Drugs & Alcohol
At Sheffield Hallam Students' Union, we understand that students, like many other young people, may come into contact with alcohol and drugs in a variety of different environments. This may be the first time that students have come into contact these intoxicants, and we want to ensure that all students at SHSU are aware of the facts about drugs and alcohol, and how to access support during their time at university.
We work very closely with colleagues at the Sheffield Drugs and Alcohol Co-ordination Team (DACT), to ensure that students are given the advice that they need about these substances, and that they are able to access any support or assistance that they require if they need it. Through our fortnightly Welfare Thursday drop-in sessions, Sheffield DACT offer free, confidential, non-judgemental advice and information to any SHU student who may wish to speak to a professional about their drug use or drinking habits, and even for those looking for advice on how to support friends.
Sheffield Hallam Students' Union does not condone drug use, and we work closely with South Yorkshire Police and licensing authorities to maintain a strict "zero tolerance" policy to the use or possession of drugs (including legal highs) on our premises and at our events. Breaches of the University's policy on drugs, including the use, possession or supply of drugs on SHU premises, may be dealt with through official disciplinary procedures and with the involvement of the police.
Whether or not you use drugs personally, it is important to be aware of their risks and how to ensure that you might be able to help someone else if they have taken anything. Drugs are used for many different reasons - people may use recreationally as part of a night out, they may use drugs to alter their mood, to improve athletic performance or students may even feel that they can take drugs as a way of improving acdemic performance.
Whatever substance is used, there is no excuse for not being aware of the effects and possible dangers of drug use. There is an enormous amount of helpful information about drugs, their effects and the risks available online - FRANK is by far one of the best resources available, offering confidential support, a free helpline and online chat service as well as extremely useful information about many different substances,
The best method of harm reduction is not taking drugs at all, especially as you can never be sure what substances you may actually be consuming and what effect this will have on you. Taking drugs always carries a risk and can potentially be harmful, however if you or someone you know does choose to take them, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you avoid as much harm as possible:
- Start with a small amount, e.g. a dab or quater/half a pill
- Don’t be afraid of seeking help and being honest about what you have taken
- Avoid mixing drugs, especially with alcohol
- Look after friends, if they are sleeping or unconscious, put them in the recovery position
- Tell someone you are with what you have taken
- Try to use with trusted friends in a safe environment, especially if it’s your first time.
Release, a national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law, is another great source of information in this area.
Locally, you can seek support on drug use or addiction from Sheffield DACT either online, via telephone (0114 272 1481) or in person at our Welfare Thursday drop-in sessions. Also, the Non-Opiates Service offers assessment, support and interventions to people using any non-opiate drug.