Your role in relation to illegal drug use

  • If you become aware that a student uses illegal drugs do, as a first step, read the Policy on Possession and Use of Illegal Drugs by Students and refer to the Student Conduct pages on the Student Disputes website.

    If you 'believe' that a student is in possession of, or using illegal drugs, you are 'required' to report it. If, however, the misuse comes to light in a confidential discussion between you, as Academic Adviser or Student Support Coordinator, and the student, you are bound by that confidentiality, and the University will not expect you to report the matter.

    You may or may not feel that s/he should seek advice - this is a matter of judgement. If, however, the student is heading towards a career in which professional codes are such that any illegal drug use is likely to present them with a particular problem in the future (law, accounting and other financial services, health or education), you should encourage them to seek professional advice from the Counselling Service or a relevant agency outside the University.

    Next steps…

    This is a difficult area. You may decide to:

    • let the student know that you will seek advice from the Head of Faculty about the principles involved, while maintaining confidentiality
    • point out to the student that there could be a problem in the context of their career plans, and maintain a dialogue with them.
    • suggest that a counsellor or medical professional might be a better person to talk to.