UoB Guild of Students announce that they will be making drug testing kits freely available to students
This is part of their wider Harm Reduction Campaign
The Guild of Students has announced that they will be making drug testing kits available to UoB students, in an effort to "change the way students talk and think about drug and alcohol usage."
Following the example of numerous other students unions, including the University of Manchester, they will be offering the kits for free from the Guild, and hope that this will "reduce the risk of using drugs, by helping you identify the contents of the substance you are testing".
These new reforms are part of a new, three-branch Harm Reduction Campaign, focused on "Drugs Policy", "Reducing the Harm" and "Alcohol: Looking after your mates".
In addition to the new kits, the Guild also "want to ensure that the University has a policy which supports those who fall victim to drug or alcohol use", in addition to supporting "those who are worried about their own, or a friend’s, unhealthy drinking habits".
According to The Tab's 2017 drugs survey, 49% of UoB students have reported taking ecstacy, 69% MDMA, 30% ketamine, and 44% cocaine.
Likewise, a survey conducted by the NUS found that 56% of students have used drugs at some point; it further found that this phenomenon is overwhelmingly related to mental health, with 22% using drugs in order to self-medicate existing mental health conditions.
A similar drug-testing scheme was run by The Loop at several music festivals this summer, and resulted in over 8000 people having their drugs tested, and led to one-in-10 handing their substances in for disposal.
The kits are available to pick up from the Guild reception area, with testing packets available for ketamine, cocaine and ecstacy, in addition to enclosed instructions and support.
The Birmingham Tab have reached out to Adam Goldstone and the Guild of Students for comment.