1.1 Queen’s University (the University) is committed to promoting a safe and supportive environment in which to study and work. The University wishes to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of students and staff, and the reputation of the University and its students, are not jeopardised through alcohol or drug misuse.
1.2 The University recognises its responsibility to promote safe behaviours regarding the consumption of alcohol and to comply with its legal requirements regarding the misuse of alcohol and drugs on University premises. It also recognises its responsibility to consider the needs of those who, for personal, cultural or religious reasons, do not drink alcohol.
1.3 The University is committed to raising awareness of the dangers of alcohol or drug misuse and to actively discourage the misuse of alcohol or drugs on University premises.
1.4 The University will offer support and encouragement to students, who have a health problem caused by alcohol or drug misuse, to seek help and guidance.
2.1 This policy relates to all students of the University, when studying / working on University premises or elsewhere, undertaking activities on behalf of the University or attending University related social events.
3.1 The policy clarifies to students;
4.1 The University has statutory responsibilities and a duty of care for students and staff under a number of legislative instruments which include:
4.2 Some Schools have students who work, or are on placements in healthcare trusts, care settings, Schools or potentially hazardous working environments. These Schools are required to consider not only the risks to students on such placements but also the safety of the staff, patients, children and vulnerable adults in such settings. Schools must also consider the potential for damage to premises and equipment and reputational damage to the placement provider and the University.
5.1 Alcohol or Drug* Misuse – this includes drinking alcohol or taking drugs, either intermittently or continuously, such that it adversely affects an individual’s health, performance or conduct, or affects the performance or safety of others.
5.2 *Drug – this includes any controlled drug (other than alcohol) that produces physical, mental, emotional or behavioural changes in the user. It also includes controlled drugs and prescription medicines where the prescription medicines have not been prescribed for the person possessing or using them and/or such prescription medicines which are not taken in accordance with a physician’s direction.
5.3 Controlled Drugs – includes all chemical substances or drugs listed in any controlled drugs acts or regulations applicable under the law.
5.4 Addiction to non-prescribed drugs or alcohol is not a disability under current disability legislation.
6.1 No student should, in connection with any University activity:
6.2 The University recognises that addiction to alcohol and drugs may in some cases be considered a medical condition. Students who may have such a condition will be encouraged to seek help and treatment, voluntarily and at an early stage.
6.3 In addition to treatment services provided by the student’s GP, medical advice, support and monitoring will available through the Occupational Health Service and/or the Student Wellbeing Service, in confidence and with the informed consent of the student. Details of a confidential nature will normally only be discussed with the individual’s own doctor, other medical specialist, or other staff (e.g. student support staff) with the prior agreement of the individual.
6.4 Where possible the University will take a supportive approach, however there may be circumstances where action will be taken under other University regulations such as those relating to conduct, discipline, fitness to study and fitness to practise. Such circumstances may include when the behaviour or action is considered to be serious, causing danger or major concern to others, the individual fails to comply with suggested treatment or the alcohol and/or drug misuse is repeated.
6.5 The immediate consequences of consumption of alcohol to excess or drug misuse does not excuse misconduct (on- or off-campus) or poor academic performance and will not be accepted as a mitigating circumstance in the application of other University policies.
6.6 If a student has accepted he/she has a medical problem related to alcohol or drug misuse and is willing to accept treatment, the University’s policies in relation to other matters such as conduct and discipline may be implemented in such a way as to provide an opportunity to identify potential alcohol or drug-related health problems and, if necessary, to seek treatment. Continued implementation in this way will be conditional upon the individual complying with all medical treatment, monitoring and advice, including advice on abstention or compliance with an agreed programme of phased reduction in alcohol or drug misuse.
6.7 Where students work on projects with or for external organisations, the University requires them to comply with any additional requirements of that organisation’s own policies relating to alcohol and drug misuse.
8.1 This policy will be reviewed in not more than 3 years.
Queen's University Belfast is committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.
Queen's University Belfast is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC101788
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