The University of Louisville Policy Statement as a Drug-Free Institution


The University of Louisville is committed to protecting the safety, health and well being of all students, faculty and staff and other individuals in our workplace. We recognize that alcohol abuse and drug use pose a significant threat to our goals. We have established a drug-free workplace program that balances our respect for individuals with the need to maintain an alcohol and drug-free environment. As a recipient of federal grants and contracts, the university gives this notice to students, faculty and staff that it is in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (Pub. L. 100-690, Title V Subtitle D) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendment of 1989. Students, faculty and staff are herein notified of the standards of conduct that will be applicable while on university property, business, and/or at university sponsored activities. This policy is incorporated and is a part of the official University of Louisville Policies and Procedures.

This policy recognizes that student, faculty and staff involvement with alcohol and other drugs can be very disruptive, adversely affect the quality of work or academic performance of student, faculty and staff, pose serious health risks to users and others, and have a negative impact on productivity and morale.

The university has no intention of interfering with the private lives of its students, faculty and staff unless involvement with alcohol and other drugs off the campus affects job or academic performance or public safety.

As a condition of employment or enrollment, the university requires that students, faculty and staff adhere to a strict policy regarding the use and possession of drugs and alcohol.

The university encourages students, faculty and staff to voluntarily seek help with drug and alcohol problems.




Under university regulations, federal law, state law, and, in some instances, local ordinance, students, faculty and staff are prohibited from the unlawful possession, use, dispensation, distribution, or manufacture of illicit drugs on university property, on university business and/or at university sponsored activities. Under this policy, students, faculty and staff are required to abide by state laws concerning alcoholic beverages. Basically, Kentucky laws (KRS 244.085) state that, if one is under the age of 21, it is unlawful to:

  • Possess or consume alcoholic beverages,
  • Misrepresent one’s age for the purpose of purchasing alcoholic beverages, or
  • Use a fake ID in an attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages.

No matter what one’s age, Kentucky law states that it is unlawful to:

  • Procure any alcoholic beverages for anyone under 21 years of age or
  • Drink or be drunk in a public place.

University campuses and buildings are considered as public places for purposes of these laws, except for a facility licensed to serve alcoholic beverages, and except for a facility used as a private residence, unless university regulations state otherwise. Ordinances of the Greater Louisville area basically parallel the state laws.

Any member of the university student body, faculty, or staff who violates these defined standards of conduct will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including suspension and/or termination. The specifically defined standards of conduct, the disciplinary procedures, and the appropriate sanctions are detailed in the codes of student conduct and in Personnel Policies and Procedures (PER-5.01), Staff Handbook (Disciplinary Action, page 8.2) and The Redbook.

In addition, it is a violation of state law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of any substance that may impair one’s driving ability (drugs or alcoholic beverages).

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are not prohibited when taken in standard dosage and/or according to a physician’s prescription. Any student, faculty and staff taking prescribed or over-the-counter medications will be responsible for consulting the prescribing physician and/or pharmacist to ascertain whether the medication may interfere with job or academic performance. If the use of a medication could compromise the safety of staff, faculty, student or the public, it is the individual’s responsibility to use appropriate procedures (e.g., call in sick, use leave, request change of duty, notify supervisor) to avoid unsafe workplace practices.

The illegal or unauthorized use of prescription drugs is prohibited. It is a violation of our drug-free workplace to intentionally misuse and/or abuse prescription medications. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if job or academic performance deterioration and/or other accidents occur.




Under university regulation, students who violate this standard of conduct are subject to disciplinary action from a minimum of a warning to a maximum of suspension from the university. Students who reside in university housing are subject to further disciplinary action that may vary from a warning to termination of their housing contract. Faculty and staff are subject to disciplinary action from a minimum of a warning to a maximum of termination from university employment.

Under state and federal drug laws, the gravity of the sanction depends on the classification of the controlled substance, the particular activity involved (possession or trafficking which includes manufacture, sale and possession with intent to sell), and whether or not multiple convictions are involved.

Under Kentucky law (KRS 218A.141), the most severe penalty for a drug law violation involves trafficking. On a first offense conviction, one may receive a fine of up to $10,000.00 and/or a sentence of up to ten years in the penitentiary; for subsequent offenses, the penalties may be doubled.

