Human Resources

Drug Free Schools and Communities Act

The provisions of the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989 require Amherst College, as a recipient of federal financial aid and grants and contracts, to adopt and implement programs to prevent the use of illicit drugs and unlawful use of alcohol by employees and students.

Specifically, the Act requires the following actions by the College:

  1. To establish standards of conduct that prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by employees on campus or during any campus activities.
  2. To apprise employees of the applicable legal sanctions under local, State and Federal Law and of the sanctions the institution will impose for violations of the policy.
  3. To alert all such persons of the health risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse; and to inform employees about available counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation programs.
  4. Conduct biennial reviews of their programs to assess their effectiveness, and the need for changes to ensure consistent enforcement of sanctions.

Amherst College fully supports the objectives of the Act, as expressed in the policy statement below, which is in effect for all faculty, administration, and staff. The Dean of Students has prepared a separate statement of policy regarding standards of conduct for students.

Campus Guidelines for Federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act

Amherst College, in accordance with both federal legislative and existing policy, is committed to providing a drug-free, healthy, and safe environment for all faculty and staff.

The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance, and the unlawful possession or use of alcoholic beverages on the campus is prohibited. If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with appropriate handbooks and referral to government authority for prosecution will result, where clearly required by law. Legal penalties for violation of these regulations include possible fines and/or imprisonment.

Alcohol abuse is the principal drug problem in this country, and the cause of grievous effects on behavior and health. It regularly impairs judgment, vision, coordination and speech, and often leads to dangerous and violent conduct, with tragic consequences to the individual and others. Over the long-term, the danger resulting to an alcoholic's own health and a family's well-being may be irreversible. As with alcohol, regular users of other drugs develop physical dependence, so that when denied drugs, they experience withdrawal symptoms. Beyond that, psychological dependence occurs when the drug becomes central to the user's life and dominates all decisions.

Amherst College recognizes alcohol and drug dependency as an illness and a major health problem, and is anxious to help both those directly affected by it, and their families, who suffer the consequences. Employees who need help with substance abuse problems, or co-workers/family members of substance abusers are encouraged to use the Employee Assistance Program available through The Wellness Corporation at 800-828-6025. The Wellness Corporation provides a number of services including consultation, problem assessment, referral and follow-up services for a wide variety of personal and health-related problems.

Employees and their families may call (800) 828-6025 to speak with a professional counselor, or to schedule an appointment . Medical family leave days can be used by an employee for EAP appointments.

All contacts are confidential and conscientious efforts to seek help will not jeopardize any employee's job.