Drug & Alcohol Abuse Prevention Information

Utah Valley University is committed to maintain a drug & alcohol free workplace and complies with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989.

As a recognized regional university, Utah Valley University must operate in a way consistent with the trust society has placed in us. With this trust comes certain responsibilities and obligations. Among these is the obligation to function in an unimpaired manner and to maintain a professional environment free from the influence of drugs and alcohol. As part of this, every member of the UVU community must recognize and remedy substance abuse problems in ourselves, and we must do all that we can to help others do the same, whether the other person is a student or a colleague. 

When an individual becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol, the effects can be devastating and widespread. Physical and mental health is damaged. Relationships with family, friends and colleagues suffer. Quality of work diminishes. The toll exacted by substance abuse is indeed heavy—and avoidable.

Utah Valley University is committed to maintain a drug and alcohol free workplace. The University is required under the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Federal Drug-Free schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 (exhibit E) to adopt a policy with specific provisions which prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of illicit drugs and alcohol in the workplace. The Act stipulates that failure to comply with these requirements could result in the loss of all federal grants for a five-year period.

Based on these obligations, and to comply with such workplace regulations as the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, this web page has been developed. It provides links to UVU policies and state and federal laws, resources available to employees, information regarding the consequences and health risks associated with abuse of alcohol and other drugs, information regarding commonly abused drugs, and other important information. More importantly, it provides information about where to turn for help if you or someone you know is dependent on drugs or alcohol.


Utah Valley University Policies
Policy # 324 - Drug Free Workplace
Policy #157 - Alcoholic Beverages, Unlawful Drugs, And Other Illegal Substances

State Law
Utah Code: §34-41-102 - Governmental drug-free workplace policies

Federal Law
United States Code – Title 41 – Chapter 10 – Drug-Free Workplace

Resources Available to Faculty, Staff and Dependents

Employee Assistance Program
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential source for assessment, problem identification, and referral for a broad range of problems including alcohol and drug abuse. The University provides this confidential service to all benefit eligible faculty, staff, and their dependents free of cost. For more information visit MyUVU.

Community Resources

Resources Contact Information
Alcoholics Anonymous & Alanon 801-375-8620
Utah County Division of Substance Abuse 801-851-7128
Narcotics Anonymous 801-687-6292
National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Hotline 800-252-6465
Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health 801-538-3939 - http://www.hsdsa.state.ut.us

List of resources available to UVU students.

Consequences and Health Risks Associated With Abuse of Alcohol and other Drugs

The information below is provided to assist employees in understanding their rights and responsibilities related to employee alcohol and drug use and the University’s drug-free workplace program.

Standards of Conduct and Penalties Under University Policy
As a condition of employment, all University employees must abide by the terms of the institution’s drug-free workplace policy and procedure. For every violation, the University will take any necessary corrective actions as outlined in its policies and procedures including disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. See University Policy # 324 for specific University penalties.

Every employee who has or thinks he or she might have a drug abuse problem is encouraged voluntarily to seek assistance through the institution's health insurance and employee assistance benefit programs, and through other services available in the community. Except as required by law, employees seeking assistance is not to be used as a reason for imposing discipline.

Employees convicted of a drug-related, criminal activity in the workplace shall notify the UVU Human Resources office within five days after each conviction. UVU has 10 days to notify the government contracting officer that a conviction has occurred and 30 days from the time of the conviction to impose sanctions or remedial measures. These may include termination or requiring the employee to participate in a drug/alcohol rehabilitation program. UVU provides a drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation program through its Employee Assistance Program. This program is available to all regular faculty and staff and their families.

Penalties Under Utah Law
State penalties for violations of drug and alcohol abuse vary. For information see Utah State Courts Criminal Penalties at:

Penalties Under Federal Law
The following are Federal penalties and sanctions for Illegal Possession of a Controlled Substance. Additional penalties are imposed for trafficking.

  • 21 U.S.C. 844(a). First conviction: Up to one year imprisonment and fined at least $1,000 but not more than $100,000, or both.
  • After one prior drug conviction: At least 15 days in prison, not to exceed two years and fined at least $2,500 but not more than $250,000, or both.
  • After two or more prior drug convictions: At least 90 days in prison, not to exceed three years and fined at least $5,000 but not more than $250,000, or both.
  • Special sentencing provisions for possession of crack cocaine: Mandatory at least five years in prison, not to exceed 20 years and fined up to $250,000, or both, if:
    • 1st conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds five grams.
    • 2nd crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds three grams.
    • 3rd or subsequent crack conviction and the amount of crack possessed exceeds one gram.
  • 21 U.S.C. 853(a)(2) and 881(a)(7). Forfeiture of personal real property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if that offense is punishable by more than one year imprisonment. (See special sentencing provisions re: crack.)
  • 21 U.S.C. 881(c)(4). Forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft or any other conveyance used to transport or conceal a controlled substance.
  • 21 U.S.C. 844a. Civil fine of up to $10,000 (pending adoption of final regulations).
  • 21 U.S.C. 853a. Denial of Federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for first offense, up to five years for second and subsequent offenses.
  • 18 U.S.C. 922(g). Ineligible to receive or purchase a firearm.
  • Miscellaneous. Revocation of certain Federal licenses and benefits, e.g., pilot licenses, public housing tenancy, etc., are vested within the authorities of individual Federal agencies.

