Sheffield SU criticised after offering ‘never inject alone’ drug advice
The SU also told students to how to take MDMA
The University of Sheffield Students' Union has faced backlash this week after it published guidance on how to take drugs safely.
The Telegraph reported that some students thought the advice was “dangerous” after it offered detailed directions on how to take and prepare class A drugs such as MDMA.
The information read: “Crush your MDMA into a fine powder; dab the end of your finger into the powder, this should give you an average dose of about 100mg MDMA (a standard dose for an adult of average height, build and tolerance); wait 1-2 hours to feel the effects and gauge the strength before considering redosing.”
Another page reads: "If you are injecting drugs, never inject alone," and to take drugs "with friends".
Drug taking is perceived as a prolific part of university culture, with The Tab's 2017 drug survey claiming that "84 per cent of students say they’ve taken drugs". However, there is a growing debate about what universities should do to tackle the problem.
Following the tragic death of Joanna Burns in the summer of 2017 at The Tuesday Club, the University of Sheffield has faced growing demand to offer solutions to deal with student drug taking.
While offering detailed advice on how to take drugs seems counterintuitive to preventing drug-related deaths, this is not entirely the case.
Welfare Officer Katherine Swindells wrote: "Too many young people experiment with drugs without any knowledge of what they do, how they work and what the risks are. We need to provide students information so that they can make informed decisions – and stay safe."
The University of Sheffield has a "zero-tolerance policy towards drugs", but understands that merely promoting abstinence does not always keep students safe from the dangers associated with drug taking.
The SU has now removed the information from its website – instead providing a link to The Loop's detailed drug guidance.
Ultimately, students will take drugs regardless of how much information there is warning of the dangers of doing so.
Drugs are inherently dangerous and illegal for that very reason but, for now, it seems the best way to ensure the safety of those students who do choose to take drugs is to offer advice on how to do so safely.