Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program

A fundamental purpose of Georgia Piedmont Technical College is to support and encourage the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. All members of the College community–students, faculty, and staff–share the responsibility for protecting an environment that supports that goal and all are expected to exemplify high standards of professional and personal conduct. Georgia Piedmont Technical College is committed to a workplace and campus environment free of substance abuse and is committed to full compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986, as amended in 1989, and all other applicable local, state, and federal laws. The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) authorizes the College administration to establish, repeal and/or modify regulations and procedures related to ensuring compliance with these laws.

Standards of Conduct

  • Students: No student may engage in the unlawful manufacture, possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs or alcohol while on the property of Georgia Piedmont Tech or while a part of any of its sponsored activities. This policy has been developed in concert with the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and incorporates the statutory mandates required under the State of Georgia's Drug-Free Postsecondary Education Act of 1990.
  • Employees: The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) is committed to providing a working and learning environment that ensures the productivity of TCSG employees as well as the safety and security of all employees, students, contractors, volunteers, and visitors to TCSG worksites and technical college campuses. To this end, it is the policy of the State Board of the Technical College System of Georgia that all System worksites, including all associated technical colleges, shall be drug-free pursuant to the provisions of the federal Drug-free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug-free Public Work Force Act of 1990, and applicable State law.

For more information on this policy, please visit the following link.

Legal Sanctions
Students are subject to all laws, the enforcement of which is the responsibility of duly constituted authorities. When students violate laws, they may incur penalties prescribed by legal authorities. In such instances, college discipline will be initiated if the presence of the student on campus is considered a possible threat to persons or property, or if that person's presence may disrupt the educational process of the college. However, when a student's violation of the law also adversely affects the college's recognized educational objectives, or violates the college's Student Code of Conduct, the college will enforce its own regulations. When students violate college regulations, they are subject to disciplinary action by the college whether or not their conduct violates the law.

Local, State and Federal Law Descriptions Related to Alcohol and Other Drug Use
Under Georgia and federal law, it is a crime to possess, manufacture, sell, or distribute illegal drugs. As required by federal regulations, charts at the current Safe and Secure Web site detail federal penalties for drug trafficking and state sanctions for the unlawful possession or distribution of illicit drugs.

Federal sanctions for the illegal possession of drugs include imprisonment up to 1 year and/or a minimum fine of $1,000 for a first conviction; imprisonment for 15 days to 2 years and a minimum fine of $2,500 for a second drug conviction; and imprisonment for 90 days to 3 years and a minimum fine of $5000 for a third or subsequent drug conviction. For possession of a mixture or substance which contains a cocaine base, federal sanctions includes 5 to 20 years in prison and a minimum fine of $1000 for a first conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 5 grams, for a second conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 3 grams, and for a third or subsequent conviction if the mixture or substance exceeds 1 gram.

Additional possible penalties for the illegal possession of drugs are forfeiture of real or personal property used to possess or to facilitate possession of a controlled substance if the offense is punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment; forfeiture of vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other conveyance used, or intended for use, to transport or conceal drugs; civil fine up to $10,000 per violation; denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses for up to 1 year for the first and up to 5 years for a second or subsequent offense; successful completion of a drug treatment program; community service; and ineligibility to receive or purchase a firearm.

Georgia law prohibits the purchase or possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21, or the furnishing of alcohol to such a person. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs also is illegal. It is against Georgia law, under certain circumstances, to walk and be upon a roadway while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The punishment for these offenses may include imprisonment, payment of fine, mandatory treatment and education programs, community service, and mandatory loss of one's driver's license.

The use, possession, manufacture, distribution, dispensing, and trafficking of illegal drugs is prohibited by federal law. Strict penalties are provided for drug convictions, including mandatory prison terms for many offenses. The following information, although not complete, is an overview of potential federal statutory maximum penalties.

However, precise federal sentencing is governed by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Please note that sentencing under these guidelines can result in penalties that are more severe than the federal statutory maximums and which are more severe than the penalties imposed under state law under certain circumstances.

