One West University Boulevard, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 956-882-8200

Drug Policy

Philosophy

The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) is committed to the safety and welfare of its students, faculty, and staff, and as such, UTB prohibits the irresponsible/illegal use of alcohol and the use of illegal drugs.  The University, cognizant of the negative impact that the misuse/illegal use of alcohol and illicit drugs has on the vibrancy of our academic community and the personal health of its members, promotes a learning environment that teaches responsible decision making that acknowledges the personal and legal consequences that arise from the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Standard of Conduct

Series 50101 Section 2.2.3 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System provides for disciplinary action against any student who engages in conduct that involves the use, possession, or distribution of drugs and alcohol on the campus of an institution. The use or possession of alcohol and other drugs by any student, student organization, or group while representing the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College in any capacity is prohibited during the duration of the event.  For the purposes of this policy duration is defined as time of departure for the event and time of arrival from the event.  

The unauthorized use or possession of alcohol by an employee on University premises is defined as misconduct by The University of Texas System’s Policies and Procedures for Discipline and Dismissal of Employee Series 30601 Section 5.6 and 8.2.11, Handbook of Operating Procedures, The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College. The unlawful use, possession, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by an employee is prohibited by the University of Texas System’s “Policy on Drugs and Alcohol.” In addition, employees of the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College are subject to 8.2.21 Handbook of Operating Procedures, The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College.

Description of Alcohol and Other Drugs and Associated Health Risks

Alcohol: Alcohol is often not thought of as a drug largely because its use is common for both religious and social purposes in most parts of the world. It is an addictive drug, however, and compulsive drinking in excess has become one of modern society's most serious problems. Health hazards associated with the excessive use of alcohol or with alcohol dependency include dramatic behavioral changes, retardation of motor skills, and impairment of reasoning and rational thinking. These factors result in a higher incidence of accidents and accidental death for such persons than for nonusers of alcohol. Nutrition also suffers and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are frequent. Prolonged alcohol abuse causes bleeding from the intestinal tract, damage to nerves and the brain, psychotic behavior, loss of memory and coordination, damage to the liver often resulting in cirrhosis, impotence, severe inflammation of pancreas, and damage to the bone marrow, heart, testes, ovaries and muscles. Damage to the nerves and organs is usually irreversible. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in alcoholics and is 10 times more frequent than in nonalcoholic. Sudden withdrawal of alcohol from persons dependent on it will cause serious physical withdrawal symptoms.

Drugs: The use of illicit drugs usually causes the same general type of physiological and mental changes as alcohol, though frequently those changes are more severe and more sudden Death or coma resulting form overdose of drugs is more frequent than from alcohol.

Cocaine: Cocaine most often appears as a white crystalline powder or an off-white chunky material.Cocaine is the most powerful stimulant of natural origin and is most commonly inhaled as a powder. It can be dissolved in water and used intravenously. The cocaine extract (freebase/crack) is smoked. Users progress from infrequent use to dependence within a few weeks or months, psychological and behavioral changes resulting from use include over-stimulation, psychotic behavior, social isolation, and memory problems. An overdose produces convulsions and delirium and may result in death from cardiac arrest. Discontinuing the use of cocaine requires considerable assistance, close supervision, and treatment.

