3.02 Alcohol and Drug Use

Effective Date: April 1, 2010 (revised)


Trinity College’s policy is to provide members of its community with an environment that is free of alcohol and drug abuse. The manufacture, distribution, possession or illegal use of controlled substances, except those with a valid prescription, is prohibited by the College.

Any person engaging in the illegal or improper use of alcohol or drugs on campus, or at off-campus College-sanctioned or —sponsored events risks immediate disciplinary action, which may occur without prior warning. Compliance with this policy is a condition of employment and/or enrollment at the College, and all members of the Trinity community are expected to be aware of and adhere to its provisions.

Counseling and Education:

Members of the College staff are prepared to respond to those affected by the problems associated with alcohol abuse. The Health Center, the Counseling Center, the Human Resources Department, Dean of Students Office and the Chaplain are available to provide confidential assistance and/or counseling to individuals seeking it.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): A confidential referral service for employees is available for faculty and staff desiring assistance with alcohol and drug dependence. All treatment records concerning the employee’s drug and alcohol use are confidential and may be disclosed only as authorized by law. With written consent, the employee may authorize the disclosure of those records to the College for verification of treatment or for a general evaluation of treatment progress.

While it is College policy to assist employees who have an alcohol or drug-abuse problem, it is also College policy that work performance which falls below College standards, and which results from the use of alcohol or drugs, be treated as a performance problem, without consideration of the substance abuse issue.

Health Risks:

The risks associated with use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are well-documented. The short-term effects of use vary from person to person and include slurred speech, impaired coordination, euphoria, dizziness, possible hallucinations and delusions. Over time, health risks from alcohol abuse may include lowered resistance to disease and illness, increased risk of ulcers, heart disease, and certain cancers including liver, mouth, throat and stomach. Long-term effects of drug abuse include mood disturbances, breathing and heart problems, tremors, memory and attention impairment, insomnia and long-lasting psychosis.

The relationship between alcohol and other drugs and behavioral problems, emotional problems, accidents, suicide, physical illness, as well as actions that may lead to sexually transmitted diseases, violence, and impaired performance and learning is undeniable.


Drug Usage on Campus

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, transfer, use, sale or possession of narcotics, drugs or controlled substances on the Trinity College campus are prohibited and are dischargeable offenses. Also prohibited are: off-the-job illegal drug activity; abuse of legal drugs or controlled substances which adversely affect an employee’s job performance; conduct related to substance abuse which jeopardizes the safety of the employee, other employees, the public or College equipment, or conduct which significantly undermines the reputation of the College. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

Criminal Offenses

In accordance with provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the College requires an employee convicted of a drug offense to notify their supervisor and the Director of Human Resources within five calendar days of actual conviction. Severe penalties are imposed upon employees who disregard the College’s policy.

Employees are expected to be aware of and to observe the Connecticut and federal statutes concerning the illegal possession, distribution, sale, manufacture, prescription, and/or administration of those drugs which ”contain any quantity of a substance which has been designated as a depressant or stimulant drug pursuant to federal food and drug laws, or which has been designated by the public health council and commissioner of consumer protection pursuant to section 19-451 as having a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect upon the higher functions of the central nervous system and as having a tendency to promote abuse or psychological or physiological dependence, or both. Controlled drugs are classifiable as amphetamine-type, barbiturate-type, cannabis-type, cocaine-type, hallucinogenic, morphine-type and other stimulant and depressant drugs. Specifically excluded from controlled drugs are alcohol, nicotine and caffeine.”

Although the College wishes to counsel, aid, and advise any community member having difficulty with drugs, the College may find itself obligated to apprise the appropriate public agencies when it has knowledge of violations, because the possession, use, sale, manufacture, prescription or distribution of illegal drugs is an offense against Connecticut and federal laws, as well as College policy.

See the following policies for additional relevant information:

4.05 Termination of Employment 62

5.05 Corrective Action 108

8.10 Employee Assistance Program 272