Drug-Free Workplace

Students of New Mexico State University are considered a valuable asset, and their health and welfare are of serious concern. The University strives to maintain a safe and productive environment free from the influence of illicit drugs and unlawful use of alcohol. As a recipient of federal funds, the University is obligated to inform all students that the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol on its property or as part of any of its activities is prohibited, and is a violation of University policy. University property is defined as all lands and buildings under the control of the Board of Regents, New Mexico State University.

Students who violate this prohibition will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment or expulsion from school. It is also a federal requirement and a University policy that, as a condition of employment, any student will notify his or her immediate supervisor within five (5) days after conviction of a criminal drug offense occurring in the workplace. In addition to the information provided in this Handbook, drug and alcohol policies and sanctions are discussed at New Student Orientation.

A chart outlining the risk of physical and/or psychological dependence on controlled substances and the effects of use, overdose, and withdrawal is available in each semester’s/session’s Schedule of Classes and from the Office of the VP for Student Services/DOS. The University is required to inform students concerning these health risks.

Alcohol is also a drug, and students need to be aware of the health risks involved in using alcohol. In large doses, alcohol can dull sensation and impair muscular coordination, memory and judgment. Taken in large quantities over a long period of time, alcohol can damage the liver and heart and can cause permanent brain damage. Dependence on alcohol can be psychological when the drinker uses alcohol to escape from stress. A pattern of repeated heavy drinking produces a condition in which the body needs alcohol to function, and can lead to physical dependence.

Alcohol can kill. A large dose consumed at once can interfere with the part of the brain that controls breathing. The respiratory failure which results can bring death. Delirium tremens, the most extreme manifestation of alcohol withdrawal, can also cause death. Pregnant women who drink, risk delivering babies stillborn or with serious abnormalities. Approximately half of the deaths from car accidents each year in the United States are related to alcohol abuse.

Any student who may have a drug or alcohol problem is encouraged to obtain confidential and voluntary counseling and/or treatment. In Carlsbad, contact the Carlsbad Mental Health Association at 885-4836 or 885-8888 (emergency/hotline) for information regarding in- and out-patient programs for drug and alcohol abuse. On campus, contact the Director of Student Counseling Services (234-9265) or the Campus Health Clinic (234-9291).

Any student who has been dismissed or suspended for drug or alcohol violations and who has evidence of successful rehabilitation may petition for readmission to the University upon recommendation from a relevant medical professional. Students who voluntarily seek treatment for drug or alcohol violations before disciplinary action, and students who are readmitted to the University after rehabilitation, may contact the Director of Student Counseling Services to learn more about community resources.

For possible sanctions that may be imposed upon an individual student for violation of the University’s alcohol or drug policies, refer to the Student Code of Conduct, Section V,A, Items 1-4.

Federal trafficking penalties for methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, PCP, LSD, Fentanyl, and Fentanyl Analogue vary depending on the quantity of drugs involved and whether the offense is the first or a repeat offense. Prison sentences range from 5 years to life. Fines for trafficking in these drugs range from $2 to $8 million.

Federal trafficking penalties for marijuana range from 10 years to life imprisonment, depending on the quantity involved and whether the offense is a first or repeat offense. Fines range from $250,000 to $8 million.

The New Mexico Legislature has enacted numerous laws concerning possession and trafficking of controlled substances. The most abused controlled substances are: marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and amphetamines. Fines and prison sentences vary according to the quantity of drugs involved and whether the offense is a first or repeat offense. Fines for possession of marijuana range from not less than $50 to $5,000. Prison sentences range from 15 days to 18 months. The fine for trafficking marijuana is $5,000; prison sentences for trafficking range from 18 months to 3 years.

The fine for possession of cocaine and heroin is $5,000 and the prison sentence is 18 months. Fines for trafficking cocaine and heroin range from $10,000 to $15,000. Prison sentences for trafficking are 9 years for a first offense and 18 years for a repeat offense.

The fine for possession of LSD and amphetamines is $1,000 and the prison sentence is up to 1 year. Trafficking in LSD and amphetamines carries a fine of $5,000 and a prison sentence of 3 years.

Alcohol abuse is subject to penalties specified by the Liquor Control Act. A driving while under the influence (DWI) conviction can result in a fine up to $300, and/or imprisonment up to 7 months, and/or prosecution for vehicular homicide, and/or license revocation and vehicle impoundment.