Amphetamines/Methamphetamines (speed, love drug, ecstasy): Amphetamines come in pill, capsule, or powder form.  Methamphetamine can be smoked, snorted, orally ingested, and injected. It is accessible in many different forms and may be identified by color, which ranges from white to yellow to darker colors such as red and brown. Methamphetamine comes in a powder form that resembles granulated crystals and in a rock form known as "ice," which is the smokeable version of methamphetamine that came into use during the 1980s.Patterns of use and associated effects are similar to cocaine. Severe intoxication may produce confusion, rambling or incoherent speech, anxiety, psychotic behavior, ringing in the ears, hallucinations, and irreversible brain damage. Intense fatigue and depression resulting from use can lead to suicide. Large doses may result in convulsions and death from cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Heroin, Other Opiates: Heroin comes in various forms, but pure heroin is a white powder with a bitter taste. Most illicit heroin comes in powder form in colors ranging from white to dark brown.  “Black tar” is another form of heroin that resembles roofing tar or is hard like coal. Color varies from dark brown to black. Heroin can be injected, smoked, or snorted. Intravenous injection produces the greatest intensity and most rapid onset of euphoria. Effects are felt in 7 to 8 seconds. Even though effects for sniffing or smoking develop more slowly, beginning in 10 to 15 minutes, sniffing or smoking heroin has increased in popularity because of the availability of high-purity heroin and the fear of sharing needles. Also, users tend to mistakenly believe that sniffing or smoking heroin will not lead to addiction.

 “Designer” drugs similar to opiates include fentanyl, demerol, and “china white.” Addiction and dependence develop rapidly. Use is characterized by impaired judgement, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Overdose is manifested by coma, shock, and depressed respiration, with the possibility of death from respiratory arrest. Withdrawal problems include sweating, diarrhea, fever, insomnia, irritability, nausea, vomiting, and muscle and joint pains.

Hallucinogens or Psychedelic: Hallucinogenic substances are characterized by their ability to cause changes in a person's perception of reality. Persons using hallucinogenic drugs often report seeing images, hearing sounds, and feeling sensations that seem real, but do not existIn the past, plants and fungi that contained hallucinogenic substances were abused. Currently, these hallucinogenic substances are produced synthetically to provide a higher potency.Commonly abused illicit hallucinogens include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), phencyclidine (PCP), psilocybin mushrooms, mescaline, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), alpha-methyltryptamine (AMT), and 5-MeO-DIPT (Foxy).  Naturally occurring hallucinogens include mescaline, peyote, psilocybin.  Use impairs and distorts one’s perception of surroundings, causes bizarre mood changes and results in visual hallucinations that involve geometric forms, colors, and persons or objects. Users who discontinue use experience “flashback” consisting of distortions of virtually any sensation. Withdrawal may require psychiatric treatment for the accompanying persistent psychotic states. Suicide is not uncommon.

Solvent Inhalants (e.g. glue, lacquers, plastic cement): The term "inhalants" refers to more than a thousand household and commercial products that can be abused by inhaling them through one's mouth or nose for an intoxicating effect.  These products are composed of volatile solvents and substances commonly found in commercial adhesives, lighter fluids, cleaning solvents, and paint products. Their easy accessibility, low cost, and ease of concealment often make inhalants one of the first substances abused.  Inhalant users can ingest substances in various ways that include inhaling directly from containers for products such as rubber cement or correction fluid, sniffing fumes from plastic bags held over the mouth and nose, or sniffing a cloth saturated with the substance.  Fumes from these substances cause problems similar to alcohol. Incidents of hallucinations and permanent brain damage are more frequent.

Marijuana (Cannabis): Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. Marijuana is typically smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes (joints), cigars (blunts), pipes, or water pipes (bongs). The active ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for the potency and effects of marijuana intoxication. Over the past two decades, THC levels of marijuana in the United States have increased.  Prolonged use can lead to psychological dependence, disconnected ideas, alteration of depth perception and sense of time, impaired judgment, and impaired coordination.

Damage from intravenous drug use: In addition to the adverse effects associated with the use of a specific drug, intravenous drug user who use unsterilized needles or who share needles with other drug users can develop AIDS, hepatitis, tetanus (lock jaw), and infections in the heart. Permanent brain damage may also result.

University Penalites for students: The University will impose a minimum disciplinary penalty of suspension for one semester and suspension of rights and privileges,  for conduct related to the use, possession, or distribution of drugs that are prohibited by state, federal or local law. Other penalties that may be imposed for conduct related to the unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs and alcohol include disciplinary probation, payment for damage to or misappropriation of property, suspension for a specified period of time, expulsion, or such other penalty as may be deemed appropriate under the circumstances.  UTB has adopted the following sanction guidelines for students found in violation of alcohol and drug policies.

