It is important that you enjoy your time at University, however, if you are drinking alcohol we want you to know the facts so you can drink (and enjoy yourself) as safely as possible. The Chief Medical Officer currently recommends that you should not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week – that’s about 6 pints of beer. You can find the latest guidelines here. It can be difficult to work out exactly how many units are in a certain drink, so try this handy unit calculator to keep track on how much you’re drinking.
To see whether how much you drink in a week is an average amount for someone your age, go to www.drinksmeter.com to put your drinking into perspective. This meter shows you how you compare to relevant peer groups such as age, sexuality and location. It also allows you to set your own alcohol targets for the week ahead so you can still have fun.
If you or a friend has a problem with dependency or are concerned about your alcohol use it is important to talk to somebody about it. There is an Open Young Persons’ AA group that meets every Thursday at 18:00 in Room 7 of the Students’ Union building, which is open to anyone, whether you’re an alcoholic or just worried about your drinking.
Most drugs apart from alcohol are illegal to possess and are divided into three classes: A, B and C. Penalties for possessing drugs can range from a caution to a fine to life imprisonment depending on what the drug is, the amount you have and whether you intend to supply it to others.
Plus if you are discovered with illegal drugs whilst on campus, including University Halls, the University will ask you to attend a Student Disciplinary hearing and the outcome of this hearing can be sent on to your school. However, if you are struggling with addiction or have concerns about your use of drugs or alcohol, the University can offer support. You can speak to the Counselling Service and might want to talk to your Academic Advisor or a member of your School's wellbeing support staff. If you are in halls you can speak to your ResLife Team who can signpost you to other organisations outside the University which can help.
If you are curious as to how your drug taking compares to your peers, then visit Drugs Meter for anonymous, personalised feedback. If you think that you or a friend has a problem with drugs it is important to talk to somebody about it.
If you do decide to take drugs then it is important that you do so as safely as possible. Drug Wise has an A-Z of drugs with their effects, risks and harm reduction methods. Check out the key risks and harm reduction techniques for MDMA and New Psychoactive Substances below.
A key risk of taking unregulated drugs is that the substance you intend to take could be mixed with other drugs or harmful adulterants. One way to reduce this risk is to test your drugs. We are currently piloting single-use test kits, which work by adding a small amount of your drug to a chemical which will change colour depending on the substances it contains. You can learn more about how these tests work, as well as their limitations, at www.safetest4.co.uk/umsu. The kits are available from the Students’ Union Advice Service at a suggested donation of £2.50. The service is independent from the University and completely confidential.
(Please note that the Students’ Union Advice Service cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of the tests or any adverse reactions, consequences or damage as a result of using the kits. The Students’ Union does not advocate taking drugs as taking drugs is never safe.)
This is a recovery focused service who are committed to supporting people to achieve their goals and become alcohol and drug free.
LGBT Foundation are part of Manchester Integrated Drug and Alcohol Service (MIDAS) and work with LGBT individuals in Manchester who are concerned by drugs, alcohol and chemsex.
If you would like support from an LGBT drug and alcohol worker please contact-
Telephone: 0345 3303030
The Talk to FRANK website has a complete A-Z of drugs and their effects, as well as support for anyone with a drug problem, and advice if you're worried about someone you feel has a drug problem. You can also phone them on 0300 123 6600.