Skip to main content

Student Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy

Boise State University
CHS-314.0
College of Health Sciences
Effective Date: 09-27-13
Last Revision Date 9-20-21

Responsible Party

The department/school chair, or designee of each program, offering courses that involve the direct and indirect delivery of patient care services.

Scope and Audience

In order to comply with health care industry partners’ and/or clinical agencies’ requirements and/or affiliation agreement requirements, the  College of Health Sciences requires that drug and alcohol testing will be conducted in  accordance with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  guidelines and as defined below for students enrolled or participating in clinical courses, experiences, or internships involving the direct and indirect delivery of patient care services where an affiliation agreement is established with the university. Safety in the delivery of care to patient/client populations is the basis for drug and alcohol testing required by industry partners and/or clinical agencies.

Additional Authority

COHS Clinical Affiliation Committee

  1.  Policy Purpose

To establish policy and procedure for the requirement of student drug and alcohol testing, and to inform students of drug and alcohol testing required for admission into and progression through programs that include the direct and indirect delivery of patient care services at facilities where background checks are required as part of an affiliation agreement with the university.

2.   Policy Statement

Students in the College of Health Sciences who will be enrolled in or participate in courses, experiences or internships that involve the direct and/or indirect delivery of patient care services are covered under this policy.

3.   Definitions

To ensure accuracy and fairness, all collection and required testing will be conducted in accordance with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) guidelines by a qualified agency designated by the College.

Negative test result: Test result contains no evidence of drugs or alcohol, or the concentration of drugs and/or alcohol is no greater than the cut off concentration identified by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) in accordance with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) guidelines.

Positive test result: Test result contains evidence of drugs equal to or greater than the cut off concentration(s) identified in accordance with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) guidelines. A positive test result for alcohol results from a blood test or other scientifically acceptable testing procedure which shows a breath, saliva, urine or blood alcohol concentration of .04% or more.

4.   Drug and Alcohol Testing

Certain programs require that drug and alcohol tests be completed prior to admission and then at minimum, annually thereafter.

4.1 Consent

If the program or course requires drug screening prior to the delivery of direct and/or indirect patient care, students will be required to consent to drug and alcohol testing, submit to testing and have a negative drug and alcohol test.

4.1.1. Test Results

A student will not be permitted to participate in clinical activities or be suspended from all clinical activities until the negative test results are received by the College. Any suspension may jeopardize programmatic progression. Negative test results will allow the student to participate in clinical activities.

4.1.2. Dismissal

  • Student conduct sufficient to provide grounds for dismissal from courses, experiences, or internships and/or the program include:
  • Failure to report for a test in a timely manner; or
  • Refusal to take a test; or
  • Tampering with a test specimen; or
  • Receiving a positive test result; or
  • Failing to provide an adequate specimen volume without a verified medical explanation

4.1.3 Additional testing

  • If a student has been reported with behaviors, actions, appearance, speech, body odors, or conduct while participating in courses, labs or clinicals that is indicative of the use of drugs, alcohol or other controlled substances, a drug screen test may be required.  Program administrator or supervisor consultation is required prior to requiring additional drug screening except for as noted in 4.1.3b.
  • Clinical facilities may require additional drug or alcohol testing without prior notification based on facility policies. These tests may be more or less stringent than this policy, and may include testing for additional substances. If a student is accepted into a program based on the required drug or alcohol test by the College with negative results, but is denied clinical agency entrance or is later removed from the experience based on the outcome of an agency drug or alcohol test, the student may be dismissed from the program as clinical access is required for programmatic progression, and no alternative clinical assignment will be offered.
  • Upon the report of suspicious behavior that leads to a request for additional testing, a student will be suspended from all clinical activities until the negative test results are received by the College. Any suspension may jeopardize programmatic progression. Negative test results will allow the student to return to participation in clinical activities.

5.   Testing Process

The initial and subsequent drug and alcohol tests will be conducted by a qualified agency chosen by the College. To ensure accuracy and fairness, all collection and testing required by the College will be conducted in accordance with SAMHSA guidelines.

