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Policies & Handbooks

Chemical Dependency Policy




The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences recognizes that chemically dependent students may bring harm to themselves or the public they serve. The College also recognizes that chemical dependency can impair a student's academic progress. The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences advocates treatment and rehabilitation for affected students in a manner that first protects the public, while allowing a reasonable opportunity for recovery and, in appropriate situations, continuation in the academic program.


Students entering the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences will be required to sign a statement indicating their acceptance of the terms and conditions of this policy. Students may not attend classes until this statement is signed.

The College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences shall abide by University policy per the Student Handbook ( and provide students with an opportunity to address substance abuse or dependence issues confidentially during any phase of their academic experience. The guiding philosophies of the following policy are first to protect clients and patients from potential harm caused by impaired students in clinical practice experiences, and second to encourage the discovery and recovery of students with a substance use disorder.

A. Voluntary Assessment and Treatment

Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training, and Health Sciences students who recognize a problem related to their use of alcohol or other chemical substances may voluntarily seek assistance through the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences student affairs officer and referrals by the Drake University Counseling Center.  

Professional pharmacy students may self-report suspicion of impairment to the Iowa Monitoring Program for Pharmacy Professionals (IMP3), a monitoring and advocacy program for the pharmacy profession supported by the State of Iowa Board of Pharmacy.

Occupational therapy doctoral or athletic training masters students may self-report or be referred by the respective licensee board into the Impaired Practitioner Program (IPP), a program designed to monitor the evaluation, treatment and recovery of health care professionals.

B. Mandatory Assessment

Students required to undergo mandatory assessment are those who demonstrate any of the following behaviors that are reasonably believed by the CPHS student affairs officer to be related to alcohol or other chemical substance use:

  1. Poor academic performance;
  2. Frequent absenteeism from class, internship, practicum, experiential practice experiences;
  3. Unusual behavior in academic settings (e.g., alcohol tainted breath, ataxic gait);
  4. Diversion of controlled substances; and
  5. Acts which violate the law or Drake University Alcohol and Controlled Substance Use Policy (Appendix A, Code of Student Conduct).

Concerns regarding behavior as outlined above that are raised by faculty, staff or other students should be directed to the CPHS student affairs officer. The CPHS student affairs officer will then determine whether a formal, professional assessment for chemical dependency is required.

When it has been determined that a pharmacy, occupational therapy, or athletic training student undergo mandatory assessment, the student is required to self-report to the respective advocacy program IMP3 or IPP. Pre-pharmacy and health sciences students are required to consult with Drake University Counseling Center.

C. Mandatory Treatment

If a professional assessment (whether voluntary or mandatory) shows that a student is chemically dependent, the student must initiate and maintain a treatment, rehabilitation, and/or aftercare program satisfactory to the student affairs officer. All treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare plans for pre-pharmacy and health sciences students will be coordinated through referral.   

If a professional pharmacy or occupational therapy doctoral or athletic training masters student has not yet self-reported to IMP3 or IPP, it is required that they do so to pursue treatment. Treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare plans for pharmacy students will be coordinated through IMP3, which monitors the student's progress. Treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare plans for occupational therapy or athletic training students will be coordinated through IPP. The student affairs officer will communicate with the treatment provider, IMP3 or IPP with regard to the student's ability to continue in the academic program, and in the event the student leaves the University, when the student will be allowed to return.

D. Leave of Absence and Re-Entry

Except where they conflict with this policy, current Drake University policies governing a student’s leave of absence for illness will be applied to those students who may need time off for evaluation or treatment of chemical dependency.

Re-entry into the classroom or practicum/capstone experiences following an absence for alcohol or chemical dependency treatment or continuation in the academic program during treatment will be coordinated by the treatment provider, IMP3 or IPP and the student affairs officer who may place restrictions on the individual's classroom, laboratory, clinical, fieldwork or clerkship activities that are thought to be in the best interests of the individual's recovery and public safety.

E. Release of Information

Students undergoing assessment, treatment, rehabilitation or aftercare agree to sign a release so that progress reports from their treatment provider and/or IMP3 or IPP are provided to the student affairs officer. The progress reports will be limited to the individual's compliance, progress and recommendations for returning to the academic program. All records of student involvement with these procedures will be maintained in secure arrangements with the student affairs officer.

F. Financial Responsibility

Responsibility for all costs of assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare shall be borne by the student.


Students shall report all arrests, tickets and charges involving alcohol or illegal drugs to the student affairs officer no later than seven (7) calendar days after the arrest, ticket or charge. This includes, but is not limited to, all arrests, tickets or charges for driving or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired.

The College may request any CPHS student to complete an additional criminal background check if the College is asked to provide information to regulatory bodies to support the execution of their duties of protecting the public health. Students have the right to request from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences copies of all documents and other information shared with these regulatory bodies.

Following an arrest, ticket or charge, occupational therapy doctoral and athletic training masters students should review the websites of their respective certification organizations (OT- National Board Certification of Occupational Therapy, NBCOT; AT – Board of Certification, BOC) to assess their ability to apply for exams.


Students who fail to adhere to these policies and procedures, including undergoing an initial assessment and treatment, if necessary, may be suspended or dropped from the College. Readmission after suspension may be granted upon satisfaction of certain conditions. Students may appeal, in writing, any actions taken against them under this policy within fourteen (14) calendar days after they receive notice of the action. Such an appeal comes first to the Dean and then to the Provost of the University if the student is dissatisfied with the Dean's decision. In all such proceedings, the student shall have (1) prior notice of the time and place of the meeting with the Dean/Provost, (2) the right to be heard and present relevant evidence or witnesses on his/her behalf; and (3) the right to receive a written decision from the Dean/Provost. If the student does not appeal the Dean's decision to the Provost, in writing, within seven (7) calendar days of receipt of the Dean's decision, then the Dean's decision becomes final. In the event of a timely appeal to the Provost, his/her decision is final.


I agree to be bound by and adhere to all the terms and conditions of this policy as stated above. I understand that my failure or refusal to adhere to the terms and conditions of this policy may result in my being dropped from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

I hereby release and agree to hold harmless Drake University and its agents and employees from any and all claims arising out of my participation in any voluntary or mandatory assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare undertaken pursuant to this Student Chemical Dependency Policy and Statement.

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