Type of Alcohol **
Policy/law Violation
First Offense Second Offense Third Offense
Under age 21
possession and/or consumption
Alcohol education  program / counseling
Notify parent if under 21
A minimum of 10 hours. 
Disciplinary probation
Alcohol education
Program / counseling
Notify parent if 
Suspension from the    University
Notify parent if under 21
community service under 21
A minimum of 20 hours community service
 
Unauthorized possession
/consumption of alcohol
Alcohol education  program / counseling
Notify parent if under 21
A minimum of 10 hours.  community service   
Disciplinary probation
Alcohol education
Program / counseling
Notify parent if 
under 21
A minimum of 20 hours community service 
 
Suspension from the    University
Notify parent if under 21
Hosting a party involving the illegal use of alcohol or making alcohol available to minors Disciplinary probation
Alcohol education
Program / counseling
Notify parent if 
under 21
A minimum of 20 hours community service 
Suspension from the    University
Notify parent if under 21 
Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  
Public Intoxication
Alcohol education    program / counseling
A minimum of 15 hours  community service
Notify parent if under 21  
Disciplinary probation
Alcohol education
Program / counseling
Notify parent if 
under 21
A minimum of 25 hours community service  
Suspension/Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  
Driving While Intoxicated
Disciplinary probation/ suspension/expulsion
Alcohol education program / counseling 
Notify parent if under 21
A minimum of 25 hours community service  
Suspension/Expulsion
Notify Parent if under 21  
Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  
Endangering self and/or others, and/or
property damage while under the influence of alcohol
Disciplinary probation
Alcohol education
Restitution
Notify Parent if under 21
A minimum of 20 hours community service      
Suspension
Alcohol education
Restitution
Notify Parent if under 21
A minimum of 25 hours  community service
Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  
Abuse of medical drugs- either prescribed or over the counter
Counseling program
Disciplinary probation  
Suspension
Notify parent if under  21
Community  counseling
proof of completion of outside  Counseling program  
Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  
Possession of any illegal drug in any amount or Minimum one semester Suspension***
Community counseling
Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  
 
paraphernalia
Notify parent if under 21  
Causing another person to  involuntarily or unknowingly consume an illegal drug or other substance(s) which could adversely affect said person(s) Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  





   
Manufacturing, selling, or distributing of any amount
of an illegal drug or controlled substance
Expulsion
Notify parent if under 21  
   
 
*      In addition to sanctions imposed by UTB for violations of University alcohol and drug policy,
students are still subject to prosecution under federal and state laws. Non Students will be referred to Campus Police.

**   Violations found to have been committed by residents of Casa Bella while on the  
premises will result in removal from university housing.

***  In the event the final decision to suspend the student occurs after mid-term of the semester, the minimum
length of the suspension would be the remainder of the semester in which the violation occurred plus the
following long term semester.  In a one year suspension, a suspension after mid-term would apply to the
remainder of the semester plus two long term semesters.

 Employees: The unlawful use, possession, or distribution of drugs or alcohol, or engaging in conduct prohibited by University policy regarding the manufacture, sale, possession, distribution, or use of alcohol or illegal drugs (8.2.21, Handbook of Operating Procedures) will result in a disciplinary penalty of disciplinary probation, demotion, suspension without pay, or termination, depending upon the circumstances. 