5.1 Testing Panel

Each program will determine substances which will be included in the drug test.  Substances to be tested for could include, and are not limited to: alcohol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, opiates, marijuana, codeine, and cocaine. The College shall have the authority to change the panel of testing without notice to include other substances as suggested by local and/or national reports or circumstances or affiliation contract requirements. In the event of changes to the substances tested, students will be notified within 30 days.

5.1.1. Consent

After signing a Consent to Drug and Alcohol Testing form, all students will submit to a drug and alcohol screen at a designated time and place and at the expense of the student.

5.1.2. Specimen

  • The testing policies and procedures of the testing facility will be followed for specimens. Collected specimens, either urine, blood, or saliva will be sent to the company or laboratory for testing.
  • The laboratory will test the primary specimen, and if it tests positive based on cut-off levels established by the lab, the lab will perform a confirmation test of the primary specimen.
  • Dilute results unable to determine a positive or negative result will be reported as such and repeat testing will be performed at the students’ expense.

5.1.3. Positive Results

  • If the confirmation test is positive, the lab will report the positive test result to the MRO describing which drugs or alcohol were detected. The MRO will contact the student who tested positive, and the student may provide an explanation for the positive test result. The MRO may request verification for any prescription medications.
  • The student may elect by verbal or written request to have the remaining portion of his or her split specimen sample tested, at his or her own expense. The student must request this testing from the MRO within 72 hours of being notified of his or her confirmed positive test result, unless the MRO concludes that the student had a legitimate explanation for failing to do so.
  • If the student declines the opportunity to discuss a positive test result with the MRO or fails to contact the MRO within 72 hours of notification, the MRO may report the drug test as positive to the College. If the MRO is not able to contact the student within ten calendar days of the date on which the MRO received the confirmed positive test result from the laboratory, the MRO may  report the drug or alcohol test as positive to the College.
  • If a student provides an explanation for a positive drug or alcohol test result, the MRO will determine whether a valid medical explanation exists. If a determination is made by the MRO that there is a legitimate medical explanation in accordance with SAMHSA guidelines, the drug or alcohol test results will be recorded as negative and reported to the College.
  • If the MRO determines that there is not a legitimate medical explanation in accordance with SAMHSA) guidelines, the drug or alcohol test results will be recorded as positive and reported to the College. By participating in the drug and alcohol screening process, the student is authorizing release of the drug and alcohol test results in accordance with this policy.

5.1.4. Results

  • Results of drug and/or alcohol tests will be available to the student through access to the account created by the student when they initiated the drug screen process.
  • Results of the drug screen test will be available through secure electronic access to the company website for review by the School/Department/Program designee of the admitting program. Students will be notified if their drug screen test results will be printed.
  • If the tests are negative, the student may be fully admitted to and/or remain in the program.
  • If the tests are positive, See 5.1.3.

5.1.5. Duty to Report

If the student is a licensed/registered health professional, the chair/designee of the Department/School will follow licensure and/or State required reporting guidelines.

6.   Student Grievance Process

Prior to admission to a program and at minimum annually thereafter, students will request and pay for the department or program required drug and alcohol tests through the designated agency.  Results of the drug and alcohol test will be released to the Department/School Chair (or designee) of the admitting program and to the student.

6.1 Notification to student

If a drug or alcohol test is positive, the student will be notified in writing that his/her admission to the program or internship has been withdrawn. If the student wishes to grieve this decision and remain in the program or internship, the student must:

Follow the COHS Clinical/Non-Clinical Internship/Practicum Suspension/Dismissal Policy Process.

6.1.1. Consultation

A representative from University Health Services (UHS) or the Office of General Counsel may provide consultation on appeals as a non-voting member.

6.1.2. Access to Results

  • Results of drug and/or alcohol tests will be available to the student through access to the account created by the student when they initiated the drug screen process.
  • Results of drug screening tests will be securely maintained by the company designated by the COHS for program access.
  • Results of a drug and/or alcohol test performed for hire at a local health care agency may not be used for affiliation with Boise State University.

6.1.2. Program Progression

Students who are out of progression or leave the program, regardless of reason, will need to repeat the drug and alcohol tests before being readmitted.

Forms

N/A

Related Information

COHS Background check policy