Substance Abuse Policy

Substance Abuse Policy

Appalachian State University is committed to maintaining an environment that supports and encourages the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. All members of the academic community—students, faculty, administrators and staff—share in the responsibility of protecting and promoting that environment and all are expected to exemplify high standards of professional and personal conduct. The illegal or abusive use of alcohol and other drugs by members of the academic community adversely affects this educational environment. North Carolina and federal laws restrict or prohibit the use of alcohol and other drugs in various contexts. The illegal or abusive use of alcohol and other drugs is not compatible with personal health and welfare and the pursuit of academic excellence, and will not be tolerated by Appalachian State University on the campus or as part of any institutional activities.

The use and abuse of alcohol or other drugs can have serious negative consequences. High-risk choices can lead to significant academic, legal, financial, job performance and relationship problems, as well as problems with physical, mental and emotional health. The use of alcohol and other drugs is also a factor in injuries and deaths related to overdose, accidents, and crimes. Problems related to the use of alcohol and other drugs affect not only the user, but also friends, family, classmates, coworkers, and the entire Appalachian community.

Students, faculty members, administrators and other employees are responsible, as citizens, for knowing about and complying with the provisions of North Carolina law that make it a crime to possess, sell, deliver, or manufacture those drugs designated collectively as "controlled substances" in Article 5, Chapter 90 of the North Carolina General Statutes. Any member of the University community who violates pertinent state or federal law, either within the University community, or in a manner that otherwise affects the academic community, thereby violates University policy. Any employee convicted of any criminal drug statute violation occurring within the University community must notify the appropriate supervisor or management person no later than five (5) calendar days after such conviction. (Any employee who fails to provide notification shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.) Disciplinary action against an employee convicted of a drug offense within the University community must commence within 30 days after receipt of notice of the conviction.

Penalties will be imposed for violation of the policies of Appalachian State University only in accordance with procedural safeguards applicable to disciplinary actions against students, faculty members, administrators and other employees. The penalties that may be imposed range from written warnings with probationary status to expulsion from enrollment and discharge from employment.

Every student, faculty member, administrator and other employee of Appalachian State University is responsible for being familiar with and complying with the terms of the policy on illegal drugs adopted by the Board of Trustees. Copies of the full text of that policy appear in the Faculty Handbook, and The Student Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities. Copies of the policy and pertinent NC General Statutes are on file in the offices of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, Vice Chancellor for Student Development, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Graduate Studies and Research, Belk Library and Information Commons, Office of Human Resource Services, Residence Life, University Police, and the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership. Students will find information pertaining to violations of the alcoholic beverages policy in The Code of Student Conduct. Alcohol related problems for staff are handled under the personal conduct section of the Staff Employee Handbook.

University and Community Resources

A wide array of resources may be required to meet the counseling and rehabilitation needs of individuals who have substance abuse problems. These services generally include assessment and referral, social and/or medical detoxification, in-patient treatment, halfway house facilities, out-patient individual and group therapy, after-care programs and self-help groups. Obviously, not all substance abusers are in need of all the services listed; however, the availability of services affords an individual the opportunity to address substance abuse problems adequately and responsibly. The following services are available to members of the University community:


  1. The Counseling and Psychological Services Center offers individual and group out-patient therapy and referral information for students.
  2. The Student Wellness Center, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, offers individual and group substance abuse counseling for students. Students are also offered alcohol and other drug information and education via media campaigns, classes, presentations, peer education, theatre production, resource center and campus-wide events.
  3. The Office of Human Resource Services has established an awareness and education program that will inform employees of the stipulations of the Drug- Free Workplace Act of 1988 and the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act Amendments of 1989 to promote their understanding and increase their knowledge of dangers of workplace drug abuse, address and identify drug problems in their lives, and offer alternatives.
  4. Counseling for Faculty and Staff, located in the Hubbard Center, offers assessment, referral, and individual and group out-patient therapy for faculty and staff on a space-available basis. Contact the Hubbard Center for information.


  1. New River Behavioral Health Care provides substance abuse services including: evaluation, detox, outpatient treatment, and referral entry for inpatient treatment.
  2. A number of practitioners in the community offer individual out-patient therapy for persons preferring a private practice setting.

A variety of local self-help groups are available with each group establishing its own criteria for membership.