The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Amendment of 1989 were developed to promote awareness of the hazards of drug use and to use the forces of the federal government to penalize any employer who does not actively work to develop and maintain a drug-free campus and/or workplace.  South Florida State College strongly endorses the federal government’s efforts to eliminate illegal drug activities on school campuses and in workplaces. 

Health Risks.  Drug and alcohol abuse can cause physical and emotional dependence and can lead to violent behavior, personal injury, and a higher risk of a vehicular accident, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, lung disease, liver disease, brain cell destruction, and many other diseases.  Even low to moderate doses of drugs and/or alcohol increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spouse and child abuse.  Also, the safety of employees abusing drugs and alcohol, and that of their co-workers, can be greatly jeopardized.  Thousands of alcohol and drug related workplace accidents have resulted in death or permanent disability to innocent co-workers and the general public.

Legal Sanctions.   Illegal drug related activities can be prosecuted either on a federal or state level and can result in conviction with a sentence of probation or incarceration, up to, and including life imprisonment.  Any person who sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or possesses with the intent to sell, purchase, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance in, on, or near an educational facility in Florida may be convicted of a first degree felony.  The penalties for driving while under the influence are indicated in Florida Statute (F.S.) 316.193, and F.S. 316.1936(2)(a) prohibits possession of any open container of an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle.

Failure on the Job.  Job performance and productivity can be drastically impacted by drug and alcohol abuse.  Abuse can significantly increase workplace accidents, absenteeism and errors.  Drug and alcohol abusers also tend to be disruptive in the workplace and find it difficult to get along with co-workers.

Disciplinary Sanctions.  College policy states that the use of alcohol, unless approved by the College’s president, or illegal drugs on campus or at any of its activities is strictly prohibited. Any individual violating this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate dismissal with referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency as warranted.  Employees are not permitted to engage in work activities for the College while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs as defined by law.  Violators of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate dismissal.  In addition, any employee convicted of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of controlled substances, on or off campus, shall notify the director of human resources within 5 days after such conviction and shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Help is Available.  If you currently have or develop a substance abuse problem and would like assistance, you may speak to your supervisor and/or contact our human resource department for information.  In addition, the college has provided an employee assistance program (EAP) administered through LifeWorks.  A link to their website is provided on Panther Central located under the employee section.  Services are confidential and provided at no charge to the employee.  The services include assessment, short-term counseling and referral services for employees and their household members. Their phone number is 800-433-7916 and counselors are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Assistance is also available from providers who are not affiliated with the EAP.  The cost of treatment can vary but is usually partially covered by health insurance.  Some providers may offer a sliding fee scale based on income and ability to pay.    Tri-County Human Services is a local provider with the following locations:  Highlands County Outpatient Clinic, 100 West College Drive, Building E, Avon Park, Florida, 863-452-0106 and Wauchula Outpatient Clinic, 202 South 9th Avenue, Wauchula, Florida, 863-773-2226.  They provide an array of services based on the needs of the patient.  For additional information visit their website  Additional providers are listed in the CenturyLink phone book under “Drug Abuse & Addiction – Information & Treatment”.