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.

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 and sanctions imposed.  The sanctions available to the College include warning, probation, suspension, or termination of employment or referral to government authority for prosecution.  Legal penalties for violation of applicable local, state, or federal laws include possible fines and/or imprisonment.   The College may require satisfactory completion of an appropriate drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program before reinstatement or continued employment.

This link provides details on the College's Drugs and Alcohol Policy.

Any affected employee, including a student, who participates in any federal grant or contract must notify the Director of Human Resources within five days, of any criminal drug conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace.  The College is required to notify the federal agency involved, if any, within ten days after receipt of such notice.

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.