Updated April 16, 2023

Beginning in late April 2023 UVM, in partnership with the UVM Medical Center (UVMMC) Emergency Department, will begin a program to lower the barrier to testing for incapacitating or “date rape” drugs in instances where sexual assault is not suspected, but students have a reasonable belief that they have been given an incapacitating drug without their consent. Screening for these substances generally occurs without barriers in instances where sexual assault is suspected but has been more difficult to find non-insurance payment options for historically.  This programs works to remedy that.

PLEASE NOTE: At this time screening via this program, where payment is covered by UVM, is in the initial phase of use and is available only at UVM Student Health Services. We anticipate this payment option will be available at UVMMC in the near future. If sexual assault is suspected - examination and treatment should be sought at the UVMMC Emergency Department.

How it works

The following procedures have been developed in partnership with the UVM Medical Center (UVMMC) Emergency Department.

1. Medical staff will screen patients in accordance with best medical practices.

2. If facts and circumstances support a reasonable belief, in the providers professional judgement, that the patient has been given a substance that has caused impairment without the knowledge or consent, a “date rape” drug screening panel should be offered.

3. Initial screening should include assessing where and when the suspected substance might have been administered. This information can assist in establishing patterns of activity that could help intervene in ongoing courses of criminal conduct. Students will be given information to self-report this detail (see below).

4. Similar to obtaining a sexual assault examination kit anonymously, tracking of this testing may be done anonymously upon request pursuant to the tracking mechanism currently in use by the provider.

5. Billing for services. Whether occurring at UVM Student Health Services or the UVM Medical Center Emergency Department, billing insurance should be the first option explored. In the event insurance does not cover testing, insurance cannot be billed, or there is a strong preference on the part of the patient that insurance is not billed, a fund has been established to pay the testing costs.

Additionally, for events reported to police and in which a positive test is obtained, the VT victim’s compensation fund may reimburse the testing expense not covered by insurance. Additional information about this program can be found at ccsv.vermont.gov or by calling 802-241-1250.


The University of Vermont (UVM) and University of Vermont Medical Center have partnered to offer drug testing in instances where there is well-founded belief that a UVM student has been given a substance that causes impairment without their knowledge or consent. Giving someone a drug without their knowledge or consent is a crime in Vermont. Please note that this initiative is for instances where no sexual assault or other crime is suspected. In the event there are other intersecting reports, such as a sexual assault, there is a statewide system to address those examinations and billing for those services.  In those instances, examinations and care should first be sought at the UVM MC Emergency Department.

How Soon Should I Get Tested?

The sooner a urine specimen is obtained after ingestion, the greater the chances of detecting some of these drugs, which are quickly eliminated from the body. Urine can be tested for some of these substances up to 4 days from ingestion.

Where Should I Go to Get a Test?

If you have been sexually assaulted or suspect a sexual assault, the Emergency Department is the best option for a variety of reasons.

If you do not suspect a sexual assault but have a reasonable belief that you have been given a drug against your will, we recommend that your first choice be Student Health Services. The Emergency Department is excellent, but often a very busy place. Student Health Services is open Monday through Friday and 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday. If Student Health Services is not available or it is well outside those hours of operation, the Emergency Department can help.

At any time you may access a confidential advocate to assist you in understanding your options regarding reporting and support. Hope Works advocates are available 24/7 at 802-863-1236. You may also ask your medical provider to contact Hope Works on your behalf.

How Are Tests Paid For / Do I Need to Bill My Insurance?

In order for the program to serve as many as possible, if you have insurance and you are willing to have your insurance billed for the tests, we ask you consider that option. However, if insurance is not an option for any reason, we have developed a fund to pay for this testing. If you have concerns, please discuss the implications of insurance billing with the medical team.

If you are not using insurance for payment and your services were provided by Student Health Services, the fund created for these tests will be billed directly. No further action is needed to make that happen.

If you are not using insurance for payment and your services were provided by the Emergency Department, the team there will route the bill to the University for the services.

Does Getting Tested Commit Me to an Investigation?

No. You have full control over the depth of an investigation if you choose to make a report. See the next section for more detail on the options for investigation.

What Are the Investigative Options?

There are a few options. For all reports, unless criminal charges are pursued – and you control whether that is done or not – your name and personal identifying information remain confidential and not accessible to anyone outside of your medical team.


Make a full report of the incident to UVM police services and the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations - a multi-disciplinary task force that responds and investigates in a suvivor-centric way.

A “full” report includes your name, the date, time, suspected location, and some details about the incident. You control how much you want to share AND the extent to which investigators contact others and look into the report. This report may be made in person at UVM Police Services or by phone (802-656-3473) at any time. The report may be followed up with an investigation by a Police Services detective and/or a special investigation unit.


In the event you do not want to make a “full” report, you may also report some details about the incident to UVM police services.  This type of report will help identify patterns of where and when suspected drug-related assaults may be occurring so we can make every effort to intervene to stop them. This alternative to a full report would include basic information including date, time and suspected location, and may include your contact details for the purposes of future intervention. We encourage you, if you are comfortable, to report this minimum amount of information as collecting this base level of information will help us develop patterns to identify where (and when) suspected drug-related assaults are occurring so we can make every effort to intervene to stop them.

Support Services

No matter what the outcome of the test and no matter what you decide to do if the result is positive, you may want to follow up in seeking support surrounding your experiences. Connecting with Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS), as well as Hope Works, are both good options for seeking emotional support following an incident.

Where Will My Test Results Go?

If you seek the treatment team at Student Health Services, the results will be sent there and the team will contact you.

If you see the team at the Emergency Department, your test results will likely be available to you via your electronic health record, called MyChart. Additionally, a healthcare provider may follow-up with you - or you with them - to assist in interpreting the results.

How Long Will It Take to Receive Test Results?

It can take 7-14 days to receive test results, and the medical team you report to will talk with you about follow-up and to go over the test results.

My Test Was Positive. How Do I Self-Report?

Reporting is easy. Simply call UVM police services at 802-656-3473. The team there is well versed in documenting and investigating your report and providing you with support through that process. We encourage reports be made in a timely manner as timeliness preserves a more robust array of investigative options for you, though reports may be made at any time.

What If the Test Results Are Negative?

Negative results do not conclusively mean that you were not given an unknown substance. They simply mean that the substance was not detectable using currently available screening panels or that the substance dissipated from your system before it could be detected. This can occur in part because everyone’s metabolism is different.

What If the Tests Show Alcohol or Other Drug Use?

UVM, including UVM Police Services and the Office of Student Conduct, will not investigate you if that occurs. Our interest is in your safety and, in stopping future similar conduct by offenders.


Partners in this initiative include:

UVM Center for Health & Wellbeing; Division of Safety & Compliance, Police Services; UVM Foundation; Student Government Association; Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Office; and the University of Vermont Medical Center, Emergency Department