Mental - Drug - Alcohol

Counseling, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention, Depression, and Economic Assistance 

The Tennessee College of Applied Technology - Dickson’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program addresses three major concerns:

1.  The maintenance of an environment in which students can learn and be safe,

2.  Help for students whose development or performance is threatened by abuse of drugs or alcohol, and

3.  The enforcement of policies and laws regarding possession or use of drugs or alcohol on campus.

What Is Addiction?

When a drug user can’t stop taking a drug even if s/he wants to, it’s called addiction. The urge is too strong to control, even if you know the substance is causing harm.

Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing, brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and to those around him or her. Although the initial decision to use drugs or alcohol is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to use drugs or alcohol.

Addiction can become more important than the need to eat or sleep. The urge to get and use the drug can fill every moment of a person’s life. The addiction replaces all the things the person used to enjoy. A person who is addicted might do almost anything—lying, stealing, or hurting people—to keep taking the drug. This could get the person arrested.

Addiction is a disease, just as diabetes and cancer are diseases. Addiction is not simply a weakness. People from all backgrounds, rich or poor, can get an addiction. Addiction can happen at any age, but it usually starts when a person is young.

Statement of Health Risks

Abusing drugs or alcohol interferes with the body’s normal functioning. Because drugs directly affect many parts of the brain, abuse can lead to problems with learning, sleeping and emotional health. Abuse can also lead to permanent damage of vital organs such as the brain, heart and liver and be manifested by heart attack, stroke, blood clots, lung damage, liver damage, cancer and sudden death.

Individuals who suffer from addiction often have one or more accompanying medical issues, including lung and cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and mental disorders. Imaging scans, chest X-rays, and blood tests show the damaging effects of substance abuse throughout the body. For example, tests show that tobacco smoke causes cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, blood, lungs, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, and cervix. In addition, some drugs of abuse, such as inhalants, are toxic to nerve cells and may damage or destroy them either in the brain or the peripheral nervous system.

Even small doses of drugs and alcohol can significantly impair judgment and coordination. This is especially true in a person’s ability to safely drive a vehicle or operate other machinery.

Moderate doses may increase incidents of aggressive acts like spouse or child abuse.

High doses can cause respiratory depression and death.

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a common problem of babies and infants born to mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy. These infants can have mental retardation and irreversible physical abnormalities. Children born to alcoholic parents are at a greater risk of becoming alcoholics.

Sources: U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Drug Abuse; Tennessee Code Annotated.

Prevention Assistance:

Drug and alcohol addiction are preventable diseases. Effective education and outreach programs can lead to reduced instances of abuse. Abuse can be prevented if one never uses drugs.

It is the policy of the college to prohibit the illegal use, abuse, manufacture, possession, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages or any controlled substance, including any stimulant, depressant, narcotic, hallucinogenic drug or substance, or marijuana on college-owned, controlled, or leased property. Such use, solicitation, sale or distribution is prohibited during any school-related activity, including off-campus trips. All students are subject to applicable federal, state and local laws related to this matter. In addition, any violation of this policy will result in disciplinary actions as set forth in the Student Conduct Policy and Disciplinary Sanctions section of this Handbook. Students are also subject to arrest and prosecution by civil authorities for violation on campus.

College personnel will seek to identify abuse problems and provide immediate intervention and assistance. The college will assist any individual whose mental or physical health is threatened by the use or abuse of alcohol or drugs. The college counselor can refer individuals to community resource centers for abuse counseling and rehabilitation.

The Crisis Contact Center provides free, telephone and text-based crisis intervention to anyone that needs it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Crisis specialists assist callers struggling with thoughts of suicide, grief, depression, anxiety, domestic violence, addiction, or trauma.

