Revealed: Who does the most drugs?


The Tab set out to discover which students are spending their time lighting up rather than knuckling down. Here are the results.

The results of The Tab’s drug survey are in.

70% of students have tried drugs at least once in their lives.

That figure rises as high as 85% in our druggiest uni, the eternally edgy Leeds.

The historic Manchester-Liverpool rivalry is played out in our survey, as the Mancunians pip the Scousers to second place.

Bottom of the pile are the boffins in Cambridge. Obviously they’re too busy studying to get high, with 57% of students there having tried drugs.

And it looks as if ‘Dullham‘ is living up to its dubious reputation, coming second last in our alternative uni league table.

druggiest unis

But while Leeds might score highly overall, students in Edinburgh are clearly wiggin’ out on hallucinogens as they snatch top spot for the number of respondents taking LSD and mushrooms.

Students in Liverpool are on the grittier side of things, having it large on the coke and drone.

Down south appears to be a cleaner affair. Maybe they’re all just drunk?


Hearteningly, it looks as if addiction is yet to set in with the majority of students, as only 4% said they needed drugs to have a good night out.

But that could be because we’re already bored of them. The average age at which respondents first tried drugs in some form stands at a pubescent 16 years and 2 months.

The Tab’s drug survey took in 21 universities around the UK. Over 5,000 students responded and, to be honest, the results confirm what most of us suspect anyway.

Philosophy students come top of the subject table, contemplating the big questions in a haze of self-discovery. As Bob Marley once said: “When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself.” Quite.

Medics are bottom of the pile, abiding by the Hippocratic Oath to refuse the ‘deadly medicine’. (Well, we say that – more than half of them have still tried something illegal.)

druggiest subjects

Unsurprisingly, cannabis comes out top in the list of preferred poisons. 68% of students have tried it.

But the 60s are long behind us as the trippy LSD is bottom of the student drug-takers shopping list.

top drugs

Some of the ‘Other’ drugs you named make for interesting reading. One Cambridge PhD student said he’d tried ‘cat’s pee’, while another went for ‘penis juice’. One student said simply: “Some of the new ones with long names.” It can be difficult to keep up.

Several smart-asses suggested alcohol, nicotine and caffeine as ‘Other’ drugs. Sorry guys, they’re a little extreme for this survey.

Obviously we all know how much druggies loves talking about drugs, so you can take these results with a pinch of… salt.

The Tab surveyed 5,126 students at 21 UK universities in the second term of the 2012/13 academic year. Stay tuned all this week for more results from our ‘study’.

  • Sam Levy

    As a 2013 Ketlympics Gold Medalist I have to say that we need to invest more in grassroots drug taking if we’re going to get Cambridge off the bottom and start challenging for the top honours.

    • brilliant

    • Simon Johnson

      You man know SJ is doin mans bit to raise dese averages in Cambo! Strapping zoots left right and centre (dun kno), man is still soldiering on during exam term to get us the #dench UK rep we deserve! #bigup #haze #blukubluku

      • Rett Babram

        If you want some penis juice, I can sort that out for you. God knows I’ve got plenty spare.

        • God

          Dayum Rett, you got some spare!

      • Haiku Rabbi

        Mans shoulda seen me at ChrisBlowYear, smashing out the bitcoins

  • Cantab

    I inhaled

    • Bill Clinton

      I did not have sexual relations with that woman

  • Matt Hickey

    Should Have seen how much Ketamine I smashed at Bestival 2k12. #Doingmybit

    • Sam Levy

      Tit Hall’s big drug lad.
      You may be a Crescent, but
      I write haikus bitch

  • Greg Hill

    Well of course we chaps don’t take drugs in Cambridge! How could I have built Homerton’s gym with my BARE HANDS if I was a stoner?

    • The Daily Hustler

      Dr Dre said “Smoke weed everyday” – he’s a goddamn DOCTOR, who the fuck are you?

      • Actually…

        Nate Dogg (RIP) said ‘Smoke weed everyday’

        • The Pooch

          Pour some out for our fallen soldier

        • Warren G

          No doubt, but Dre probably said it too.

        • real hustler 4lyf

          to be fair, dre does say ‘smoke weed everyday’ at the end of the next episode

          • Thuggin’ Life

            That’s Nate Dogg. Uncredited.

  • Am I the only one around here

    Who wants there to be more casual drug-taking at Cambridge?

  • Not true about medics

    They know their drugs #thatsnotwhatthetextbookisfor

  • What happens when…

    arts students try to do stats? They stand next to a dealer, find 4 students buying drugs and 1 who isn’t, and claim 80% of all students take drugs.

    Just, no.

    • Linguist

      Not really relevant on an article to do with an online survey.

      • Statistician

        To be fair – thats still not a good way to get a representative survey. The people who bother to answer online surveys are the people who are going to give positive answers. It’s completely unrepresentative.

    • Escher

      What happens when a Mathematician tries to do art?


  • Moving to


  • Yeh but

    I bet we take more study drugs than Leeds

    • My brain

      contains all the drugs I need. GABAGABAGABAGABAGABAGABA #biologyjoke

  • Professor Nutt

    The irony here being that those ‘smart-arses’, shouted down by the fountain-of-truth-tab, make a very valid point in labelling alcohol and nicotine ‘other’ drugs. These are huge killers, far more so than cannabis, MDMA, LSD, and mushrooms, and are thus very ‘extreme’ indeed.

    • I am tripping balls

      from my double espresso and triple rocky road.

    • Sophie Macken, ISCD

      This isn’t a comment by David Nutt but he’d probably agree with the content. It would be useful to know whether this survey was self-selecting.

