In accordance with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Gwinnett Technical College implemented a program to prevent the use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees. College standards of conduct clearly prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of alcohol, marijuana, a controlled substance, or other illegal or dangerous drugs on campus or as part of any student sponsored activities.
College policies prohibit the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages and illicit drugs on the campuses, in college facilities, or at college-related functions. College policies also prohibit students under the influence of alcohol or drugs from appearing on the campuses, at clinical facilities, or at student-related functions and activities.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) has given colleges/universities the option to notify parents/guardians about specific types of information from a student’s conduct record. The vice president of student affairs will notify parents/guardians the first time and any subsequent time a student is found to have violated Code of Conduct policies on the use or possession of alcohol or other drugs when he/she is under the age of 21.
As noted in the Student Code of Conduct, the College will impose sanctions up to and including dismissal and referral for prosecution for the violation of these standards. The Office of Student Affairs at Gwinnett Technical College assists students with drug- or alcohol-related problems by referring them to appropriate community resources designed to address these problems.
Any person using alcoholic beverages while on the campuses of Gwinnett Technical College shall be responsible for compliance with state and county laws and the College’s alcohol policy. It is illegal in the State of Georgia for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol or to falsify or misrepresent his or her age to obtain alcohol.
The use, possession, and/or sale of illegal drugs are violations of the College’s Substance Abuse Policy, the faculty contract, and the terms of employment of administrative, classified, and contingent staff. Faculty, students, and staff who use, possess, or sell illegal drugs are subject to criminal prosecution as well as administrative disciplinary actions including suspension or dismissal.
The possession, sale, or furnishing of alcohol and illicit drugs on the Gwinnett Technical College campus is governed by the College’s Substance Abuse Policy and state and federal laws. These laws are strictly enforced by the Gwinnett Technical College Police Department. Violators are subject to College disciplinary action, criminal prosecution, fines, and/or imprisonment.
Federal law prohibits the possession, manufacture, or distribution of various controlled substances. Penalties for these offenses vary depending upon the severity of the convictions, but may include imprisonment of up to 40 years with large fines. Penalties double when the offenses occur within 1,000 feet of a postsecondary educational institution. A PDF list of federal trafficking laws, “Drugs of Abuse,” A DEA Resource Guide, pages 30-31, is available below:
“Federal Drug Trafficking Penalties” – Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice
Georgia law states that public educational institutions shall, as of the date of conviction, suspend students convicted of any felony offense involving the manufacture, distribution, sale, possession, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug except for cases in which the institution previously took disciplinary action against the students for the same offense. Such suspension shall be effective as of the date of conviction even though the educational institution may not complete all administrative actions necessary to implement such suspension until a later date.
Except for cases in which the institution previously imposed sanctions for the term, quarter, semester, or other similar period for which students were enrolled as of the date of conviction, students shall forfeit any right to any academic credit otherwise earned or earnable for that term, quarter, semester, or other similar period. The educational institution shall subsequently revoke any such academic credit granted prior to the completion of administrative actions necessary to implement such suspensions.
Georgia law specifies that college-sanctioned student organizations that, through its officers, agents, or responsible members, knowingly permit or authorizes the sale, distribution, serving, possession, consumption, or use of marijuana, a controlled substance, or dangerous drug in violation of state laws at any function shall have its recognition withdrawn. Furthermore, state laws also specify that the college must expel that organization from campus for a minimum of one calendar year from the year of determination of guilt.
The Georgia Penal Code prohibits the possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21 or providing alcohol to such a person. State laws also specify fines for violators in the amount of $1,000 and a prison sentence of 12 months.
Employee misconduct related to alcohol or other drug abuse will not be tolerated. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, sales, use, or possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, or a dangerous drug by employees of Gwinnett Technical College is prohibited by federal and state law, as well as the Technical College System of Georgia policy. Violation of this policy will result in appropriate disciplinary sanctions, including but not limited to dismissal, demotion or suspension of employment, and/or referral to the appropriate state agency for legal prosecution.
Gwinnett Tech’s Office of Student Life provides healthy living programs to counterbalance drug and alcohol abuse. Gwinnett Tech articulates and consistently enforces policies that promote an educational environment free from substance use/abuse while providing education for members of the campus community for preventing alcohol abuse and other drug use along with providing a reasonable level of care for substance abusers through referral. The Office of Student Life schedules alcohol and substance abuse awareness events throughout the academic year. The director of student life posts notices announcing these seminars on bulletin boards around campus, electronic message boards, and the college website. Campus activities promote and reinforce health, responsible living, respect for community and campus standards, individual responsibility on the campus, and intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual or ethical, and physical well-being of the members. Additionally, information is available in the Office of Counseling Services. Gwinnett Tech will continue combating the negative issues surrounding alcohol and other drug use and abuse on campus.
Gwinnett Technical College conducts a regular review of its Drug and Alcohol Awareness Program including a review of applicable policies. A copy of the biennial report of this review is available by contacting the coordinator of compliance and assessment in the Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness at IE@GwinnettTech.edu.
Much has been written in recent years about the health benefits of moderate alcohol use.
Unfortunately, that information has also been viewed by some as permission to continue their ongoing abuse of alcohol. Likewise, while there are valid medical reasons to take legally prescribed drugs, it is not uncommon for an individual to lose control over their use of those medications and in some instances advance to such risk-taking behavior as seeking illegal drugs as a substitute. A PDF list of commonly abused drugs and their associated health risks is available below:
“Commonly Abused Drugs” – National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Once an addiction begins, it can carry a host of additional issues, including loss of self-control, judgment, motivation, memory, and the ability to learn. People who choose to abuse alcohol and/or drugs run the risk of incurring serious health problems such as high blood pressure, increased risk of cancer, heart disease, hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcoholism, drug addiction, brain damage, and in extreme cases sudden death. Additionally, individuals with substance abuse problems pose a serious risk to themselves and to others when they elect to drive under the influence.
The Office of Student Life schedules alcohol and substance abuse awareness events throughout the academic year. The director of student life posts notices announcing these seminars on bulletin boards around campus, electronic message boards, and the College website. Additional help and information is available in Gwinnett Tech’s Office of Counseling Services.
For assistance with drug/alcohol abuse related issues, you may contact the following agencies:
Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline
Drug-Free Workplace Help Line
Georgia Crisis and Access Helpline
Help Line Georgia
View Point Health (Addictive Disease Services)
Gran Recovery Center (View Point Health)
Advantage Behavioral Health Systems (Addictive Disease Services)
Dekalb Community Partners (Addictive Disease Services)
MARR Addiction Treatment Center