Drug and Alcohol Policy
RISD prohibits the unlawful use, possession, distribution, dispensation, and manufacture of controlled substances, other illicit drugs, and alcohol in the workplace, classroom, and studio, at any other location owned, leased, or being used by RISD, and in connection with any RISD-sponsored activities. RISD further prohibits even the lawful service and use of alcohol on the RISD campus and at any other location owned, leased, or being used by RISD unless such service and use has been pre-authorized under RISD’s Guidelines for the Service and Consumption of Alcohol on Campus. Individual departments and offices may impose additional prohibitions on employees and students within their jurisdiction.
An employee who violates this policy will be subject to the full range of discipline available under RISD’s Staff Corrective Action Policy and/or applicable collective bargaining agreements, up to and including termination, and may also be referred for criminal prosecution.
A student who violates this policy will be subject to the full range of discipline available under RISD’s Student Disciplinary Code, up to and including expulsion, and may also be referred for criminal prosecution. RISD may also notify the student’s parents or guardians of the violation.
The use, possession, distribution, dispensation, and manufacture of controlled substances, other illicit drugs, and alcohol is also prohibited under a variety of federal and Rhode Island criminal statutes. The penalties for violations of these statutes can, among other things, include mandatory drug or alcohol counseling or treatment, community service, suspension or loss of a driver’s license, fines, asset forfeiture, and imprisonment.
Current information about some of the primary Rhode Island statutes concerning the use of drugs and alcohol can be found at:
Required Notification of Convictions
It is a condition of employment at RISD that any employee who is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute in the workplace must notify his or her immediate supervisor and the Vice President for Human Resources within five days of the conviction.
Confidential assessments, counseling, and referrals to community resources are available from the following:
For employees: Coastline EAP, RISD’s employee assistance program provider, by phone at 1-800-445-1191 and on the web at CoastlineEAP.com (see Employee Assistance Program for additional contact information).
For students: Health Services, located in Homer Hall. For an appointment, call x6625 (401-454-6625).
Health Risks Associated with the Use of Drugs and Alcohol
The following information on health risks associated with the use of alcohol is from What Works: Schools Without Drugs (U. S. Department of Education 1992):
"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 increase 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."
The information in the link below, from Drugs of Abuse (U.S. Department of Justice 2017), describes health risks associated with the use of controlled substances and other illicit drugs.
Review annually on the following date or as required by law: January 15
Vice President for Human Resources
Individuals/offices required for review and changes
Director of Employment
Office of the General Counsel