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Student Alcohol and Drug Policy Information

Policy on Drugs and Alcohol

 It is the policy of the University of Tennessee to maintain a safe and healthy environment for its students, patients, faculty and staff. Therefore, the University prohibits being under the influence of, or the unlawful use, manufacture, possession, sale, distribution or dispensing of drugs or drug paraphernalia (“controlled substances” as defined in the Controlled Substances Act, 21, USC 812) and alcohol on university property or during university activities, including off-campus clinical training and rotation sites. Individuals who engage in illegal activity or the improper or illegal use of alcohol and drugs are harmful to themselves, the University’s mission, the wellbeing of other students, and, most importantly, patient safety during clinical training.

A finding of a violation of this Policy as determined by the Standards of Conduct in the Student Code of Conduct (see in CenterScope) will result in dismissal. All decisions are subject to appeal procedures outlined in CenterScope.

Federal and state laws provide additional penalties including fines and imprisonment (Federal Drug Free Workplace Act; Federal Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, 21 USC § 841, et seq., Tenn. Code Anno. § 39-6-401 et seq.). Local ordinances and UTHSC policies (see CenterScope Section on Maintenance of Professional and Ethical Standards at CenterScope) also provide for action for drug- and alcohol- violators, which may include referral for local prosecution or requiring the individuals to participate satisfactorily in an approved drug or alcohol abuse assistance or rehabilitation program.

 Although some states may have legalized the recreational or medical use of marijuana, use of marijuana is strictly forbidden. Further, possession, use or being under the influence, or having any detectable levels of marijuana in their system at any time or location, ever, during the student’s tenure in the program, is a violation of this University policy; the Code of Conduct; Maintenance of the Ethical and Professional Standards of the Health Professions; substance use policy; federal laws including the Controlled Substance Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act; and not the least, presents a clear threat to patient safety.

 Please note that CDB Oil, even if sold legally, may contain sufficient levels of THC to produce a valid positive test.

 Follow this link to view the full policy.

Standards of Conduct

 A student or student organization may be disciplined for the following types of misconduct:

  • Consuming, manufacturing, possessing, distributing, dispensing, selling, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, if prohibited by federal, state, or local law.
  • Using, manufacturing, possessing, distributing, selling, dispensing, or being under the influence of drugs or drug paraphernalia, if prohibited by federal, state, or local law; using or possessing a prescription drug if the prescription was not issued to the student; or distributing or selling a prescription drug to a person to whom the prescription was not originally issued.

Disciplinary Sanctions

The University will impose disciplinary sanctions on students who violate University standards of conduct. In addition, students who violate federal, state, or local law are subject to criminal prosecution. Conviction may result in fines, imprisonment, and revocation or loss of eligibility to receive federal student aid (grants, loans, or work-study) and other privileges.

University-imposed discipline may include sanctions up to and including dismissal, in addition to referral for criminal prosecution. Disciplinary sanctions may include required participation in a treatment, counseling, or other approved rehabilitation program.

Financial Assistance

By federal law, students convicted of drug offenses committed while receiving Title IV federal financial aid may be ineligible for federal financial aid for one or more years from the date of conviction. For additional information, visit


UTHSC recognizes that alcohol and other drug abuse is a preventable and treatable condition and acknowledges that, as an institution dedicated to healing, the institution has the responsibility to facilitate prevention activities and offer treatment to students who are affected by alcohol and other drug abuse issues. UTHSC strongly encourages all students with drug and/or alcohol abuse problems to seek help voluntarily and favors the earliest possible intervention. UTHSC will make treatment and referral services available to students upon their request.

Aid to impaired student programs are administered or facilitated through the approved Tennessee Health Related Boards Peer Assistance Program provider. Peer Assistance Programs are coordinated through UTHSC Counseling Services by the CARE Navigator and the Drug and Alcohol Counselor.


What is CBD?
CBD oil is short for cannabidiol and is a compound found in cannabis, which has gained popularity over the last few years for its purported therapeutic properties. Advocates claim to see positive changes when combating anxiety, seizures, and a number of other issues, but the products and claims have not been validated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Can you have a positive drug test from using CBD products?
Yes. Although most CBD products claim to have less than 0.3% THC, which is classified as hemp, the products remain unregulated making the assertions of THC levels unreliable and the users vulnerable to a positive drug test.
Are there medical benefits to using CBD products?
The FDA states, “Unlike drug products approved by the FDA, unapproved CBD drug products have not been subject to FDA review as part of the drug approval process, and there has been no FDA evaluation regarding whether they are safe and effective to treat a particular disease, what the proper dosage is, how they could interact with other drugs or foods, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns." 
Is it possible to obtain a prescription for CBD products from a physician or other healthcare provider?

Other than one prescription drug product to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy, the FDA has not approved any other CBD products, and there is very limited available information about CBD, including about its effects on the body.

Don’t risk a disruption in your academic and professional progression. For more information about CBD products, follow this link.

For more information about the Student Drug and Alcohol Policy, contact Student Conduct & Community Standards at 901-448-1646.

Aug 14, 2023