Under federal law (DEA, Title 21, Section 844), for simple possession of a controlled substance, one may be imprisoned for up to one year and/or fined up to $1,000.00. For subsequent offenses, one may be imprisoned for up to three years and/or fined up to $5,000.00. Under federal law, one may be fined up to $8,000,000.00 and/or may be sentenced from not less than 10 years up to life in prison for trafficking in drugs. For violations of other federal drug laws, one may receive life in prison or the death penalty.

Under both state and federal laws, one may suffer the loss of whatever property (house, farm) or possessions (vehicle) which one may have used in the drug trade. Specific penalties under federal laws for trafficking in various controlled substances are outlined in Appendix A to this policy.

Sanctions for violation of state alcohol laws vary from a fine of $10.00 to $2,000.00, a sentence of forty-eight hours to 12 months in jail, and/or suspension of one’s operator’s license.




In compliance with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, any employee shall notify the immediate supervisor if the employee is convicted of a criminal drug offense occurring in the workplace or while on university business within five days of the conviction. The university shall take appropriate sanction and remedies in accordance within its policies. The provisions of this section are applicable to students who are employees of the university. If the employee is under a federal contract or grant, the university shall notify the contracting or granting agency of the conviction and of its actions. This section of this policy is also applicable to students who receive a Pell grant (federal grant).




The scope and impact of health risks from alcohol and drug abuse are both alarming and well documented, ranging from mood altering to life threatening, with consequences that extend beyond the individual to family, organizations and society at large. The university, therefore, conducts regular programs to educate its students, faculty and staff that consumption and use of drugs may alter behavior, distort perception, impair thinking, impede judgment, and lead to physical or psychological dependence.

Alcohol and/or drug abuse may lead to the deterioration of physical health by causing or contributing to various health conditions including but not limited to fatigue, nausea, personal injury, insomnia, pathological organ damage, some forms of cancer, pancreatitis, heart attack, respiratory depression, birth defects, convulsions, coma, and even death. Alcohol and drug abuse may also result in deterioration of mental health by causing or contributing to various conditions such as increased aggression, hallucinations, depression, disorientation, and psychosis.

A detailed list of the effects and health risks associated with the use of many specific drugs appears as Appendix B to this policy.

Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increases the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse.

Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described. Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

Mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk than other youngsters of becoming alcoholics.




Continuous efforts are made to make students, faculty and staff aware of the on-campus and off-campus programs that provide information and professional services on matters related to the abuse of alcohol and drugs. Lists of sources for information and counseling for students are published in the Cardinal. Students are encouraged to contact the Vice President for Student Affairs offices and/or the Office of Student Life for information and appropriate referral. Such areas as the Counseling Center, Student Health Services and an in-residence counselor provide counseling in the residence halls system.

For faculty and staff, the Human Resource Office provides information and counseling. The Employee Assistance Program specifically provides information as well as assistance with problems related to drug and alcohol. The university’s Employee Assistance Program provider is the Human Development Company. Their telephone number is (502) 589-HELP.

Other counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation services are available in the Greater Louisville area.

The toll free number for Drug Information Services for Kentucky (DISK) is 1-800-432-9337.

In the Greater Louisville area, the number for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is 582-1849; the number for Narcotics Anonymous is 499-4423. (Check local telephone directory for listings).

Seven Counties Services (589-4313) offers a crisis and information center with a 24-hour, 365-day-a-year hotline for those with alcohol or drug abuse problems. Ten Broeck Healthcare (896-0495) offers acute care residential treatment for adults with alcohol or other drug problems.

Many other services are available and may be located by looking in the local phone directory yellow pages under “Social Services” or “Alcoholism” or in the “Community Service Guide” section at the front of the telephone directory. Treatment for alcoholism and/or other drug use disorders may be covered by the employee benefit plan. However, the ultimate financial responsibility for recommended treatment belongs to the employee.



All information received by the university through the drug-free workplace program is confidential communication. Access to this information is limited to those who have a legitimate need to know in compliance with relevant laws and university policies.

Policy Statement as a Drug-Free Institution