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Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy

Westwood College will not tolerate the illegal use of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances by faculty, staff or students. The following acts are strictly prohibited on school premises and/or while involved in school related activities on or off the premises:

  • Illegal use, manufacture, distribution, sale, or possession of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances. This includes but is not limited to the following:
    (1) use of prescription drugs other than by the person to whom the drugs are prescribed or other than in accordance with the prescription; and
    (2) driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any controlled substance.
  • Being under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or other illegal controlled substance while attending class or working at Westwood College.
  • Marijuana/Cannabis: Regardless of state or local laws legalizing some aspects of marijuana/cannabis use, the use, manufacture, distribution, sale or possession, marijuana/cannabis remains a controlled substance and is generally illegal under federal law. The College is required by federal law to prohibit its use, manufacture, distribution, sale or possession on school premises and/or at school related activities.

The campus must maintain a safe and professional environment at all times conducive to learning, for the benefit of our students and employees, as well as for employers, members of the community and prospective students who may be present on campus during school hours. Therefore, Westwood will send home and discipline any member of the college community (e.g., student, faculty, staff) who, while on school premises or involved in school related activities held on or off campus, evidences by appearance, demeanor, smell or actions use of alcohol or illegal drugs or other illegal controlled substance, regardless of whether such use occurred on the school premises or during school related activities.

If a member of the college community is charged with violating any alcohol or drug related law while on campus or any school related activity held on or off campus, the College will cooperate fully with federal and state law enforcement agencies.

Sanctions

Consequences for violating the College's Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from school for students (reference below) and termination of employment for employees. Disciplinary action may also include the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program, at the student's or employee's expense, if necessary.

The College follows federal requirements concerning student eligibility for Title IV Federal (Financial) Student Aid. Under federal regulations, students lose eligibility for Federal Student Aid when they are convicted under state or federal law for any drug offense involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance as defined by section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. § 802(6)). Further details on the period of ineligibility and opportunities to regain eligibility are available from the Office of Financial Aid. Other financial aid programs, including certain state programs, may also limit eligibility for students convicted of a drug offense.

Legal sanctions

  • State drug laws - Each state and locality has laws relating to the unlawful manufacture, sale, use or possession of controlled substances and alcohol (and/or imitation of the same). In addition, states and localities have laws relating to driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Sanctions for violations may range from a citation to arrest, jail terms and/or imprisonment, depending on the nature of the violation and past criminal history of the individual.
  • Federal drug laws - Federal law considers the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession or use of drugs or any controlled substance a serious crime. The penalties vary based on many factors, including the type and amount of drug involved, and whether there was intent to distribute. Federal law sets forth substantial penalties for violations of drug laws, including monetary fines, jail terms, and/or imprisonment. Other penalties could include forfeiture of personal and real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance, denial of certain federal benefits, and revocation of certain federal licenses. Certain federal laws may apply to unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, and trafficking of alcohol, as well. Penalties range from fines to jail terms and/or imprisonment.

School sanctions

The sanctions listed below may be imposed on any student who violates the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy. This listing of sanctions should not be construed to imply that students are entitled to progressive discipline. The sanctions may be used in any order and/or combination that the College deems appropriate for the conduct in question.

  • WARNING – A verbal or written notice that the student is in violation of or has violated the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy.
  • PROBATION – A written reprimand with stated conditions in effect for a designated period of time, including the probability of more severe disciplinary sanctions if the student is found to be violating the Student Code of Conduct or any other College policy(ies) during the probationary period.
  • FINES – Fines may be imposed, as determined or approved by the Campus President.
  • RESTITUTION – Compensation for loss, damage or injury. This may take the form of appropriate service and/or monetary or material replacement.
  • SUSPENSION – Separation from the College for a definite period of time, after which the student is eligible to return. Conditions for readmission may be specified.
  • EXPULSION – Permanent separation from all Westwood locations.

Health and safety risks of drug and alcohol use

The health consequences of drug and alcohol use depend on the frequency, duration, and intensity of use and can include both physical and psychological effects.

The combination of certain drugs, such as alcohol and barbiturates, can be lethal. The consumption of alcohol or drugs when pregnant may cause abnormalities in babies.

  • Alcohol health and safety risks - Alcohol use effects every organ in the drinker’s body and can damage a developing fetus. Intoxication can impair brain function and motor skills; heavy use can increase the risk of certain cancers, stroke and liver disease. Safety risks include accidents resulting from driving while under the influence, increased incidents of rapes and assaults, and fatalities.
  • Substance abuse health and safety risks - Substance abuse may result in a wide array of serious health and behavioral problems. Long term use of drugs can lead to malnutrition, organ damage, and psychological problems. Overdose is a risk for all drugs. It can result in coma, convulsions, psychosis or death. The risk of AIDS and other diseases is heightened if drugs are injected.

Westwood College - Community resources and referral information

Westwood College provides counseling services for students seeking assistance or information concerning alcohol and drug issues. Students wishing to take advantage of this service may contact the campus director of Student Support.

Westwood College provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) as an employee benefit to all eligible employees. Information about the program is available under Human Resources on MyWestood or by contacting your Human Resources manager.

In addition, we encourage anyone dealing with substance abuse issues to contact one or more of the following national agencies for guidance and assistance in identifying a counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation program.

Alcohol Anonymous
Phone number available in local phone directory

Al-Anon
Phone: 888-425-2666

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Phone: 800-622-2255

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Phone: 800-662-4357

Vaccinations

Because Westwood College is not a public institution, we are not required maintain a Vaccination Policy for our students; however, in the interest of public health, we do not want this to be construed as discouraging any student, employee, or staff member from voluntarily participating in routine vaccinations as recommendations by and according to the guidance of their local public health care agency.

In addition, because of potential career related exposure to bloodborne pathogens, students enrolled in the Medical Assisting Programs can expect to be required to have Hepatitis B vaccinations as a condition of their externship placement and future employment in a healthcare setting. All medical assisting students who elect to waive this vaccination must sign a waiver form that will be kept on file with their program director.