Drugs and Alcohol Policy

The policy statement on drugs and alcohol is designed to address the university’s concerns about substance abuse and to ensure that the Harvard community complies with the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (the “Drug-Free Workplace Act”) and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (the “Drug-Free Schools Act”).

The unlawful possession, use, or distribution of controlled substances or alcohol is prohibited in or on Harvard premises, in vehicles provided by Harvard, at any work-site or location at which university duties are being performed by Harvard employees or students, or as part of any of Harvard’s activities. Common examples of controlled substances, as defined by law, are cocaine, marijuana and heroin. The university will take disciplinary action against violators, consistent with federal, state and local laws. Such action may include requiring satisfactory participation in a substance abuse treatment, counseling, or education program as a condition of reinstatement or continuation with Harvard, suspension, and referral for prosecution.

Because of the considerable health risks involved in drug and alcohol use, resources are available to assist the Harvard community in dealing with drug and alcohol abuse problems. The following are all strictly confidential services:

• HUHS Center for Health Promotion and Education provides educational material and referral to local resources; call 617-495-9629.

• The medical staff at HUHS provides diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Call your primary care physician or nurse practitioner’s office for an appointment. If you have not yet selected a primary care clinician, call 617-432-1370 (Longwood campus) or 617-495-5711 (Cambridge area) for assistance and scheduling.

• For immediate care of acute problems, the HUHS Acute Treatment Area in Cambridge (617-495-2138) is available weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On evenings, weekends, and holidays there is always a doctor at the HUHS After-Hours Urgent Care Clinic on the fifth floor of the Holyoke Center facility. From 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., press the buzzer and the door will be opened by intercom from Stillman Infirmary (617-495-5711).

• Alcoholism is a chronic medical disease that can cause emotional and social problems. The HUHS Mental Health Service staff is available to discuss such concerns and provide referrals as needed. Call the Longwood campus branch of HUHS at 617-432-1370 or the Cambridge mental health staff at 617-495-2042.

• Alcoholics Anonymous is the well-established 12-step program for people who are trying to achieve or maintain sobriety. There are several AA meetings each day of the week; call 617-426-9444.

• Al-Anon meetings provide help for friends and families of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic is involved with AA. There are also special meetings for children of alcoholics. Call 617-426-9444 for more information.

• Narcotics Anonymous is a 12-step program for people trying to stop using drugs or keep off them (866-624-3578).

These programs and offices are part of Harvard’s ongoing effort to maintain a drug-free workplace. The university will adhere to strict policies of confidentiality for all participants in drug/alcohol abuse rehabilitation programs as described in university and federal regulations covering confidentiality of student health records.