Health Risks Associated with the Abuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs
Creating an environment free of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs is a difficult task for any employer. Many people may turn to alcohol and other drugs in an attempt to handle the daily stresses arising at home and work. At UVU, we are well aware not only of the good that can result from the proper use of prescribed medications, but also of the devastation that can occur from the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

Commonly Abused Drugs

Alcoholism is the most common type of drug impairment. Dramatic personality and behavioral changes, slowing of reaction time, impaired coordination and motor activity, impairment of rational thinking, and an increase in risk-taking behaviors are only a few of the hazards associated with the abuse of alcohol. Chronic misuse of this drug can also result in severe and irreversible damage to the brain, nerves, liver, pancreas, bone marrow, heart, reproductive organs and muscles, as well as death.

Prescription Drug Abuse
Drug addiction can occur at any stage of a person’s life. Prescription drug abuse and prescription dependence are common occurrences with narcotics, tranquilizers, sedatives and stimulants. The profile of an individual with a prescription drug addiction may include: ready access to drugs, chronic pain or multiple injuries over time requiring a continuous supply of drugs, asking others for their leftover prescriptions, often taking family members’ prescriptions, and the use of multiple physicians and pharmacies to cover up the amount and frequency of prescription drug use. People with prescription drug abuse problems or prescription drug addiction rarely associate with other addicts, are not able to recognize themselves as having a problem and are difficult to identify. Denial is often centered on the fact that a legal drug is being used. However, with appropriate treatment and follow-up, and the use of a primary care provider for health care and for medications, prognosis is good.

Cocaine (crack, snow, coke, bump)
This stimulant is swift in its destruction. Users may progress from infrequent use to dependence within a matter of weeks or months. Not infrequently, smokers of the crack form of cocaine become severely psychologically dependent after use. Death from cardiac arrest is a genuine danger after overdose. Prolonged use can result in hallucinations; sexual dysfunction; psychotic, delusional behavior; and memory loss.

Amphetamines (speed, uppers, black mollies, ice)
Use of these dangerous drugs starts slowly but progresses at a rapid pace, as with cocaine. Incoherent speech, bizarre psychotic behavior and hallucinations are the result of severe amphetamine intoxication.

Opiates and Heroin (horse, smack, china white, junk)
These drugs cause rapid addiction in many people who use them repeatedly. Addiction can occur within 72 hours. The drugs can be smoked or taken intravenously or in pill form. Impaired judgment, slurred speech and drowsiness are apparent in users. During overdose, victims suffer coma, shock and impaired respiration that can result in respiratory arrest and death.

Hallucinogens (LSD, ecstasy, angel dust, love drug, peyote, phencyclidine, PCP, mescaline)
This family of mind-altering, illegal drugs can cause distorted perceptions, bizarre mood swings and hallucinations. Suicide is not an uncommon outcome of prolonged use, and former users can experience “flashbacks” and periodic psychotic states.

Inhalants (glue, gasoline, lacquers, poppers, correction fluid, plastic cement, naphtha, amyl nitrate)
Brain damage and hallucinations are the inevitable result of repeated sniffing of fumes from these substances, which can cause symptoms similar to those caused by alcohol, as well as sudden death. The largest group of inhalant abusers is adolescents.

Marijuana (cannabis, grass, pot, maryjane, hashish, hash oil)
Smoking marijuana is thought to be harmless by many. However, repeated use can actually result in psychological dependence, disconnected ideas, impaired judgment and coordination, altered depth perception and a lost sense of time. Chronic smoking causes pharyngitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, asthma and amotivational syndrome (loss of energy, apathy, absence of ambition). The drug also exerts a harmful effect on learning and memory, and adolescent users may experience physiological development problems.

Rohypnol (Mexican Valium, R-2, roach, rope, rophies, roofies, ruffies)
Adverse effects associated with the use of this drug, sometimes also called the “date-rape drug,” include decreased blood pressure, memory impairment, drowsiness, visual and gastrointestinal disturbances, dizziness, and confusion. The risk of dependence is greater for people with a history of alcohol and drug abuse.

Gamma Hydroxyl-Butrate (GHB, liquid X, scoop, grievous body harm)
This liquid drug is like a roofie, but stronger. Sold originally as a steroid alternative to body builders, it causes states of euphoria and relaxation, but overdoses can lead to many physical symptoms and death. The drug was banned in 1990 by the Food and Drug Administration

Health Alert
Intravenous drug users and those who practice “unsafe” sex should be aware of their increased risk of contracting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS is spread through contact with contaminated body fluids exchanged through vaginal, oral or anal intercourse or the sharing of needles. Excessive use of alcohol and other drugs can lead to an increase in unplanned and unsafe sexual activity, which increases the risk of HIV infection.

This web page is intended to meet the requirements of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug- Free School and Communities Amendment of 1989. It is published for information purposes only. Any changes to the referenced policies, rules and regulations, and laws will apply on the effective date of those changes, both to present and prospective members of the faculty and staff.


(Portions of this website adapted from the University of Texas at Dallas)