Student Drug Use

Harm Reduction approach to student drug use

Policy passed at NUS Scotland Conference 2023


What’s the issue and how does it affect students? 

Drug use is increasing across Scotland’s students and students across the UK according to the ‘Take the Hit’ NUS report. Across the tertiary education sector in Scotland, current policies for student drug use are punitive, a punishment-first method where monetary fines are issued if a student is caught in possession of drugs.  

These fines place unnecessary harm on students when support and help are needed. Especially when it has been shown that punitive measures are the main reason students do not seek help with drug use, which has resulted in fatalities previously. 


What changes would we like to see in society to change this? 

There needs to be a multiple-pronged approach involving harm reduction policies, de-stigmatising drug use, and an increased budget for mental health services across Scotland. 

In society, we want to see an approach to manage the drug crisis in this country.  

These are all changes and suggestions backed by the Help Not Harm campaign and were highlighted by the Scottish Government Drugs Task Force. 

This motion would mandate NUS to campaign for honest drug safety information, and work with the help not harm campaign alongside other organisations campaigning for a harm reduction approach. advocate for change in policy at a university and college level, and establish a fund to provide drug testing kits to students.

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