State and federal law penalties

OFFENSE

TEXAS LAW

MINIMUM PUNISHMENT

MAXIMUM PUNISHMENT

  Manufacture or delivery of controlled substances (drugs)   Confinement in jail of not more than 2 years or less than 180 days, and fine not to exceed $10,000.   Confinement in TDC for life or for a terms of not more than 99 not less years than 15 years, and a fine not to exceed $250,000.
  Possession of controlled substances (drugs) Confinement in jail for a term of not more than 180 days, a fine not to exceed $2,000, or both. Confinement in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years nor less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000.  
Delivery of Marijuana   Confinement in jail for a term not more than 180 days, a fine not to exceed $2,000 or both. Confinement in TDC for life or for a term of not more than 99 years nor less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000.
Possession of Marijuana Confinement in jail for a term not more than 180 days, a fine not to exceed $2,000 or both. Confinement in TDC for life or for a term of not more than  99 years nor less than 5 years, and a fine not to exceed $50,000.
Driving while intoxicated (includes intoxication from alcohol, drugs, or both) Confinements in jail for a term not more than 180 days or less than 72 hours, and a fine not to exceed $2,000. Confinement in TDC for a term of not more than 20 years nor less than 2 years, and a fine of not more than $10,000.
Public intoxication   A fine not to exceed $500.
Purchase of alcohol by a minor. Fine of not less than $25 or more than $200. For a subsequent offense a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1, 000.
Consumption of alcohol by a minor or Possession of alcohol by a minor. Fine of not less than $25 or more than $200. For a subsequent offense a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1, 000.
Sale of alcohol to a minor. Fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 or confinement in jail for not more than 1 year, or both. For a subsequent, a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or confinement in jail for not more than 1 year, or both.
 
FEDERAL LAW
Manufacture, distribution, or dispensing drugs (includes marijuana) A term of imprisonment for up to 5 years, and a fine of $250,000. A term of life imprisonment without release (no eligibility for parole) and a fine not to exceed $8,000,000 (for an individual) or $20,000,000 (if other than an individual)
Possession of drugs (including marijuana) Imprisonment for up to one year, and a fine of not less than $1,000. Imprisonment for not more than 20 years or less than 5 years and a fine of not less than $5,000 plus costs of investigation and prosecution.  
Operation of a Common Carrier under the influence of alcohol or drugs.   Imprisonment for up to 15 years and a fine not to exceed $250,000.

Available Alcohol and Other Drugs Counseling or Rehabilitation Services

Free information on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse is available at the Student Health Services located at Cortez Bldg. 228.  Personal counseling related to alcohol and other drug abuse for students may be obtained from the Counseling Center 882-8292 by appointment.Benefits eligible employees can contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-346-3549 for free counseling services for themselves or family members. Additional information and assistance is available at the Human Resources Department in Cortez 129. 

Alcoholics Anonymous
P.O. Box 5453
Brownsville, Texas 78521
(956) 544-8530
or
2039 Price Rd.
Brownsville, Texas 78520
(956) 542-2536

Brownsville Counseling Center
John Young, LPC, LMFT
2100 Boca Chica Blvd.
(956) 544-0782

Exodus Counseling Center
306 S. 3rd St.
Harlingen, Texas
(956) 425-1430
Faith Based

Rio Grande Valley Council Inc.
2100 Boca Chica Blvd. Ste. 300
Brownsville, Texas 78521
(956) 982-1551
Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Treatment Associates
700 Paredes Line Road 
Brownsville, Texas 78521
(956) 550-0651

 

Recovery Center of Cameron  County
65 Castellanos Circle
Brownsville, Texas 78521
(956) 548-0028

Palmer Drug Abuse Program
1275 Cottonwood Dr.
Brownsville, Texas 78520
(956) 544-3333
or
115 N. 9th  St.
McAllen, Texas 78501
(956) 687-7711

The New Vision Center
Medical stabilization/ Detox. Unit
Dolly Vincent Hospital
400 E. Highway 77
San Benito, Texas
(956) 365-5510 / (800) 939-2273

AA Meetings: Tuesdays 6:30-7:30 p.m.
CA Meetings: Saturday 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Dr. William Valverde, M.D.
531 E. St. Francis St.
Brownsville, Texas 78520
(956) 544-2493

Deer Oaks
896 Ridge Road
Brownsville, Texas 78520
(956) 546-9525
Provides all types of counseling

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