Alcohol & Drug Awareness

Alcohol Misuse

Whilst the University of Manchester does not condone the use of illegal drugs or the misuse of prescription drugs, we acknowledge that some students may choose to use or try them whilst at university. It is paramount that if our students choose to engage in any risky behaviour that they are aware of the dangers in order to make informed choices, and have the opportunity to greatly reduce the risk via easy access to education and support. Therefore, as an institution, the University believes a harm reduction stance is in the best interests of our student body, as it reduces barriers to accessing support and advice.

Alcohol Misuse

Every year some of our students get in trouble and put themselves in dangerous situations because of alcohol misuse, alongside all of the health issues excessive consumption can cause. Alcohol can be a big issue among students, as many do not always fully realise just how much they are consuming.

When drinking, make sure you pace yourself and be wary of drink spiking. Never leave your drink out of your sight and if you do, buy another one - it is much better than getting spiked. When going out, make sure a friend or someone you can trust is with you. They can help get you home if something goes wrong. Make sure you stay well away from rivers and canals, they can be very dangerous and accidents have happened in the past.

For more info and advice on alcohol and alcohol misuse, visit Drink Aware.


It is important to be aware of the dangers associated with taking drugs so that you can make informed choices about the way you live and looking after yourself. Possession of most recreational drugs or psychoactive substances is illegal in the United Kingdom and so formerly, any drugs or type of ‘legal high’ is also prohibited across campus.

Prohibition extends to our halls of residence and students in possession or using drugs who are caught risk disciplinary action that includes fines or, being asked to vacate their accommodation. In line with our harm reduction stance, such sanctions will always go hand in hand with the requirement to attend an educational course and access to appropriate support. Repeat offenders may be asked to leave Halls and further University disciplinary action may occur.

Legal highs or New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) can have very harmful effects and are seen to be worse than illegal drugs in many cases. They are poorly manufactured chemicals designed to be similar to illegal drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, but with a structural difference to avoid being controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act. This means you cannot be sure what you are taking and doctors often struggle to treat people who fall ill after consuming NPS. 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.

The use of 'legal highs' is banned in Halls. This includes laughing gas (NOS). Any parcels thought to be containing Nitrous Oxide will be held by reception for disposal.

Information and support on drugs can be found at Frank and Change Grow Live.