Drugs and alcohol
It’s important to be aware of the dangers associated with smoking, drinking and taking drugs so that you can make informed choices about the way you live and take care of yourself.
Possession of most recreational drugs or psychoactive substances is illegal in the United Kingdom and can result in a fine or prison sentence. The DrugWise website contains information on UK drug laws.
I feel I am drinking too much
The Drinkaware website contains a wealth of information about alcohol including a self assessment tool to help identify if you have a problem. The website also contains a list of alcohol support services you can contact.
If you would like to speak to someone, Drinkline is an NHS service which offers support and advice as well as self-help material to those who are worried about their drinking. You can call 0300 123 1110 on weekdays from 9am – 8pm, and weekends from 11am – 4pm.
You can also talk with your doctor who can give you medical advice and information about local support groups.
I don’t drink but feel pressured to do so
It can sometime seem that everybody drinks, but this is not the case. In fact, in 2016 more than a quarter of 16- to-24-year-olds in the UK said they were teetotal. It might help to consider joining a club or society where you can meet people with similar interests and connect to a new social circle.
If you would like to speak to someone about your concerns, The Advice Centre is a free, impartial and confidential service prvided by Imperial College Union, providing help and advice on a wide range of issues. Call 020 7594 8067 or send an email.
I feel I have a problem with drugs
Talk To Frank is a resource that provides objective information on drugs and their effects, and advice on how to stop or where to find help. It also provides support for those worried about someone else’s drug use.
You can also talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding drug use.
New psychoactive substances ("legal highs")
The availability of new psychoactive substances, previously know as "legal highs", has exploded in recent years. These are now covered by the misuse of drugs laws. Be aware that none of these drugs have been properly tested to see how toxic they are to humans, so the short-term and long-term effects on health are unknown.
If you think you are having a serious negative reaction after taking drugs or a new psychoactive substances that does not fade after some time and fluids, go to A&E at your nearest hospital. If you experience less serious problems, which persist after a few days, talk to your doctor.
- NHS Live Well – information on students and smoking, alcohol and drugs
- NHS Live Well alcohol support
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) – a free self-help group which helps people get sober with regular support
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA) – organise free regular meetings where members help each other stay clean from drug use
The Student Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy sets out the approach the College will normally take when the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol affects the performance of its students.