Towson University will at all times make a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free
and substance abuse free workplace and campus through the implementation of our substance
abuse policy and program. The policy and program will be reviewed periodically to
determine effectiveness and the need to implement change as necessary, and to assure
that sanctions developed and implemented were appropriate.
State of Maryland Substance Abuse Policy Executive Order
The State of Maryland substance abuse policy was enacted on April 1, 1991. It prohibits state employees from abusing alcohol or
drugs, committing a controlled dangerous substance offense, and committing an alcohol
driving offense; prohibits appointing authorities from hiring anyone whom it knows
currently abuses drugs or alcohol; and encourages employees experiencing substance
abuse problems to seek assistance through the employer, the employer's employee assistance
program, or a certified rehabilitation program. The policy also provides specific
direction on alcohol and drug abuse.
- Working under the influence of alcohol is a violation of the policy and shall subject
the employee to disciplinary action.
- An employee charged with an alcohol driving offense must report a finding of guilty,
an acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere, or a probation before judgment to the
employee’s appointing authority within 5 work days.
- An employee shall be suspended for 15 days and required to successfully participate
in an alcohol treatment program designated by an employee assistance program the first
time the employee is convicted of an at-the-workplace alcohol driving offense; or found
under the influence of alcohol while at-the-workplace.
- An employee convicted of an off-the-workplace alcohol driving offense, and a non-sensitive
employee convicted of any alcohol driving offense shall on the first conviction be
referred to an employee assistance program, and in addition, be subject to any other
appropriate disciplinary actions; on the second conviction, at a minimum, be suspended
for at least 5 days, be referred to an employee assistance program, be required to
participate successfully in a treatment program, and in addition, be subject to any
other appropriate disciplinary actions, up to and including termination; and on the
third conviction, be terminated.
- Working under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance, or the inappropriate
influence of prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs, is a violation of the policy
and shall subject the employee to disciplinary action.
- An employee charged with a controlled dangerous substance offense shall report a finding
of guilty, an acceptance of a plea of nolo contendere, or a probation before judgment
to the appointing authority within 5 work days.
- An employee convicted of any controlled dangerous substance offense shall be terminated.
- An employee who tests positive for a controlled dangerous substance as a result of
a random drug test shall be suspended for 15 work days and be required to successfully
participate in a drug treatment program designated by an employee assistance program,
as provided for by the appointing authority’s drug testing protocol.
- An employee who abuses a legally prescribed drug or an over-the-counter drug shall,
on the first offense, be suspended for 5 work days and be required to participate
successfully in a drug treatment program designated by an employee assistance program.
Any employee otherwise in violation of the executive order shall be subject to appropriate
progressive disciplinary actions up to and including termination.
When an appointing authority learns or, based on observation or reliable information,
suspects that an employee has committed a controlled dangerous substance or alcohol
offense at the workplace, the appointing authority shall refer the matter to an appropriate
law enforcement authority for further investigation and prosecution. All employees
shall cooperate fully with law enforcement authorities in the investigation and prosecution
of suspected criminal violations.
University System of Maryland Policy
The University System of Maryland, as an employer, strives to maintain a campus free
from the illegal use, possession, or distribution of controlled substances (as defined
pursuant to Controlled Substances Act 21, U.S.C. Sections 801, et. seq.). Unlawful
manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of controlled substances
by members of the university community is prohibited under university policy.
In addition to any legal penalties under federal and state law, employees found to
be in violation of this policy or the Maryland Governor’s Executive Order on Substance
Abuse, 01.01.1991.16, may be subject to corrective action under applicable university
personnel policies. The university supports programs aimed at the prevention of substance
abuse by university employees. Employees are encouraged to seek assistance for substance-dependency
problems. Employee-assistance counseling and leaves of absence to attend rehabilitation
programs are appropriate means of dealing with these problems.
Towson University Policy
The use of controlled substances and the abuse of alcohol present a serious threat
to individual health and everyone’s safety. Moreover, the use of illegal drugs and
the abuse of alcohol can result in less than complete reliability, stability, and
good judgment, which is inconsistent with the standards set for the faculty, staff,
and students of Towson University (“university”).
Towson University strives to maintain a workplace free from the illegal manufacture,
use, distribution, or possession of controlled substances (“Controlled Dangerous Substance
Violations”). Controlled Dangerous Substance Violations are considered violations
of Towson University’s Code of Student Conduct, the faculty contract, and the terms
of employment of regular and contingent (exempt/nonexempt) staff. Faculty, students,
and employees who commit Controlled Dangerous Substance Violations are subject to
discipline, including mandatory counseling, suspension, or dismissal from the university.
