Student Harm Reduction and Covid-19

With all the usual fresher’s events cancelled or moved online and the 10pm curfew for pubs and bars, it seemed almost inevitable that student flat/house parties would fill the void. However, these events have already be linked to Covid outbreaks in a number of student halls across the country and sadly, multiple drug related deaths. It’s practically impossible to host or attend a party at the moment without putting yourself and others at risk of Covid but if you choose to, follow this advice to limit the spread of Covid and keep yourself safe.

Read Your University’s Disciplinary Procedure for Covid Rule Breakers

Obviously everyone is disappointed that regular fresher’s week isn’t happening and the temptation to break the rules, head to a big party and meet some new friends is strong, but is it really worth losing your place at university over? Check the rules and procedures your university has in place and use this information to inform your decision.

Speak To Your Bubble

Going to party isn’t just ‘your business’ anymore. If you’re planning on breaking Covid restrictions, speak to your flatmates about it. You don’t know what underlying health conditions they may have, whether they’ve lost a relative to Covid or if they’re particularly anxious about the whole thing. You’re bubble is going to be your main social circle for the foreseeable future, so try not to piss them off.

Sit It Out If You’re Feeling Unwell

If you’re feeling unwell, sit this one out. If it’s Covid, you could be responsible for getting your whole block locked down. If it’s something else, your immune system will be weaker which means you’ll be more vulnerable to catching Covid and more likely to bring it home. Drinking and taking drugs will also batter your immune system so remember to get some sleep, eat well and stay hydrated.

Read Up On Your Drug(s) of Choice

Whether you’re new to taking drugs or consider yourself a bit of a psychonaut, have a read about whatever drugs you plan on taking (appropriate doses, drug combinations to avoid, less harmful ways of ingesting drugs etc.). Avoid taking a bigger quantity or wider range of drugs than you had planned. The more drugs involved, the more unpredictable the effects. Don’t forget that alcohol is a drug.

Sharing Isn’t Caring

It might seem nice to share whatever you bring to the party but keep your spliffs, cigs, balloons, snorties, baggies and drinks to yourself. These are all great ways to pass on Covid and you risk legal repercussions if you share anything illegal. If someone offers you a line, check what it is! So many people end up having a terrible time at parties when they mistake a line of ket for a line of coke. As always, practice good hand hygiene, try and maintain social distancing and wear a mask when you can’t.

Know What To Do In An Emergency

Although it’s relatively uncommon, people do end up in hospital and sometimes even die from taking drugs recreationally. No drug use is 100% safe so make sure you and your mates tell each other what you’ve taken, stick to harm reduction advice, keep an eye out for each other and call 999 if something doesn’t seem right. It’s far better to overreact in these situations than not react at all. Someone’s life could be at risk. Read how to spot overdoses from common recreational drugs here.

And Finally, Get Out of Halls and Explore The City!

Going to, or hosting, a party is a risky business these days, especially if you’re a student. You could get a £10000 fine, be kicked out of uni and get Covid-19 all in one night. It’d be one to remember for all the wrong reasons. Why not make the most of the city you now call home; head out on the iconic Stoke’s Croft, pretend you’re at a festival at an outdoor music event or enjoy a local delicacy (cider, obvs) by the waterfront on King Street. You’ve just arrived in a new city, there’s more to explore than your halls of residence.

If you would like to know more about harm reduction, would like some support around your drug use or are concerned about a friend or family member, please get in touch on 07903799104, at or on our socials @TheDrop_BDP

4 minute read

Related to this article

The Drop Summer Festival Schedule

The Drop

The Drop Summer Festival Schedule

This festival season is set to be our busiest yet and we can’t wait! After the dreaded c-word cancelled all events in 2020...

Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes - Clubs & Festivals Are Back!

The Drop

Dust Off Your Dancing Shoes - Clubs & Festivals Are Back!

For most of you, it’s been over a year since you last let loose on a dancefloor which means you might be a bit out of prac...

Mental Health Awareness Week: Clubs & Festivals

The Drop

Mental Health Awareness Week: Clubs & Festivals

The prospect of clubs & festivals re-opening is an exciting thought, but for some it might be a bit more complicated. Af...