Drug & Alcohol Policy
Information for students and employees regarding illicit drug and alcohol abuse
Standards of ConductSubsection 3.11 of Chapter VI, Part One of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System provides for disciplinary action against any student who engages in conduct that is prohibited by state, federal, or local law. This includes those laws prohibiting the use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol.
The use or possession of alcohol or drugs by an employee on University premises is defined as misconduct by The University of Texas System's "Policies and Procedures for Discipline and Dismissal of Employees." The unlawful use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol by an employee is prohibited by The University of Texas System's "Policy on Drugs and Alcohol."
University Penalties For Prohibited Conduct To Drugs and Alcohol
The University will impose a minimum disciplinary penalty of suspension from the University for a specified period of time or suspension of rights and privileges, or both, for conduct related to the use, possession, or distribution of drugs that are prohibited by state, federal, or local law. Other penalties that may be imposed for conduct related to the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs or alcohol include disciplinary probation, payment for damage to or misappropriation of property, suspension of rights and privileges, suspension for a specified period of time, expulsion, or such other penalty as may be deemed appropriate under the circumstances.
The unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs or alcohol will result in disciplinary probation, demotion, suspension without pay, or termination, depending upon the circumstances.
Alcohol and Drugs Abuse Program (ADAP)The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program (ADAP) is located in Room 305 of the University Center. ADAP, both a prevention and intervention program, provides peer education, counseling, referrals, and support groups. The ADAP Resource Center, which contains books, videos, and literature on the subject of substance abuse, is open to students, faculty, and staff. For more information, call 956-665-2659.
Health hazards associated with the excessive use of alcohol or with alcohol dependency include dramatic behavioral changes, retardation of motor skills, and impairment of reasoning and rational thinking. These factors result in a higher incidence of accidents and accidental death for such persons than for non-users of alcohol. A person's nutrition also suffers and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are frequent. Prolonged alcohol abuse causes bleeding from the intestinal tract, damage to nerves and the brain, psychotic behavior, loss of memory and coordination, damage to the liver often resulting in cirrhosis, impotence, severe inflammation of the pancreas, and damage to the bone marrow, heart, testes, ovaries, and muscles. It is important to note that damage to the nerves and organs are usually irreversible. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in alcoholics and is 10 times more frequent than in non-alcoholics. Sudden withdrawal of alcohol from persons dependent on it will cause serious physical withdrawal symptoms.
The use of illicit drugs usually causes the same general type of physiological and mental changes as alcohol, although frequently those changes are more severe and more sudden. Death or coma resulting from overdose of drugs is more frequent than from alcohol, but unlike alcohol, abstinence can lead to reversal of most physical and health problems associated with drug use.
Cocaine is a stimulant that is most commonly inhaled as a powder. It can be dissolved in water and used intravenously. The cocaine extract (freebase) is smoked. Users progress from infrequent use to dependence within a few weeks or months. Psychological and behavioral changes resulting from use include over-stimulation, hallucinations, irritability, sexual dysfunction, psychotic behavior, social isolation, and memory problems. An overdose produces convulsions and delirium and may result in death from cardiac arrest. Discontinuing the use of cocaine requires considerable assistance, close supervision, and treatment.
Amphetamines (Speed, Love Drug, Ecstasy).
Patterns of use and associated effects are similar to cocaine. Sever intoxication may cause confusion, rambling or incoherent speech, anxiety, psychotic behavior, ringing in the ears, hallucinations, and irreversible brain damage. Intense fatigue and depression resulting from use can lead to suicide. Large doses may result in convulsion and death from cardiac or respiratory arrest.
Heroin and Other Opiates.
These drugs are usually taken intravenously. "Designer" drugs similar to opiates include Fentanyl, Demerol, and "China White." Addiction and dependence develop rapidly. Use is characterized by impaired judgment, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Overdose is manifested by coma, shock and depressed respiration, with the possibility of death from respiratory arrest. Withdrawal problems include sweating, diarrhea, fever, insomnia, irritability, nausea and vomiting, and muscle and joint pains.
Hallucinogens or Psychedelics.
These include Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or LSD, mescaline, peyote and phencyclidine (PCP or "angel dust"). Use impairs and distorts one's perception of surrounding, causes bizarre mood changes and results in visual hallucinations that involve geometric forms, colors, and persons or objects. Users who discontinue use experience "flashback" consisting of distortions of virtually any sensation. Withdrawal may require psychiatric treatment for the accompanying persistent psychotic states. Suicide is not uncommon.
Damage From Intravenous Drug Use.
In addition to the adverse effects associated with the use of a specific drug, intravenous drug users who use unsterilized needles or who share needles with other drug users and can contact HIV that develops into AIDS, hepatitis, tetanus (lock jaw) and infections in the heart. Permanent damage may also result.
Three illicit drugs are commonly used with alcohol in predatory situations. Each has its special effects, but the result is that all three are difficult to detect. They are chloral hydrate (mickey), rohypnol (roofies or roaches), gamma hydroxyl butyrate (GHB), and they are commonly dropped into alcoholic beverages. The effects of the drugs can be felt 15-20 minutes after taking it. The effects are different for each individual, but can include nausea, dizziness, confusion and heavy drowsiness. People have lost consciousness, slipped into a coma, or died due to GHB. It is impossible to predict the effects of the drug because so much of it is "home made" by individuals and the actual dosage is often unknown. As with most drugs, the risks increase when mixing predatory drugs with other drugs or alcohol.