Alcohol and Drug Support

Whilst we do not promote drug use of any kind, we realise that some of our student community have and will be taking substances, sometimes regularly. In 2020 our Guild President lobbied the University to move towards a harm reduction drugs policy to prioritise the welfare and wellbeing of our community here at Exeter. Wellbeing staff and services endorse this ethos too and will use these approaches when supporting you with any concerns relating to drugs or alcohol.

Listed below are some harm reduction tips we’d really encourage you to read!  

  • Start with a small amount, e.g. a dab or 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 and buy from a trusted source
  • Only use with trusted friends in a safe environment, especially if it’s your first time.

The University of Exeter’s drug and alcohol policy recognises that that purely disciplinary responses fail to identify the complex reasons behind people’s drug use and risks further marginalising certain students. However, being in possession of drugs is a criminal offence and can have significant negative impacts on you and your future. The policy can be found here and in Section 6 you will find the University’s responses to possession of drugs or antisocial behaviour as a result of drugs or alcohol.  

Substance misuse and wellbeing: Whilst under the influence you may feel elated or buzzed; less stressed; more confident in social situations or more fun. It is important to know your own motivations for taking drugs and the impact it can have on your wellbeing as well as those around you. Whilst under the influence you are at higher risk of being the victim of crime or engaging in risk taking behaviours and the next day you may wake up with the dreaded ‘beer fear’ thinking “oh why did I do that last night?” We all know the hangover can be real. But further than this, drugs affect how we see and experience things, our moods and behaviours and these affects can occur after the drugs have worn off. They can impact our motivation, our concentration, our finances, our physical safety and our mental wellbeing. Look out for your friends and seek support if you need it from the University’s confidential Wellbeing Service.  

Exeter Drugs Project (EDP) are a local organisation supporting anyone with drug or alcohol in the community. They have 1:1 support available and heaps of resources on their website.

Young Minds also have lots of information and guidance on drugs and alcohol for young people such as how it affects your mental health; dealing with peer pressure around substances; how to support a friend who is taking drugs; and where to get help if you need it!

Frank is a national organisation who talk openly and honestly about anything drug related. They have a live chat, phoneline, text and email service. Plus, lots more information on their website too.