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Substance Abuse Control Policy for Students in the Health Sciences

Policy Purpose

  1. Wallace Community College is a public educational institution of the State of Alabama and, as such, shall not allow on its premises, or at any activity it sponsors, the possession, use, or distribution of any alcoholic beverage or any illicit drug by any student or employee.
  2. As stipulated by agencies with which Wallace Community College contracts for clinical experiences, health program students and faculty must abide by agency policies, including the substance abuse control policy and any subsequent revisions to the policy. 

Standards of Conduct and Enforcement Thereof

  1. Any incident relating to alcohol or drug use by students should be reported to the Associate Dean, Health Sciences.
  2. In the event of confirmation of such prohibited possession, use, or distribution by a student, Wallace Community College shall, within the scope of applicable federal and state due process requirements, take such administrative or disciplinary action as is appropriate. For a student, the disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, program dismissal, college suspension or expulsion.
  3. If any student shall engage in any behavior prohibited by this policy, which is also a violation of Federal, State, or local law or ordinance, that student shall be subject to referral to law enforcement officials for arrest and prosecution.

General Guidelines

  1. Policies governing substance abuse include pre-clinical drug screening, random drug screening, and reasonable cause drug screening, should the student exhibit behaviors indicative of substance abuse during their participation in courses and/or activities offered by Wallace Community College.
  2. Laboratory Requirements
    1. Drug screening will be conducted according to the guidelines established in the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.
    2. Laboratories certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will be used to perform confirmatory drug testing analysis.
  3. Persons to be Tested
    1. Any student admitted to a health science program at Wallace Community College will be required to abide by this substance abuse control policy.
    2. Any faculty member, whether full or adjunct, responsible for clinical supervision of students enrolled in a health science program at Wallace Community College will be required to abide by this policy.

    Student Guidelines

    Pre-clinical Screening
    1. Students granted initial admission to any health science program at Wallace Community College will be provided information regarding and will be expected to adhere to the substance abuse control policy of Wallace Community College.  
    2. Students transferring into a health science program, readmitting to a health science program, and/or enrolling in individual courses containing a clinical component will be provided information regarding and will be expected to adhere to the substance abuse control policy of Wallace Community College.
    3. A signed consent to drug screening will be maintained on file for each health science student. Screening will be scheduled and conducted according to established guidelines at a cost agreed upon by laboratory facility and College representatives. Costs related to admission and random drug testing will be the responsibility of the student.
    4. Students scheduled for random screening will be individually notified and required to report for testing at a designated location by a designated time.
    5. Students failing to complete drug screening as required will be prohibited from participation in and completion of the clinical and/or laboratory component of required courses.
    6. In accordance with policies found in the Wallace Community College Catalog/Student Handbook, students who are unable to complete course requirements due to positive drug screens will be allowed to withdraw from applicable courses.
    7. Readmission to health science programs will follow guidelines established by each health program.

    Reasonable-Suspicion Screening

    1. While participating in clinical experiences and/or College activities, students may be required to submit to reasonable suspicion testing. Reasonable suspicion is defined as follows:
      • Observable phenomena, such as direct observation of drug use and/or the physical symptoms or manifestations of being under the influence of a drug; abnormal conduct or erratic behavior while in class or on the clinical unit; deterioration in performance; a report of drug use provided by reliable and credible sources which has been independently corroborated; evidence of tampering with a drug test; information that the individual has caused or contributed to an incident in a clinical agency; evidence of involvement in the use, possession, sale, solicitation, or transfer of drugs while on the premises of the College or a clinical agency.
    2. Costs incurred for reasonable-suspicion screening will be the responsibility of the student involved.

    Positive Screens

    1. No student drug-screening sample will be reported as positive before a Certified Medical Review Officer has reviewed results.  
    2. Upon receipt of a positive drug screen notification, the College designee will counsel the student as to course/program eligibility status and treatment options.
    3. Wallace Community College encourages students to seek professional help for a drug related problem. Follow-up treatment will be at the discretion of the student and all expenses incurred will be the responsibility of the student.
    4. With exception of legal actions that require access to test results, all records will be secured in locked files with access limited only to stated College officials and his/her designees.

    1. Students withdrawing from a health science program due to a positive drug screen will be considered for readmission in accordance with standard guidelines stipulated by the applicable program and will have the same rights and responsibilities as those available to other students.
    2. Prior to making application for readmission, students dismissed or withdrawing from a health science program related to a positive drug screen must submit verification of completion of a substance abuse treatment program to the appropriate College designee.
    3. Students readmitted to a health science program following violation of policies aimed at substance abuse prevention for Wallace Community College will be required to submit to an unannounced drug screen at their own expense prior to finalization of the process.
    4. Students readmitted to a health science program may repeat courses as guided by program policies and offerings.  
    5. Following readmission, a second positive drug screen will result in program dismissal and terminate all eligibility for readmission.