The crisis line is 615-244-7444 or you can text 615-502-4373

Following is a list of area resources:

Alcoholics Anonymous                         Alcoholics Anonymous

951 Clark St.                                        DAFA House - 110 South Main St.

Clarksville, TN  37043                          Dickson, TN  37055

931.647.0225                                       615.707.0967


Alcoholics Anonymous                        Alcoholics Anonymous               

1st United Methodist Church               Walnut Church of Christ

215 North Main St.                              201 Center Ave.

Dickson, TN  37055                            Dickson, TN  37055

615.446.2917                                     615.522.7034


Cumberland Heights                             Clarksville Family Therapy

8283 River Road                                   2535 Madison St., Suite D

Nashville, TN  37209                            Clarksville, TN  37043

866.899.5231                                       931.326.1125


New Life Lodge                                     Eagle’s Bridge

999 Girl Scout Road                              P.O. Box 402

Burns, TN  37029                                  Dickson, TN 37055

866.836.8125                                        615.482.1831


Centerstone counseling facilities /

162 County Services Dr, Ste. 100       511 Eighth St.

Ashland City, TN                                 Clarksville, TN  37040

615.463.6160                                      931.920.7200


721 Highway 46 South                        1330 North Main St.

Dickson, TN  37055                             Tennessee Ridge, TN  37178

615.446.3797                                       931.721.3312


Addiction Centers //

(844) 740-8879

Further information is available in the Student Services Coordinator’s office.

Legal Sanctions - Unlawful Possession or Distribution

TCAT Dickson and all Tennessee Board of Regents institutions have prohibitions against the possession and/or use of drugs and alcohol on property controlled by TCAT Dickson or while participating in a TCAT Dickson-sponsored program. (Please see disciplinary policies and procedures concerning student conduct listing in the Tennessee Board of Regents Policies (TBR) and Guidelines for TCAT’s section of this handbook).

Various federal, state and local statutes make it unlawful to manufacture, distribute, solicit, dispense, deliver, sell, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, solicit, dispense, deliver, or sell controlled substances. The penalty imposed depends upon many factors, which include the type and amount of controlled substance involved, the number of prior offenses, if any, whether death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance, and whether any other crimes were committed in connection with the use of such substance. Possible maximum penalties for a first-time violation include imprisonment for any period of time, up to a term of life imprisonment, a fine of up to $4 million, supervised release, or any combination of the above. These sanctions are doubled when the offense involves either of the following:

1. Distribution or possession at or near a school or college campus.

2. Distribution to persons under 21 years of age (repeat offenders may be punished to a greater extent as provided by statutes).

Further, a civil penalty of up to $10,000 may be assessed for simple possession of “personal use amounts” of certain substances under federal law.

Under state law, the offense of possession or casual exchange is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor; if there is an exchange between a minor and an adult at least two years the minor’s senior, and the adult knows that the person is a minor, the offense is classified as a felony, as provided in T.C.A. 39-17-417(21 U.S.C. 801, et. Seq.; T.C.A. 39-17-417).

It is unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one (21) to buy, possess, transport (unless in the course of his/her employment), or consume alcoholic beverages, wine or beer. Such offenses are classified as Class A misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for not more than 11 months and 29 days, or a fine of not more than $2,500, or both (T.C.A. 1-3-113, 57-5-301). It further is an offense to provide alcoholic beverages to any person under the age of twenty-one (21). Such an offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor (T.C.A. 39-15-404). The offense of public intoxication is a Class C misdemeanor and is punishable by imprisonment of not more than 30 days or a fine or not more than $50, or both (T.C.A. 39-17-310). 


Veterans Resources Real Warriors The Veterans Crisis Line

The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring VA responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline and online chat.

Veterans and their families and friends can call 1-800-273-8255and Press 1chat online , or send a text message to 838255to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Learn more about the Veterans Crisis Line and what VA is doing to help Veterans who face serious challenges or may be at risk of suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Veterans can call the Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), and press "1" to be routed to the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline. Veterans in emotional distress can chat live with a crisis counselor and get help

Resources for returning active duty National Guard and 

Reserves, Veterans, and their families.

US Department of Veteran Affairs - National Center for PTSD

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration - Veteran Resources

Getting Through Tough Economic Times

Each of us is affected differently by economic troubles.

Click on the link below to access practical advice on how to deal with the effects financial difficulties can have on your physical and mental health, information on managing stress and getting help for yourself or someone you care about.

Employee Assistance Program for TN State Employees only -