University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy

(Approved by the Provost and Executive Vice President by authority of Executive Order No. 4; the Vice President for Human Resources by authority of Executive Order No. 9; and the Vice President for Student Life by authority of Administrative Order No. 10)

1.  Policy

To help ensure the safety and well-being of employees, students, volunteers, and the general public, the University of Washington is committed to maintaining a campus environment that is free of illegal drugs, and of drugs and alcohol that are used illegally. Accordingly, the University prohibits the consuming of alcoholic beverages on University property, except in accordance with state of Washington liquor license procedures. Under WAC 478-121-115, 478-121-127, and 478-124-020 (2)(f), the University also prohibits the unlawful possession, use, distribution, or manufacture of alcohol or controlled substances that are illegal under federal, state, or local law on University property or during University-sponsored activities. Violation of the University's alcohol and drug prohibitions is cause for disciplinary or other appropriate action.

These provisions are in accordance with the requirements of the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.

2.  Health Risks and Sanctions

Employees, students, and volunteers should be aware that:

  • It can be dangerous to use and abuse alcohol and other drugs; and

  • Many illnesses and deaths have been medically-related to the use and abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol; and

  • The University has declared itself to be a drug-free work and educational environment; and

  • Employees, students, and volunteers who are found to be in violation of federal, state, or local law prohibiting the use or possession of illegal drugs may be subject to arrest and conviction under the applicable criminal laws of local municipalities, the state of Washington, or the United States. Conviction can result in sanctions including probation, fines, and imprisonment. The University will assist employees, students, or volunteers who disclose that they have an alcohol or drug abuse problem by making referral for treatment and/or as described below in Section 3; however, those individuals remain responsible for resolving any alcohol or drug abuse problems they may have. Employees and volunteers who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, including termination, and referral for prosecution. Employees who are convicted of a criminal drug violation in the workplace must notify their supervisor within five calendar days. Students who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary sanctions including: warning and reprimand, disciplinary probation, suspension, or dismissal in accordance with the Student Conduct Code (Chapter 478-121 WAC).

3.  Information and Available Services

The University recognizes that alcoholism and drug abuse are treatable illnesses, and encourages employees, students, and volunteers who may have alcohol or drug abuse problems to seek treatment for them. Any employee afflicted by alcoholism or drug dependency will have the same options as those with other illnesses do to participate in prescribed treatment programs, including the use of paid leave, if available, and unpaid leave.

Employees and students with health insurance should consult their health insurance plan to determine the treatment program coverage that may be available to them.

The following support services may be available to University employees, students, and volunteers:

A.   Community Referral Information

University employees, students, and volunteers may call the Washington Recovery Help Line, which provides 24-hour help for substance abuse and related problems. The Washington Recovery Help Line website contains information about and links to recovery resources. Also available online is a Directory of Certified Chemical Dependency Services in Washington State, published by the state Department of Social and Health Services.

B.   UW CareLink Employee Assistance Program

UW CareLink provides employee assistance services for benefits-eligible employees, their dependents, and their family or household members in any location nationwide. UW CareLink can assist employees with:

  • Confidential counseling;
  • Legal and financial services; and
  • Critical incident assistance and debriefing.

C.   Alcoholics Anonymous

Several campus chapters meet weekly and are open to all University employees and students. Strict confidentiality is maintained.

D.   The University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute

The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) provides general information on research in the areas of alcoholism and drug abuse, and available community resources. The ADAI Clearinghouse provides free materials about drug and alcohol prevention to individuals, parents, and community groups in Washington State. 

E.   Human Resources and Academic Human Resources Consultants

Human Resources Consultants are available to provide general information on University and other resources to help address alcohol and drug abuse problems, and to assist employees and supervisors to address and resolve job performance or workplace behavior problems.  Academic Human Resources is available to provide assistance regarding alcohol and drug abuse problems involving academic personnel.

F.   Student Assistance Programs

Assistance programs are made available to students through the following units:

    UW SeattleŚ
  • Counseling Center
  • Hall Health Center
  • Health and Wellness (Division of Student Life)
  • Wellness Resource Center in the Hall Health Center
    UW Tacoma—
  • Student Counseling Center
  • Student Health Services

May 1, 2002; July 23, 2013; RC, March 28, 2016.