Drug & Alcohol Policy

Students and employees are prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, or use of a controlled substance or alcohol on property belonging to Omega Studios’ School, including the building, parking lot and surrounding area. This policy extends to any venue in which students or employees participate in school related activities.

Students or employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion or termination of employment. Omega will take one or more of the following actions against any student or employee who violates this policy:

  • Take appropriate disciplinary action against the student or employee, up to and including expulsion or termination.
  • Require the student or employee to participate in a substance abuse rehabilitation program approved by a federal, state, or local health or law enforcement agency.
  • Report the violation to law enforcement officials.

All students and employees are encouraged to abstain from the use of illegal drugs and irresponsible use of alcohol. Drug and alcohol abuse and dependence can cause harmful effects in virtually every aspect of a person’s life, including relationships, family, job, and physical and mental health. Any student or employee who suspects he or she may be at risk or who knows someone who may be at risk should contact the Director of Administration.

Omega has designated the Director of Administration as a contact person who is available to hear concerns regarding drug and alcohol use, and to offer referrals, advice and information on drug and alcohol education and services in the community. Issues discussed with the contact person will be kept confidential. A list of Treatment, Support Services, and descriptions of services can be obtained from the Director of Administration.

ATTACHMENTS:

List of health effects from drug and alcohol abuse

Federal Sanctions

State Sanctions

Local Sanctions

 

Drug & Alcohol Policy Attachments:

List of Health Effects from Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Health Risks Associated with Drug Use

Drug abuse is the utilization of natural and/or synthetic chemical substances for non-medical reasons to affect the body and its processes, the mind and nervous system, and behavior. The abuse of drugs can affect a person’s physical and emotional health and social life.

 Narcotics

Drugs included in this classification include opium, morphine, codeine, heroin, hydromorphone, meperidine, methadone and other opium derivatives and synthetics. The effects of narcotics last three to six hours and include euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils and nausea. Effects of an overdose include slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsion, coma and possible death. After developing a physical dependence, withdrawal from narcotics may include any or all of the following: watery eyes, runny nose, yawning, loss of appetite, irritability, tremors, panic, cramps, nausea, chills and sweating.

Stimulants

Drugs included in this classification include cocaine (e.g., coke, crack), amphetamines (speed), phenmetrazines, methylphenidate and other stimulants. The effects of stimulants last between one to four hours and include increased alertness, excitability, increased pulse rate and blood pressure, insomnia and loss of appetite. Effects of overdose include agitation, convulsions, and possible death. After use, withdrawal from stimulants may include any or all of the following: apathy, long periods of sleep, irritability, depression and disorientation.

Hallucinogens

Drugs in this classification include LSD (acid), mescaline (peyote), amphetamines, variants, phencyclidine (PCP) and its analogues and other hallucinogens (e.g., psilocybin, psilocyn). The effects of hallucinogens last from eight to 12 hours and up to a day and include illusion, hallucinations and poor perceptions of time and distance. Effects of an overdose include longer, more intense ”trip” episodes, psychosis and possible death.

Cannabis

Drugs in this classification include marijuana tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hashish and hashish oil. The effects of cannabis usually last two to four hours and include euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, increased appetite and disoriented behavior. Effects of an overdose include fatigue, paranoia and possible psychosis. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, hyperactivity and sometimes a decreased appetite.

Depressants

Drugs in this classification include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methaqualone (Quaaludes), chloral hydrate, glutehimide and other depressants such as ethyl alcohol. The risk of physical and psychological dependence ranges from high (barbiturates and alcohol) to low (benzodiazepines). The effects of depressants last four to eight hours and include slurred speech, disorientation and drunken-like behavior with or without the odor of alcohol. Effects of an overdose include shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma and possible death. After developing a physical dependence, withdrawal from depressants may include any or all of the following: anxiety, insomnia, tremors, delirium, convulsions and possible death.

Health Risks Associated with Alcohol Use

Alcohol is the most abused drug in the United States. It can be highly addictive and injurious to the body, as well as, oneself. People tend to lose their sense of responsibility and coordination. Restlessness, irritability, anxiety, paranoia, depressions, acting slow moving, inattentiveness, loss of appetite, sexual indifference, comas, convulsions, or even death can result from overuse or abuse of alcohol and drugs.

