Policy for a Drug-Free Enviornment

Policy for A Drug-Free Environment

All policies regarding alcohol and substance abuse are published in this College catalog. All policies affecting college employees are available in the Office of Human Resources, at (843) 349-5213.

Further information regarding Drug-Free Schools and Campuses and Public Law 101-226 may be obtained in the Office of Student Affairs located in Building 1100 on the Conway Campus or by calling (843) 349-7550.

The College
Horry-Georgetown Technical College is concerned about the adverse effects that drugs and alcohol can have upon society, families and education.  To that end, HGTC is committed to establishing and promoting a campus free from alcohol and illegal drug use.  Under no condition will alcoholic beverages, liquors or illegal drugs be permitted at student events either held at the college or sponsored by the college.  No one under the influence of alcohol or narcotic will be permitted to attend such events.  Students found to be under the influence will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in the Student Code for the South Carolina Technical College System.

In an effort to maintain a drug-free learning environment, Horry-Georgetown Technical College Department of Campus and Public Safety, in conjunction with local law enforcement authorities, will periodically use drug dogs in conducting sweeps for illicit drugs in all of the parking lots, common areas, and buildings on all Horry-Georgetown campuses.  The Director/Chief of Campus and Public Safety will arrange supervision and coordinate all canine searches with the assistance of local law enforcement authorities and Horry-Georgetown Campus and Public Safety personnel.

These sweeps will be performed by handlers and canines trained and certified in the detection of illegal drugs/narcotics. Canines will be allowed to make sweeps through all common areas, parking lots, and will be utilized inside of buildings when deemed necessary by College authorities. Once a canine alerts, probable use to believe drugs are present in the area is created.  Accordingly, searches will be conducted of vehicles and other areas once the canine alerts.  Upon discovery of suspected illegal drugs/narcotics, persons who are determined to be in violation of State or Federal law and/or College rules and regulations, will face College disciplinary actions and possible arrest.

The Law
As part of HGTC’s commitment to all levels of achievement, policies in compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, and the South Carolina Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990 have been implemented. Public Law 101-226 requires that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any federal program, an institution of higher education must certify that it has adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use or distribution of illicit drugs by students and employees.

HGTC does not tolerate the attempted or actual violation of any federal, state or local laws regarding alcohol and drugs. The College will impose sanctions on students and employees for violations of the Standards of Conduct. Sanctions for students may include expulsion. Sanctions for employees may include termination. In addition to the penalties imposed by HGTC, referral may be made to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Counseling and/or treatment options are available for both students and employees. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources and students should contact the Office of Student Affairs. Student disciplinary action may be taken in response to conduct that poses a threat to persons or property in the College community or disrupts the orderly conduct of College activities. All employees (including student workers) must adhere to laws and policies as a condition of employment.

HGTC officials are designated by the College President to be responsible for overseeing and implementing all actions and programs relating to these policies.

The Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) is responsible for administering The Student Code for the South Carolina Technical College System. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Employee Relations (or designee) is responsible for College personnel issues.


Individual reactions to alcohol and other drugs are unpredictable. Risks from tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use may be influenced by:

  • The type, amount and strength of the chemical;
  • The interaction of two or more substances;
  • Physical and emotional state;
  • Gender, body size, age, general health and family history;
  • and activities engaged in while under the influence.

The use of mood altering chemicals can lead to injuries, accidents, addiction, property damage, illegal activities, birth defects, psychosis or death. Poor judgment may lead to participation in risky activities, such as unplanned or unprotected sex. AIDS is a significant risk, as are other sexually transmitted diseases and health concerns.

All of the following information can be directly attributed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Tobacco:  Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general and smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Alcohol:  Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. Binge drinking is a serious but preventable public health problem. Binge drinking is the most common, costly, and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume five or more drinks or women consume four or more drinks in about two hours. Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent.

Binge drinking is associated with many health problems, including the following: unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning, violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, sudden infant death syndrome, chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease, cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon, memory and learning problems, and alcohol dependence. 

The law prohibits the purchase or possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under the age of 21. More information, including consequences for violations, can be found in the South Carolina Code of Laws SECTION 63-19-2440 and SECTION 63-19-2450, https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t63c019.php.

Marijuana:  Marijuana use directly affects the brain — specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision making, coordination, emotions, and reaction time. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. Research shows that about 1 in 10 marijuana users will become addicted.

Opioids and other Illicit Drugs:  Opioids are substances that work on the nervous system in the body or specific receptors in the brain to reduce the intensity of pain. Drug overdose deaths and opioid-involved deaths continue to increase in the United States. The majority of drug overdose deaths (66%) involve an opioid. From 2000 to 2016, more than 600,000 people died from drug overdoses. Deaths from drug overdose are up among both men and women, all races, and adults of nearly all ages.

Cited Sources and For More Information: