It is the policy of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to ensure an institutional environment free of substance abuse by employees, teachers, and students. The policy provides anyone having drug and/or alcohol-related illnesses the opportunity to be treated in an appropriate manner.
Applies to all employees and students at PCOM.
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine recognizes that Alcohol and Drugs continue to be among the Nation's leading illnesses and a major contributor to impaired job performance morale, institutional accidents, and absenteeism.
Management is responsible to ensure that procedures be followed which assure individuals with substance abuse difficulties that their job security or promotional opportunities are not jeopardized by request and/or referral for diagnosis or treatment.
When an individual's work performance or attendance is unsatisfactory, and the employee is unwilling or unable to correct the situation either alone or with managerial assistance, this will be used as an indicator there may be some cause outside the realm of the job which may be the basis of the poor job performance.
The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance on PCOM premises, or while engaged in PCOM activities is strictly prohibited, and will result in immediate termination.
The unauthorized or unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or consumption of alcoholic beverages on PCOM premises, or while engaged in PCOM activities is strictly prohibited, and will result in immediate termination.
Except as provided below, use or being under the influence of any legal drug by an employee while on PCOM premises or while engaged in PCOM activities is prohibited to the extent such use or influence may affect the safety of the employee, co-workers, or members of the public, job performance, or the safe or efficient operation of PCOM.
It shall not be a violation of this policy if a person can prove that his or her use of a controlled substance (except for methadone) was prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the medical history and assigned duties.
The Occupational Health Service (OHS)/Worknet physician may provide an opportunity to discuss a positive test result and clarify if a prescribed medication is involved.
The supervisor's responsibility is to identify persistent work performance or attendance difficulties whether they are continuous or intermittent. The supervisor shall not render diagnosis or cause of such performance difficulties, but shall refer to Human Resources when it is apparent that normal supervision hasn't resolved the performance or attendance concern. Human Resources will refer to OHS (WorkNet).
The employee must share in the responsibility to comply with the referral for diagnosis and prescribed treatment. When an employee refuses to accept diagnosis and treatment or fails to respond to treatment, it shall be recommended that the employee be handled in the same manner as any other illness is handled when the results of such referral or failures continue to adversely affect job performance or attendance.
This policy incorporates provisions of a drug and alcohol free workplace and academic
When an employee's job performance or attendance is unsatisfactory, it shall be addressed pursuant to the attendance policy by the supervisor.
When a problem is identified by the supervisor, the supervisor shall not attempt to delve into detail to try to identify the cause(s). The supervisor is to encourage the employee to seek assistance from the Employee Assistance Program that is available to them. If the employee is unable to improve job performance/attendance, the employee shall be required to report to Occupational Health Services for medical evaluation.
The supervisor is reminded to encourage the employee to seek medical evaluation during any point of the progressive counseling process.
If an employee is in a suspected impaired condition, the supervisor's obligation is to confront the employee with the decision that the employee seems to be unfit for duty. The supervisor is to offer the employee the following options:
Employee Chooses to be Evaluated
Employee Refuses to be Evaluated
Human Resources files shall contain performance and attendance information only.
Whenever an employee is referred for medical treatment of a substance abuse
problem,the supervisor shall be required to ensure the employee's confidentiality is
maintained. Information from the agency providing treatment shall only be released
with the written authorization of the employee.
If an employee suspects another employee and/or practitioner is impaired, the employee should ask the individual to refrain from performing services. If the alleged “impaired” individual agrees to not perform the services, the employee should contact the immediate supervisor for appropriate follow-up. If the individual insists on rendering services, then:
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine will promote awareness of the effects of drug and alcohol abuse through in-service training. Such training will emphasize the impact of alcohol and drug dependency on performance, the importance of early documentation and detection, intervention and objectivity in handling the dependent employee and the referral procedures to OHS-WorkNet.
There are serious health risks associated with the use of any drug, including alcohol and both illicit, legal and prescription drugs.
Prolonged use and/or abuse of such substances can lead to addictive disorders and chemical dependencies. Serious psychological illnesses, including depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and compulsive behavior, and others have been shown to be closely associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Alcohol and drug abuse are also major factors in accidental death and injury, particularly automobile accidents.
A wide array of illnesses are associated with alcohol and drug abuse due to the alteration of body chemistry and interference with the body's ability to resist disease. In addition, the damage to vital organ systems such as liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs caused by addictive behaviors represents a major cause of the health problems facing our society. Alcohol and drug abuse has also been shown to threaten the health of the fetus, causing birth defects and, at birth, addiction of infants born to pregnant women engaged in such abuse.
The intravenous drug user who shares needles is also at greater risk of contracting the HIV and hepatitis viruses.
For students and employees, failure to participate in a treatment program for drug or alcohol related problems as discussed in this policy may result, respectively, in permanent dismissal or termination of employment. Further, the institution will impose its disciplinary sanctions in compliance with federal, state and local laws. A violator of the drug and alcohol policies may not only be dismissed from employment or enrollment in the college, but may be referred by the institution for prosecution by law enforcement authorities.
The following is a partial listing of Philadelphia area resources to assist students and employees in locating appropriate assistance for treatment of an alcohol or substance abuse problems:
Hampton Behavioral Center
Westhampton Township, NJ 08073
Addiction 24-Hour Helpline
Women in Transition
Women Against Abuse
Pennsylvania Medical Society
777 East Park drive - P. O. Box 8820
Harrisburg, PA l7l05-8820
Mercy Philadelphia Hospital
501 S. 54th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Lankenau Medical Center
Behavioral Health Services
100 E. Lancaster Avenue Wynnewood, PA 19096
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence
Woodside Hall Outpatient Addiction Treatment Center
4200 Monument Road
Philadelphia, PA 19131
Main Number (24 hours) 215-581-3757
100 Eagleville Road
Eagleville, PA 19403