Thomas Jefferson University

Drug & Alcohol Policy

Background and Purpose

Jefferson functions as an academic health care center with a three-fold mission of patient care, education, and research.  Jefferson recognizes that continued excellence in these areas depends greatly on the ability of students and employees to execute their responsibilities in a manner reflecting the highest standards of competency and safety.

In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act and the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act, Jefferson maintains a drug-free campus and prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, use or possession of illicit drugs or alcohol on its campuses or as part of any university activity. To comply further with the Act, the following information is made available to all students and employees at Jefferson.

Policy Statement

These standards and regulations apply to all students and are designed to prevent substance abuse in Jefferson’s environment.

Prohibited Drugs

For purposes of this section, prohibited drug is any drug made illegal as a matter of federal, state, or local law, which is not legally obtainable as a matter of federal, state, or local law; or one which is legally obtainable but has not been legally obtained.  The term includes prescription drugs not legally obtained, prescription drugs that were prescribed for someone else, and other drugs that have been knowingly misused.

  • Any student attending class or a clinical assignment under the influence of prohibited drugs or who has a positive drug screen will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
  • Any student, who uses, possesses, manufactures, sells, or distributes prohibited drugs while on Jefferson property or at an off campus clinical site will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
  • Any student, who diverts medication for personal or other use, will be subject to dismissal or disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
  • In appropriate cases, the student may be referred to law enforcement authorities for prosecution.
  • Marijuana is a prohibited drug under this policy, regardless of how it is obtained. 


Controlled substances legally prescribed by a licensed physician, as well as some other medications, can influence performance and behavior.  For this reason, students should obtain from their physicians information regarding any potential impairment by such medications and refrain from use of medications that may cause impairment.  Where impairment potential exists, the student must inform his or her manager or clinical supervisor of the risk.  The student may be referred by their manager or clinical supervisor to University Health Services for assessment. 


Pennsylvania law forbids a person less than 21 years of age to attempt to purchase, consume, possess, or transport any alcoholic or malt or brewed beverage within the Commonwealth. Violation of this law could result in disciplinary action including suspension or dismissal from the University.

Thomas Jefferson University Policy 117.03 addresses the University’s position regarding possession and use of alcoholic beverages by students on campus.

No student shall report to class or to any clinical assignment under the influence of alcohol or alcoholic beverages.  The use, sale, distribution, or possession of open containers of alcohol or alcoholic beverages by any student during academic classroom time or during any clinical responsibilities is prohibited.

Any student in violation of this section will be subject to disciplinary action, up to dismissal.


Students may seek assistance for drug addiction and/or alcohol dependence through the Student Personal Counseling Center or through Occupational Health Network It is student’s responsibility to seek and accept assistance before alcohol and drug problems lead to disciplinary action.  A student’s decision to seek such assistance will not be used as the basis for disciplinary action, and will not be used against the student in any disciplinary proceeding. 

At the same time, alcohol or drug use and/or addiction will not be an acceptable excuse for behavior that violates this or any other Jefferson policy.  Furthermore, it will not be an excuse for sub-par academic performance by students.

Drug and Alcohol Screening

Screening for drugs and alcohol may be required of students for the following reasons:

  • Pre-employment screening for students electing to take paid or volunteer positions at TJU or TJUH;
  • Pre-placement prior to a rotation at an outside site, if required by the outside institution;
  • For reasonable suspicion.

Students will sign consent for testing with acknowledgement that the results of the tests may be shared with Jefferson administrators.  Refusal to sign the consent or submit to drug and alcohol screening will have the same effect as a positive test result.

Reasonable Suspicion Screening

If a manager, administrator, instructor, or clinical supervisor reasonably suspects that a student is impaired while in class or unfit for duty while on the job, the supervisor must refer the student to University Health Services (UHS) for an evaluation.    Please refer to and complete Appendix A to this policy, which includes some common signs of impairment.  The results of the evaluation will be shared with Jefferson administrators for further action or referral, if needed.  Off hours evaluations will be performed through the Emergency Department.  Information regarding the evaluation of suspected impairment done through outside institutions through the course of a student’s placement will be shared with University Health Services and Jefferson administrators.  

Main Campus MHD Campus
Phone Contact Information Phone Contact Information
University Health Services - (215) 955-6835 University Health Services - (215) 955-6835
University Health Services - (215) 955-6835 Emergency Room – (215) 952-9130


Jefferson will promote awareness of the effects of drug and alcohol abuse through a variety of means, including training programs, articles in Jefferson publications, and the periodic distribution of informational literature on the topic.

Disciplinary Sanctions

It is expected that students will comply with all Jefferson policies and the laws regulating alcohol and illicit drugs.

  • Students who fail to comply will be subject to disciplinary action as published in the Statement of Student Rights, Freedoms and Responsibilities.

These disciplinary sanctions may include suspension or dismissal and/or the completion of an appropriate rehabilitation program.  


Reference should be made to the following related Jefferson policies:
200.10 Alcohol Sale and Use
117.03 Student Alcohol Policy
119.01 Search Policy
119.08 Package Inspection Policy
119.04 Crime Reporting and Investigation Policy
119.06 Campus Security Statistics Reporting Policy

Mondays - Fridays
8am - 5pm  

Edison Building
18th Floor
(215) 503-6335
(215) 503-2787


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