Drugs and alcohol harm reduction statement

The University of Bristol understands that students use alcohol and other drugs. We also understand that a zero-tolerance stance is harmful and damaging as it prevents students reaching out as they may fear being punished.

As an institution we believe that a harm reduction stance is in the best interests of our student body and reduces barriers to accessing support. Not only is support important but having accurate and useful advice is essential to reducing harm and this will also be a part of this change in approach.

Alcohol and other drugs increase the risk to students’ short and longer term physical and mental health, academic studies and relationships. Additionally, future career prospects can be damaged if students are involved in criminal activities.

A harm reduction stance does not mean anti-social or criminal behaviour is acceptable, any such misconduct will continue to be addressed robustly through the Student Disciplinary Regulations (PDF, 220kB).

Substance use is not to be regarded as the same as being involved in the supply of illegal drugs. Any student found to be involved in the supply of illegal drugs will be referred to the University’s Police Officer for consideration of criminal prosecution.

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