Students should be helped to take drugs more safely, report says

A new report has said students should be allowed to consume illegal drugs ‘safely’, claiming the approach will result in them eventually stopping.

The paper from the Higher Education Policy Institute suggests assisting students who use drugs by giving them training “aimed at more safely using drugs” and introducing “safe spaces” to discuss drug problems at universities.

They claim a “public health-based approach” rather than a criminal record would see more students giving up drugs.


The report’s authors insist they “are not excusing illegal behaviour”, but hit out at universities which did not adopt their approach and called on them to set aside “feelings of discomfort” and turn a blind eye to illegal drug use.

The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly said the recommendations are “wrong-headed”.

“We all want to see fewer people risking their health by taking illicit substances, so it’s hard to see how allowing people to continue is going to help.

“By suggesting that drugs can be taken ‘safely’, rather than stressing the reality that those drugs are illegal precisely because they are so dangerous, the authors are putting more young lives at risk.”


Last year, students at the University of Bristol were given kits to test drugs before taking them in a scheme endorsed by both staff and student leaders.

The ‘harm reduction’ system run by The Drop, part of the Bristol Drugs Project, allowed students to determine what they were taking before they used illegal drugs.

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