Created by Southampton's Safer Students Forum
Starting university is an exciting time; you’ll meet new people, may be living in a different place, and have new experiences. It may also be the first time that you come into contact with, or are exposed to, alcohol and drug use.
The following information is aimed at keeping you safe, ensuring you make sensible choices, and also provides some harm reduction advice.
Know the law
Most drugs are illegal – it is important that you know the implications of this. The laws are complicated, and penalties differ depending on whether you are in possession, or if you are supplying. ‘Supplying’ simply means giving drugs to somebody else – no money has to change hands, and you may be giving it to your friend – in the eyes of the law, this is classed as supply.
The Misuse of Drugs Act divides drugs into three classes:
Class A – the highest classification. Includes cocaine, crack, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, methadone, methamphetamine, certain magic mushrooms, and also any Class B drug which is injected
Class B – Includes amphetamine, barbiturates, codeine, ketamine and cannibis.
Class C – includes anabolic steroids, minor tranquilisers, GBL and GHB, and khat.
New Psychoactive Substances (NPS’s)
You may have previously heard these referred to as ‘legal highs’; they are substances which are produced using chemicals to replicate the effects of illegal drugs. The Psychoactive Substances Bill was introduced in 2016 in response to the massive influx of these substances to the market over recent years, which has meant it is now an offence to produce, supply, or possess with the intention to supply many of these substances for human consumption. These drugs stimulate or depress the central nervous system, are largely untested, and pose huge physical and mental health threats to users.
Some examples of NPS’s are: mephedrone, 1P-LSD, spice, N-Bomb, and methiopropramine.
More about NPS’s on Talk to Frank
Although perfectly legal, alcohol IS a drug. It’s addictive, has similar effects on the user, and a lot of the risks are the same, such as dehydration, engaging in risky behaviour, and overdosing.
Safe drinking advice >>>