There are many different reasons for why someone might decide to use drugs. Whilst we don’t condone drug use, we are aware that some students may use them or may be thinking of trying them. For anyone in this situation, it is important to ensure that you are fully informed of the potential risks and effects associated with the drug so that you are able you to make an informed decision.
Drugwise is an excellent resource for drug related information and provides comprehensive, evidence-based information on the effects of drugs, their risks and the legal implications associated with their use. The website contains factsheets, a drug encyclopedia and a FAQ’s section www.drugwise.org.uk.
Frank also provide comprehensive information on the effects and risks associated with drugs. They also offer confidential advice and can be contacted by live chats, email, telephone and/or SMS www.talktofrank.com.
If you choose to use drugs then it is important that you try to minimise some of the risks associated with their use. There is no safe way to take drugs and no amount of harm reduction strategies will make the drug use risk-free, but the below strategies may help to make things “safer”:
(Guidance taken from Drugwise & Drugaid Cymru.)
The use of so called “smart drugs” such as Modafil and Ritalin are taken by some individuals in the hope that they will improve their cognitive performance. It is illegal to supply or sell these drugs. Some of the side effects associated with these pills include aggression, anxiety, irritability, confusion, chest pains, depression, diarrhoea, drowsiness, palpitations and hallucinations. One of the main areas of concern with the use of “smart drugs” is that no long term studies have been conducted to establish the long term side effects of these substances. In addition, if tablets are bought over the internet, it is impossible to know the exact content of the tablets, and whether they are real, fake or contaminated.
Addaction, the drug and alcohol charity, have issued the following advice for anyone considering taking “smart drugs”:
The University considers the possession, storage, sale, use or misuse of controlled drugs to be a disciplinary offence and will initiate disciplinary proceedings in accordance with Regulation 7; Student Discipline where necessary.
If concern about disciplinary action due to drug use is stopping you coming forward for support for other personal, welfare or academic issues we would always encourage students to make an appointment with Advice & Support Centre to discuss your options in a confidential space.
If you are subject to a disciplinary process Advice & Support Centre can also provide confidential, non-judgemental advice and support throughout the process.
If you feel that your drug use is becoming problematic, or if your drug use is starting to affect your relationships, wellbeing and/or your ability function, then please seek help. The NHS Live Well ‘Treating Addiction Q&A’ guide provides useful information on where you can get help for drug use and explains the different treatment options available.
The University’s Open Door Team provide support to students experiencing psychological and mental health difficulties. You can contact Open Door by telephone 01904 322 140 or email email@example.com. Initial appointments can be made via the online referral form.
The York Drug & Alcohol Service is delivered in partnership between Changing Lives and Spectrum Community Health CiC. The service provides a range of clinical and psychological interventions for individuals affected by drug and/or alcohol issues.
Telephone: 01904 464 680
On campus, you can also get in touch with the Advice & Support Centre (or the GSA advice service for postgraduate students) for independent and confidential guidance on support options, or speak with a member of your college wellbeing team.
Frank provide confidential drug advice and provide information and advice through live chats, email, telephone and/or SMS.
The drug and alcohol charity Addaction provide professional advice and information through webchats. Their opening times can vary but they are usually available Monday-Friday. Their twitter feed details their operational times.
Narcotics anonymous is a self-help fellowship of people who wish to stop using drugs. Their regular self-help meetings are based on a twelve step programme similar to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Helpline: 0300 9991212
Please see the below sources of support if you have been affected by a family member’s drug and alcohol use.
York Carers Centre provide support to anyone who affected by someone else’s substance misuse. This includes parents, partners, children, siblings, grandparents and friends. Carers can access their carer support services and their substance misuse carer support group. This support group is held on on the third Wednesday of the month, 1.30 to 3.30pm at Tesco Community Room, Askham Bar, York.
Telephone: 01904 715 490
Adfam provide information and support for the families of drug and alcohol users.
They provide information on local support groups and helplines.