Recognizing the cost of substance abuse to the workplace, Texas A&M AgriLife has developed procedures to promote a safe and healthy environment for all employees.
In accordance with System Regulation 34.02.01, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, and the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory maintain an Alcohol and Drug-Free Awareness and Prevention Program to inform employees of drug abuse violation penalties, the dangers of drug abuse, and of the available drug counseling, rehabilitation and employee assistance programs.
For additional information on subjects such as laws, prevention initiatives, publications, community resources, and help for parents, you may access the Texas Department of State Health Services website at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/mhsa/
Texas A&M AgriLife is fully committed to providing its employees a drug and alcohol free workplace. Guidelines and sanctions are contained in System Policy 34.02, System Regulation 34.02.01, and associated component rules and procedures.
Disciplinary action will be pursued against employees who violate the system policy or this rule. A record of the action taken will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
As a condition of employment, employees must report any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace or on AgriLife business to the administrative head or otherwise receiving actual notice of such conviction. In either case, Texas A&M AgriLife will take appropriate disciplinary action within 30 days. Disciplinary actions include termination of employment, or requiring the employee to satisfactorily participate in an approved drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.
Prescribed Drug: Any substance prescribed for individual consumption by a licensed medical practitioner.
Illicit Drug (or Chemical Substance): Any drug or chemical substance, the use, sale, or possession of which is illegal under any state or federal law; or one that is obtainable but has not been legally obtained.
Controlled Substance: A controlled substance in schedules I through V of section 202 of The Controlled Substance Act (21 U.S.C.S. 812) or whose possession, sale, or delivery results in criminal sanctions under the Texas Controlled Substances Act. This includes all prescription drugs as well as drugs that have no generally accepted medicinal use such as heroin, LSD, marijuana, etc.
Alcohol: Any alcoholic beverage that is alcohol or any beverage containing more than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume which is capable of use for beverage purposes, either alone or when diluted.
Alcohol Abuse: The excessive use of alcohol in a manner that interferes, but not chronically, with (1) physical or psychological functioning; (2) social adaptation; (3) educational performance; or (4) occupational functioning.
Reasonable Suspicion: Established by: (1) observation; (2) actions/behaviors of the individual; (3) supervisor or other reliable individual witnessing possession or use; or (4) any other legal measure for alcohol or drug detection.
All Texas A&M AgriLife employees are expected to comply with federal, state, and local drug laws as well as System Policies and agency rules and procedures. An employee who violates any of these drug laws will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency and will be subject to prosecution in accordance with the law. Legal sanctions for violation of local, state, and/or federal laws may include but are not limited to fines, jail, or prison sentences up to 99 years or life. Violations of these laws and of System Policies and agency rules/procedures include the possession, delivery, manufacturing, selling, using, illegal purchasing, distribution and others. Driving under the influence may also result in the loss of driving privileges.
Many health risks are associated with alcohol abuse. It has been estimated that alcohol may be involved in more than 100,000 deaths per year. This number includes deaths from traffic accidents, homicides, suicides, overdoses, and other types of accidents.
Alcohol abuse adversely affects the heart, liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and brain. Birth defects such as fetal alcohol syndrome and mental retardation are also caused by such abuse.
Alcohol abuse costs billions of dollars each year through lost production, health and medical expenses, motor vehicle accidents, crime, alcohol programs, and research. It can lead to family break-up, divorce, child and spouse abuse, unwanted pregnancies, and loss of employment. Alcohol abuse also results in less efficiency, absenteeism, lost time on the job, faulty decision making, accidents, impaired co-workers’ morale, and the cost of rehabilitation programs.
(Sources: Alcohol in America: Taking Action to Prevent Abuse, Steve Olson; Alcohol and Other Drugs: Self Responsibility, Ruth Engs; and Gateway Drugs: A Guide for the Family, Robert L. DuPont, Jr., M.D.)
The abuse of illicit drugs can result in a wide-range of health problems. Illicit drug use can result in drug addiction, death by overdose, death from withdrawal, seizure, heart problems, infectious disease (i.e., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis), liver disease, and chronic brain dysfunction.
Drug abuse can interfere with memory, sensation, and perception. It can also interfere with the brain’s ability to take in, sort, and synthesize information. Regular users of drugs develop tolerance, physical dependence, and psychological dependence. Additional effects include occupational, social, and family problems as well as a reduction in motivation. As with alcohol abuse, drug abuse by pregnant women may cause addiction or health complications in the unborn child.
(Sources: Gateway Drugs: A Guide for the Family, Robert L. Dupont, Jr., M.D.; and What Works: Schools Without Drugs, U.S. Department of Education)
Texas A&M University System prohibits alcohol abuse and illicit drug use. As a TAMUS employee, you must abide by state and federal laws on controlled substances, illicit drugs and use of alcohol. This annual brochure serves as an awareness and prevention tool for TAMUS employees by providing basic information about A&M System policy and regulations, legal sanctions and health risks related to alcohol abuse and illicit drug use. Information about counseling, treatment and rehabilitation programs are included.
Texas A&M System Benefits Administration has entered into an agreement with GuidanceResources (EAP Services) to extend services to all A&M System members and retirees effective September 1, 2019. This EAP is a confidential counseling service provided to employees, retirees, and benefits-eligible dependents for personal and work concerns which may be interfering with work performance and/or quality of life. Additionally, the EAP’s wide scope provides referrals for a broad variety of services. For more information on GuidanceResources EAP, go to https://agrilifeas.tamu.edu/hr/about-us/eap/ or contact GuidanceResources directly at 1-866-301-9263 (Employees)/1-833-306-0105 (Retirees)
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA) of Brazos Valley: 979-846-3560
- Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse (BVCASA): 979-846-3560
- Mental Health Mental Retardation (MHMR) Crisis Line: 979-361-9815
- Health Promotion, Department of Student Life: 979-845-0280
- National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Help Line: 1-800-821-HELP (4357)
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline: 1-800-622-HELP (4357)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Contact your supervisor for help in identifying an appropriate service.
Health insurance coverage may be available for treatment of alcohol abuse and other illicit drug use problems. Employees should contact Texas A&M AgriLife Benefits Office at 979-845-2423 or an individual health plan representative for information about insurance coverage.*Hearing impaired individuals can access these resources by using TTY telephones to call Relay Texas at 1-800-735-2989 for these resources.