  • Caffeine….safe?

    Oh wait….and didn’t someone once die from ‘overdose’ of monster energy drink?

    • Gam Suthrie

      No, the caffeine restarted my heart

  • Cindies

    is worse than ket anyway

  • edgy fresher

    I’m always in fez upping the stats

  • Could you maybe

    acknowledge self-selection bias? People who have taken drugs probably more likely to fill out the survey.

  • Not-so-sensitive Scholar

    Should we really be suggesting Durham is boring because fewer students there have tried illegal substances? Probably not?

    • LOL


    • A Sensitive Scholar

      Don’t be a dullard. I’ve smoked a reefer or two in my time.

  • biased much?

    Did this rely on people volunteering to do the survey? I guess that’s what “respondent” implies

  • Myth-Buster.

    1. Doing drugs does not automatically make you cool.
    2. Not doing drugs does not automatically make you morally superior and/or smarter.
    3. Nicotine and Alcohol are drugs and can be destructive.
    4. “drugs” as a collective term is not a thing, they are just psychoactive chemicals. Some people can do them all their lives and be fine. Others get addicted. There is no uniform outcome from “drugs” as drugs and people are not uniform (this applies as much to people banging on about how weed is a harmless wonder-drug as to the Daily Mail’s crippling fear of anything pill-shaped).

    • Snorlax

      This comment made me snore

      • Ash

        That’s kind of redundant, considering you’re a Snorlax…

        • TAB played the POKeFLUTE.

          Now, that’s a catchy tune!

    • king

      if you want to be that autistic then I am compelled to point out that not all drugs are psychoactive either.

    • Language user

      Just because ‘drugs’ may not be a helpful term in some ways, it clearly is a collective term. Realistically, drugs are just the psychoactive substances that we, as a society, condemn and find frightening. St. Johns Wort? Not a drug. Cannabis? A drug. Alcohol? Not a drug. Cocaine? A drug. For all the technicalities, the general use of the term is actually really fairly clear and uncomplicated.

      • Wait, What?

        “Cannabis? A drug. Alcohol? Not a drug.”


        • Language user

          If someone says ‘let’s legalise drugs’ or ‘I don’t do drugs’, what do they mean? They’re not talk about a Pinot Grigio in front of Morse.

          I’m not saying that it’s precise or accurate, but that is how the terms are most commonly used.

      • What a dick

        What about paracetamol and the millions of other prescribed drugs? They are drugs that society does not tend to condemn or find frightening. So it is actaully a collective term for any substance that has any kind of effect on the human body. You’re obviously a tool who gets brain washed by the tabloids ridiculous unsubstantiated unscientific views on ‘drugs.’

        • Language user

          Nope, a pro-legalisation fan of hallucinagens who sticks away from getting drunk because of the effect it would have on my body.

          I am, however, very skeptical about how most people view drugs because yes, unfortunately, I have read the tabloids. Enough to know that when some asks me ‘Do you do drugs?’, I obviously don’t say ‘Yes, I had a cuppa five minutes ago.’

  • Almost definitely

    more virgins than drug users in Cambridge

    • Kanye

      No more drugs for me

  • Craig

    420 blaze it erryday

  • Runners up

    ‘gorilla panic’, ‘they’re coming they’re coming’ and ‘this is permanent’

    • Super Hans

      Bishop Weed

      • I am going

        fucking mental for olives

        • Fitz Cafegoer

          I am going fucking mental for Olive

  • If I were at uni in Edinburgh

    I’d take hallucinogens too

    • Hmm

      No amount of tripping could ever convince me that Scotland is anything but a dump.

      • Edinburgh

        is such a colourful and vibrant city and OH MY GOD THE PAVEMENT IS ALIVE

      • Scot

        Say that again and I’ll trip yer face, fannybaws. #FlobbaDobber

  • Arch and Anth Student

    I know for a fact that Felix De Grey is addicted to various suppositories.

  • Gramos


  • Henry Young

    80%? BS bitches. what if you included poppers, you’d probably see the stats rising to something like 98%… Typical bullshit tab journalism. Ignoring the little guys. that said i’m always up for a bit of smack (and I don’t mean Heroin) lol xox

  • Greg Hill

    I can solve this

  • To Be Fair

    Whilst not many people are into these things, Cambridge is actually great for your typical recreational user. Porters don’t really care if we smoke up, Fez pretty much welcomes droppers with open arms and taking a stroll around town with Lucy is just the one.

    • From Cambridge

      Then there is White Noise and Warning…. not so much nowadays but it was pretty fucking hardcore back in the day.

  • Befuddled Mathmo

    Well done. Clearly we can conclude things from this survey. 244 people on average per uni were surveyed. Cambridge has 18,000 students, Leeds has 33,000.

    …..Own up guys, which arts student thought this was a good idea?

  • Gutted

    thought this was going to be a college league table. Homerton FTW!

  • sean da paul

    i must admit i wasn’t expecting theology to be above english

  • Nick Davies

    Don’t néed weed just smoke the cock all day long.

  • Self-Selecting Sample

    Anyone else think that as these kids have voluntarily taken a survey on drugs that the chances are the figures are much lower than the Tab makes out? Find it hard to believe that there’s a university in the country where only 15% of students haven’t tried drugs.



  • PD

    Utter rubbish inferences. Could you go anymore biased I wonder?

    Don’t quit your day job.

    P.S. if this is your day job, by all means, quit.

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  • Norma Binns

    Edinburgh capital for LSD? Been scouring the place for it since last October.

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