Persons who commit Controlled Dangerous Substance Violations are also subject to criminal
Alcohol abuse is a form of substance abuse. Persons who consume alcohol on the university
campus are responsible to civil and university authorities for compliance with State
and local laws. It is a violation of Maryland law for persons under 21 to purchase,
possess, or consume alcohol. The followings acts are also unlawful: to knowingly and
willfully misrepresent one’s age to obtain alcohol; to purchase alcohol for a minor;
and to possess open containers of alcohol in a public place. Violations of the laws
relating to alcohol use will be strictly enforced
Specific procedures for reporting drug and/or alcohol use by students, and related
penalties and procedures are part of the Towson University Code of Student Conduct.
Employee disciplinary measures and procedures for violations of this policy are part
of the Faculty Handbook, the Part-Time Faculty Handbook, and applicable personnel
In addition to this policy, university employees, including student employees, are subject to the Maryland Governor’s
Executive Order 01.01.1991.16 which is attached to this policy and incorporated by
reference. In accordance with federal law, the university’s substance abuse policy
will be distributed annually to all students and employees.
Reporting Substance Abuse
Upon observing suspected controlled dangerous substance violations or the illegal
use of alcohol, faculty and staff, and/or students shall proceed in the following
- Report the activity to the Towson University Police Department (TUPD) immediately. Also notify your supervisor. Students observing controlled dangerous
substance violations and/or illegal alcohol activity on campus or in the residence
halls should notify the TUPD immediately. If the violation occurs in a residence hall,
students should notify a housing staff member as well as the TUPD.
- Use sound judgment when approaching individuals suspected of illegal drug or alcohol
use. It is preferable to leave drugs or alcohol in their original location until the
authorities take action.
- The university police will determine if state or federal laws have been violated.
University employees should not become involved in mediating any situation involving
illegal drug or alcohol use.
Faculty and Staff
The university strongly encourages the use of drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation programs
as an effective measure in creating a drug-free workplace program. However, penalties
may be implemented (in consultation with Human Resources’ Manager for Employer-Employee
Relations) up to and including reprimand, suspension, mandatory counseling, mandatory
participation in a drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation program and/or dismissal. Appropriate
university personnel procedures shall be used for each classification of employee.
Maryland law, Md. Code, Criminal Law Article §5-601 et seq. states that persons convicted
of Controlled Dangerous Substance Violations are subject to imprisonment (length of
time varies) and fines.
In addition to federal and state law, and the policies of the University System of
Maryland, students shall be governed by the Towson University Code of Student Conduct. Students are subject to discipline if they are found responsible for controlled
dangerous substance violations under the Code of Student Conduct. Various penalties
may be imposed depending on the violations. Individuals are encouraged to use voluntary
rehabilitation programs and may be required to receive mandatory counseling and treatment.
If a student is suspected to have committed controlled dangerous substance violations
or to have used alcohol in a manner contrary to university policies, the student will
be subject to disciplinary action as well as possible arrest and criminal prosecution.
Students suspected of controlled dangerous substance violations will be referred to
the Director of Student Conduct and Civility Education in accordance with the Towson
University Code of Student Conduct. Disciplinary proceedings may proceed whether or
not criminal charges related to the same incident have been resolved. The university
encourages voluntary counseling and may require participation in an approved treatment
The safety of the university community is the university’s primary concern. Therefore,
a student who reports sexual misconduct to the university or to law enforcement, or
who participates in a sexual misconduct matter as a witness will not be charged by
the university with a violation of university policy for being under the influence
of alcohol or drugs (except for any mandatory intervention for substance abuse) if
the university determines that (1) the violation occurred during or near the time
of the alleged sexual misconduct; (2) the student made the report of sexual misconduct,
or is participating in an investigation as a witness, in good faith; and (3) the violation
was not an act that was reasonably likely to place the health or safety of another
individual at risk.
Recipients of Federal Grants/Contracts/Awards
Any faculty, staff member or student applying 1) for a federal grant/contract in which
a drug-free workplace policy is required, 2) for a “Pell Grant” or any other student/faculty
grant/award or fellowship in which a drug-free workplace policy has been required,
and/or 3) for a subcontract with the Department of Defense, will be required to comply
in accordance with federal regulations.
- Each individual must certify in writing to abide by the terms of the Towson University
Policy on Substance Abuse.
- Each individual must notify the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Administration
of any criminal drug conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace, no later
than 5 days after conviction.
The university will be responsible for notifying any contracting or granting agency,
within ten days of receiving notice of a conviction as described in paragraph 2 above
from the employee, or otherwise receiving actual notice of the conviction.
