Substance Abuse Policy

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University has established the following on the Impaired Veterinary Student, in response to the following attitudes and concerns:

    1. Having humanitarian concern for all students, including those impaired by alcohol and/or drug dependence.

    2. Recognizing that substance abuse is a treatable condition.

    3. Acknowledging that, as an institution dedicated to the healing arts, we should accept the responsibility and facilities the treatment and/or rehabilitation of future veterinarians.

    4. Encouraging all impaired veterinary students to seek help and to cooperate in treatment.

    5. Favoring the earliest possible intervention in cases of veterinary student impairment, when personal, financial, and physical resources are least affected.

    6. Assuring that all actions on behalf of the impaired student will be taken in such a manner as to preserve the student's right to continue his/her veterinary education without restrictions or stigma on recovery or remission. The student's right to confidentiality will be respected at all times.

The program is composed of eight parts.

    1. Prevention- The goal will be to increase the level of awareness in the student population of the problems facing the veterinary profession relating to substance abuse and the measure being taken to address those problems.

    2. Identifying the impaired individual- Referral to the Dean's Office or the Student-Faculty committee will be done in absolute confidence and may be done by anyone who has reason to suspect a problem exists including the individual himself/herself.

    3. Fact finding and verification- confidential information gathering will be undertaken to accumulate facts pertaining to the situation from those having pertinent information to contribute.

    4. All measures will be taken to encourage the individual to seek help.

    5. Intervention- If all else fails, contact will be made with a team of at least two persons who are trained members of an intervention team; one of the members should be a recovering substance abuse individual. A check list of steps to follow in this critical stage will be careful reviewed and followed to avoid, in so far as possible, certain predictable consequences of such a confrontation. This check list is detailed in the AVMA Directory under Guidelines.

    6. Treatment-In most instances therapy at an approved alcohol and drug treatment program or rehabilitation center is recommended.

    7. Termination of active treatment-A long term follow-up will be in place to lend support to those who have completed the treatment program.

    8. Preventing recurrence- a strong support program will be available as long as the student remains enrolled at Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine. Impaired students will be encouraged to seek support groups at the state level once the degree work is completed.