Commitment to Substance Abuse Prevention
The College of Nursing is committed to maintaining a healthy and substance abuse-free environment that promotes the safety and welfare of students, patients, employees and visitors. The abuse of alcohol and/or the use of illegal drugs are known to cause harmful physical, mental and psychosocial effects, and may render an individual unable to perform the essential functions of a student nurse in a safe and competent manner.

In addition to the annual distribution/posting by the College of Nursing of written materials relating to substance abuse prevention and treatment, the College periodically presents programs on the subject to its students. The College’s efforts at substance abuse prevention are evaluated on a biennial basis to determine effectiveness and need for revision. For information on pre-entry drug screening, see Health Services.

Substance Abuse Policy
The use, consumption, possession, distribution, or state of being under the influence of alcohol or any illegal drug while engaged in College-related activities (as such phrase is defined below) is strictly prohibited. The College will impose appropriate disciplinary sanctions, up to and including suspension or dismissal from the College, upon any student found to be in violation of this policy.

As employed in this policy, the following terms will have the meanings set forth below:

"Under the influence" means that the student's appearance or demeanor appears to be impaired or otherwise affected by an illegal drug, by alcohol, or by the combination of an illegal drug and alcohol.

"Illegal drug" means any article or substance referred to as a drug and/or a controlled substance in the Drug Control Act (Chapter 34 of Title 54.1 of the Virginia Code), including all prescription medications regardless of whether the medication is considered to be a controlled substance under federal law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a prescription medication will be considered to be an "illegal drug" for student disciplinary purposes only in the event and to the extent that such medication is used or possessed by someone other than the individual to whom it was lawfully prescribed, is being offered for distribution, or is otherwise not being used for prescribed purposes.

Appeal Procedure
The Appeal Procedure set forth in the Student Rights and Responsibility policy shall govern appeals under this Drug and Substance Abuse policy.

For additional information please refer to the College Policies.

Applicable Law; Legal Consequences for Substance Abuse Local, State and Federal laws prohibit the unlawful use, possession, consumption or distribution of illegal drugs and alcohol. The College will report any student suspected of violating these laws to the proper legal authorities. A student found to be in violation of these laws is subject to substantial legal penalties, including fines, imprisonment and loss of federal benefits, as well as disciplinary sanctions from the College. 

Substance Abuse Assistance
Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing aims to protect the health, safety and welfare of its students, faculty and staff by enforcing a drug-free environment.

Students with alcohol- or drug-related problems may be referred to or seek assistance from the StudentLife Student Assistance Program, which can provide confidential consultation and referral to students with problems or concerns related to alcohol and/or drug use. Information about substance abuse and treatment programs is also available in the Center for Student Success. The Bon Secours Mercy Health (BSMH) LifeMatters program can provide free, confidential counseling and assistance with substance abuse and other issues to employees. 

Notwithstanding the foregoing, a student who has completed a qualified rehabilitation program as set forth above must remain drug/alcohol free during the remainder of his or her enrollment in the College. A student’s failure to do so may, at the College’s discretion, result in immediate dismissal.

The College of Nursing faculty and staff must comply with the BSMH's policy on Employee Substance Abuse. Any student who works for pay at Bon Secours Mercy Health shall be governed by the Employee Substance Abuse policy in addition to this Drug and Substance Abuse policy. Each policy defines the independent obligations of students to address this problem and shall constitute independent obligations of such student.

Additional information related to prevention can be found by visiting:

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