LAPU. Students are encouraged to explore this information within the context of their Christian worldview. Information conveyed over the Internet should never replace appropriate mental health care or sound judgment. When in doubt, students should contact a qualified professional.