A federal drug conviction may result in the denial of federal benefits, such as student loans, grants, contracts, and professional and commercial licenses, up to one year for first offense, up to five years for second and subsequent offenses [21 U.S.C. sec. 853]. Moreover, any person convicted of a federal drug offense punishable by more than one year in prison will forfeit personal and real property related to the violation, including homes, vehicles, boats, aircraft, or any other personal belongings [21 U.S.C. sec. 853(a)(2), 881(a)(7) and 881(a)(4)]. Further, persons convicted on federal drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of Georgia Piedmont Technical College may face penalties of prison terms and fines that are twice as high as regular penalties for the offense, with a mandatory prison sentence of at least one year {921 U.S.C. sec. 845(a)].

Health Risks Associated with the Use of Illicit Drugs and the Abuse of Alcohol
The use of illicit drugs and the abuse of alcohol can, and in many instances, very probably will, lead to serious health problems, chemical dependency, deterioration of the quality of life, and, if untreated, early death.

  • Cocaine provides a short-lived "high" followed by depression, paranoia, anxiety, guilt, anger and fear. It can cause rapid physical and psychological addiction. In some instances, cocaine may cause a heart attack or sudden death, even on the first use. The dangers of this highly addictive drug and its close derivative, "crack", are evidenced daily through the news media. Overdose of cocaine (or other stimulants) can cause agitation, increase in body temperature, hallucinations, convulsions and possible death.
  • Marijuana, like cocaine, provides a short-term high, and like cocaine, is addictive. While the "high" may last only a short time, traces remain in the body for a month or more, inhibiting short-term memory, reducing reaction time and impairing visual tracking. It may also cause an inability to abstract and understand concepts. In some instances it can depress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack, contribute to lung diseases, and infertility. Marijuana and other cannabis can cause euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, increased appetite and disoriented behavior. Overdose can cause fatigue, paranoia and possible death.
  • Depressants such as barbiturates, chloral hydrate, benzodiazepines, etc., can cause slurred speech, disorientation and drunken behavior without the odor of alcohol. Overdose can cause shallow respiration, clammy skin, dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, coma, and possible death.
  • Hallucinogens such as LSD, Mescaline and Peyote, amphetamine variants, etc., can cause illusions and hallucinations, and poor perception of time and distance. Overdose can cause longer, more intense illusionary hallucinatory episodes, psychosis and possible death.
  • Narcotics such as opium, heroin, morphine, and codeine can cause euphoria, drowsiness, respiratory depression, constricted pupils and nausea. Overdose of narcotics can cause slow and shallow breathing, clammy skin, convulsions, coma and possible death.
  • Prescription drugs, used improperly, can cause tiredness, or hyperactivity, impaired reflexes, brain damage, and, in some instances, addiction or death.
  • Alcohol, used abusively, will impair judgment, result in anxiety, feelings of guilt, depression and isolation. Prolonged use may cause liver and heart disease, cancer, and psychological problems and dependency in the form of alcoholism. Alcohol used by pregnant women is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation in children.

Counseling, Treatment, and Rehabilitation Services and Programs
The College provides resources and referral services for students, faculty and staff confronted with a problem of drug and/or alcohol abuse. Information related to these services will be made available to all students as part of the substance abuse awareness program. In addition, students may obtain information or referrals from the Dean of Student Development or the Vice President for Student Affairs.

As part of our commitment to our students, Georgia Piedmont Tech offers the Life Balance Program (LBP) through Cameron and Associates, Inc. to all students, and their household members. This program (up to four free sessions per issue) is designed to help students balance personal and school life including drug and alcohol counseling. For additional information, please visit the GPTC Welcome Center or call (404) 297.9522.

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to benefited faculty and staff. The purpose of this program is to provide employees with the ability to discuss a variety of personal issues including drug and alcohol services and information. The EAP is a confidential service that is staffed by qualified mental health personnel. The service is free and does not report the employees name, position and/or confidential information to the employer. To contact the EAP, dial 1-800-334-6014 or 404-845-3727, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Non-benefited staff including hourly employees and adjunct faculty who are in need of assistance with drug and alcohol related issues are urged to call the substance abuse program of the County Health Department in the county in which they reside. Free services are available in most locations.

The following agencies can be contacted for assistance with drug/alcohol abuse related issues:

Alcoholics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous
Al-Anon for Families of Alcoholics
Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
Cocaine Anonymous
Georgia Crisis and Access Line
24 Hour Addiction Helpline
Narcotics Anonymous


DeKalb County

DeKalb County Community Service Board


Assertive Community Treatment Team



Newton /Rockdale/Morgan County

Gran Recovery Center


View Point Health