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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

In the event of a drug or alcohol-related emergency, UF students can dial 911 a bit more confidently thanks to a new university policy.

Under the Medical Amnesty Policy, students will be referred by the Dean of Students Office to GatorWell Health Promotion Services for assessment and counseling without Student Code of Conduct charges.

For student organizations hosting an event where a medical emergency occurs, the act of calling for medical attention will be taken into consideration during any potential sanction hearings.

"We want students to get help," said Maureen Miller, coordinator for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention at Gatorwell Health Promotion Services.

The policy, which was first announced at the April 25 meeting of the Community Alcohol Coalition, was written to reassure students it is safe to go to regional hospitals, including Shands Hospital, without fear of punishment from the university.

UF's Emergency Room Policy, which was announced in 2009, highlighted the fact that area hospitals are not allowed to notify police or the university in the event of an alcohol or drug-related emergency due to confidentiality laws.

The purpose of these policies, Miller said, is to reiterate that students are allowed to ask for help when they need it.

"A student's health and safety is our ultimate concern and number one priority," she said.

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