Patricia V. Edelson
One area that schools are often cited for is failure to comply with Part 86, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, of the Department’s General Administrative Regulations. The purpose of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention regulations is to implement the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (“DFSCA”) amendments of 1989. These amendments require that, as a condition of receiving Title IV funds, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program (“DAAPP”).
Generally schools are well versed in the requirements of the Institutional Security Policies and Crime Statistics, 34 CFR §668.46, but often fall short in developing a DAAPP. The program must be designed to prevent the unlawful possession, use, and distribution of drugs and alcohol on campus and at recognized events and activities.
In developing your Program make sure you include:
- The institution’s “standards of conduct” that prohibit the possession, use, and distribution of drugs and alcohol;
- Any possible sanctions for violations of Federal, state, and local drug and alcohol laws;
- Any possible sanctions for violation of institutional policies;
- Information on the health risks associated with the use of drugs and alcohol;
- information on counseling, rehabilitation, and treatment programs available to students and employees, and;
- A clear statement that the school will impose sanctions on students and employees who violate drug and alcohol laws, ordinances, and/or institutional policies.
Make sure you have procedures to annually distribute your DAAPP to all current students and employees.
You can easily get information on counseling, rehabilitation, and treatment programs that are available in your area by exploring local Community Services. The information you find can be made available to students and staff and will comply with this requirement.
Another important requirement that schools often fail to fulfill is conducting a biennial review to determine the effectiveness of their Program. The biennial review report and any supporting documents must be made available to the Department upon request. You must also ensure consistent enforcement of applicable laws, ordinances, and institutional policies against violators.