If a grant or award is directly made to an individual, rather than to the institution,
the individual will certify in writing to the institution to not engage in unlawful
manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of any controlled substance
in the workplace or while conducting any work activity with the grant/contract, and
will abide by the terms of the Towson University Substance Abuse Policy.
Relationship with External Contractors
The university is committed to encouraging all non-state entities who do business
with the university or otherwise receive funds from the university, to make a good
faith effort to eliminate illegal drug use, and drug and alcohol abuse from their
workplace. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 01.01.1989.18, the university
shall take whatever action necessary and appropriate to require a drug-free workplace,
in accordance with applicable federal and state law, of each recipient of a state
contract, grant, loan or other state funding instrument.
Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Convictions
Federal financial aid regulations suspend federal aid eligibility for students who
are convicted under federal or state laws for the sale or possession of illegal drugs
if the offense(s) occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was
receiving Federal (Title IV) financial aid (grants, loans, or work-study).
- Students who are convicted after they apply for aid must notify the TU Financial Aid
Office at finaid AT_TOWSON no later than five days after conviction.
- For more information, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID
or read the Question 23 Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet.
The university has an established counseling program for students and the Inova Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for faculty and staff. These programs are designed to provide counseling and rehabilitative
services. Employees are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources and students are encouraged to contact the Counseling Center if they have a substance abuse problem.
Employees and students who need help with a problem of substance abuse are encouraged
to call the Counseling Center, the Health Center, Human Resources or the Office of
the Vice President for Student Affairs. The resources of the Counseling Center are
available for supervisors who need consultation for managing employees who may have
substance abuse problems.
Voluntary participation in an assistance program will not jeopardize a participant’s
continued employment or enrollment at the university provided that the participant’s
job performance or behavior is consistent with established standards. However, voluntary
participation in an assistance program will not prevent disciplinary action for violation
of the policy, where such violation has already occurred.
There are a variety of outpatient, inpatient, and detox programs in the Baltimore
Towson University Counseling Center (on-campus)
Center for Mental Health (Towson)
Resource Group: Counseling and Education Center (Towson)
Towson Addictions Center (Towson)
Detox, Intensive Outpatient and Inpatient Services
Ashley Addiction Treatment (detox and inpatient; Havre de Grace)
Greater Baltimore Medical Center (E.R.; Towson)
Howard County General Hospital (E.R.; Columbia)
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (Baltimore City)
Maryland Addiction Recovery Center (detox and rehab; Towson)
Baltimore County Bureau of Behavioral Health
Alcohol consumption causes a number of changes in behavior and physiology. Even low
doses significantly impair judgment, coordination, and abstract mental functioning.
Statistics show that alcohol use is involved in a majority of violent behaviors on
college campuses, including sexual assault, vandalism, fights, and incidents of drinking
and driving. Continued abuse may lead to permanent damage to vital organs and deterioration
of a healthy lifestyle. Dependency may also occur.
Cannabis (marijuana, hashish)
The use of marijuana will impair or reduce short-term memory and comprehension, alter
sense of time, and reduce coordination and energy level. Users often have a lowered
immune system and an increased risk of lung cancer. The active ingredient in marijuana,
THC, is stored in the fatty tissues of the brain and reproductive system for a minimum
of 28 to 30 days, and possibly longer for chronic users.
Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations.
The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control.
Delayed effects, or flashbacks, can occur even when the use has ceased. Phencyclidine
(PCP) affects the section of the brain that controls the intellect. Because the drug
blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries.
Cocaine users often have a stuffy, runny nose and may have a perforated nasal septum.
The immediate effects of cocaine use include dilated pupils and elevated blood pressure,
heart rate, respiratory rate, and body temperature, followed by depression. Crack,
or freebase rock cocaine, is extremely addictive and can cause delirium, hallucinations,
blurred vision, severe chest pain, muscle spasms, convulsions, and even death.
Amphetamines can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, tremors, loss of coordination,
collapse, and death. Heavy users are prone to irrational acts.
Heroin is an opiate drug that causes the body to have diminished pain reactions. The
use of heroin can result in coma or death due to a reduction in the heart rate.
In accordance with federal legislation, there will be an annual distribution to each
employee and student of:
- The dangers of drug abuse in the workplace;
- The institution’s policy of maintaining a drug-free campus;
- Standards of conduct that clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession,
use or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees on university
property or as part of any university activities;
- Applicable legal sanctions under local, state or federal law;
- Health risks associated with the use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol;
- Available drug or alcohol counseling, treatment or rehabilitation and/or reentry programs; and
- A statement of the disciplinary sanctions that the university will impose on students
The annual distribution will be made to faculty by Academic Affairs, to staff by Administration
and Finance, and to students by Student Affairs.