 Alcohol Effects

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increases the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs, such as the brain and liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.

Anything that alters your mental process can hurt you and everyone in the school community.

 

 Legal Sanctions (Institutional, Federal, State, and Local)

Standards of Conduct

The Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program policy applies to all students and employees. The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited at this institution.

Institutional Sanctions

The institution will notify the student or employee, in writing, if the institution becomes aware of any violation of this policy. If an employee is convicted of a drug charge, the employee must notify the school/employer within five (5) days. Then the school/employer must notify the Department of Education within ten (10) days. Staff and students who violate these standards of conduct subject themselves to disciplinary action. As per the school’s zero tolerance policy, immediate termination of enrollment (or employment) will result, with no appeal, from the possession, dispensing, or use of alcohol or illicit drugs on or off campus during school hours.

Legal Sanctions (Federal, State, and Local)

There are numerous legal sanctions under local, state, and federal laws which can be used to punish violators. Penalties range from suspensions, revocation, denial of a driver’s license, and/or 20-50 years imprisonment at hard labor without benefit or parole. Property may be seized. Community services may be mandated.

Federal anti-drug laws affect a number of areas in everyone’s lives. Students could lose eligibility for financial aid, could be denied other federal benefits, such as Social Security, retirement, welfare, health care, disability, and veteran benefits.

In addition to local and state authorities, the federal government has four agencies employing approximately 52,500 personnel engaged in fighting illicit drugs. These agencies are: The Drug Enforcement Agency, U.S. Customs Service, Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Loss of Eligibility

A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for FSA funds. Students lose their eligibility if they were convicted for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid. If the conviction was reversed, set aside, or removed from the student’s record, or if the conviction occurred while the student was a juvenile (unless s/he was tried as an adult) it will not affect student’s eligibility.

If students lose their financial aid eligibility, the school will notify them of their status in writing in a clear and conspicuous memo. It will also notify the students of how they can regain their eligibility.

 

Penalties Associated with Drug Related Offenses

Federal law provides that a student who has been convicted of an offense under any federal or state law involving the possession or sale of a controlled substance during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving financial aid shall not be eligible to receive any federal or institutional grant, loan, or work assistance from the date of conviction to the end of the following eligibility periods:

First Offense               Second Offense           Third Offense

Possession of a Controlled                       1 year                          2 years                     Indefinite

Substance

Sale of a Controlled Substance                2 years                       Indefinite

 

A student whose eligibility has been suspended based on a conviction for possession or sale of a controlled substance may resume eligibility before the end of the eligibility period if:

  1. the student satisfactorily completes a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations and includes two unannounced drug tests;
  2. The student successfully passes two unannounced drug tests conducted by a drug rehabilitation program that complies with the criteria prescribed in the federal regulations; or
  3. The conviction is reversed, set aside, or otherwise overturned

 

Drug and Alcohol Counseling / Treatment Availability

The National Institute on Drug Abuse Hotline

Information and referral line that directs callers to treatment centers in the local community, (800) 662-HELP or visit www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov

The National Institute on Drug Abuse Workplace Helpline

A line that provides information only to private entities about workplace programs and drug testing. Proprietary, not public, postsecondary schools may use this line, (800) 843-4971.

The National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

Information and referral line that distributes Department of Education publications about drug and alcohol prevention programs, as well as, material from other federal agencies, (800) 729-6686 or (301) 468-2600.

The Network of Colleges/Universities Committed to the Elimination of Drug/Alcohol Abuse

Established as a joint effort of the Department of Education and the higher education community to develop a response to alcohol and other drug problems on campus, including a set of standards for education programs, assessment techniques, and enforcement procedures. Information can also be provided about training and conferencing activities, and regional members of the network, (202) 357-6206.

Department of Education Regional Centers Drug-Free Schools and Communities

Assist schools and other entities in developing prevention programs by providing training and technical assistance (Southeast Region, (404) 688-9227.

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