Policy and Guidelines on the Use of Illicit Drugs

1. Introduction

The policy and guidelines on the use of illicit drugs was first produced in 1994 in order to set out the University’s position on illicit drug use and to provide operational guidelines for dealing with cases which might arise. The policy has been updated in 2004.

2. The University’s Policy Statement on Illicit drug use

“Possession and supply of drugs covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) is against the law. Accordingly, the University undertakes to deal with students who commit such offences and who may thereby bring the University into disrepute. In addition to this, however, the University recognizes that it has a duty of care towards its student members. It will therefore endeavour to provide health education and information about the dangers of illicit drug use and will refer those who need help to the appropriate support agencies.”

It has been agreed that this policy will be implemented with the help of the procedures and operational guidelines as explained in the following information for staff and students.

3. Promoting the University’s Policy

3.1 Educational and Preventative Measures

One of the first priorities is to try and promote an environment in which use of illicit drugs is discouraged. Ways towards achieving this include ensuring the policy is known by staff, is well publicised among all new and existing students and that health campaigns such as those organised by the Students’ Union are promoted.

3.2 Training for University Staff and Subwardens

Opportunities will be provided for Security Officers, Residential Organisation staff, Wardens and Subwardens to learn about the University’s Policy, how to recognise the signs of illicit drugs use, how to deal with incidents (including first aid measures) and what welfare services are available to provide support and advice.

THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO HELP YOU MEET THIS TRAINING REQUIREMENT AND SHOULD BE RETAINED/BOOKMARKED FOR REFERENCE FOR THE FUTURE.

4. Practical Guidelines

4.1 What to do if you find a suspicious substance

If you come across what you think might be an illicit drug, you should immediately inform:
  • The Warden, if the find takes place in a hall of residence;
  • or
  • Your Head of Department or Section, if the find takes place elsewhere on University property.

The Warden or Head of Department/Section should then ensure that the Security Office is notified immediately so that the Security Manager may, as appropriate, liaise with the Police and arrange for the substance to be identified and destroyed.

THE MISUSE OF DRUGS ACT 1971 ALLOWS YOU TO TAKE POSSESSION OF AN ILLICIT DRUG IN ORDER TO PREVENT SOMEONE ELSE COMMITTING AN OFFENCE, PROVIDED THAT THE SUBSTANCE IS EITHER HANDED TO SOMEONE AUTHORISED TO POSSESS ILLICIT DRUGS (EG A POLICE OFFICER) OR DESTROYED. IT IS RECOMMENDED TO HAND DRUGS TO THE SECURITY OFFICE WHO WILL THEN PASS THEM ON TO THE POLICE.

 

4.2 If you discover illicit drugs being used (non-emergency situation)

This section deals with what to do if you find students in possession of or in the process of using what you think is an illicit substance. The nature of the incident discovered will of course have a considerable bearing on how to deal with it. The following guidance relates to incidents which do not constitute a medical emergency. (For guidelines on dealing with emergencies, see sections 4.3 and 4.4)
  • Seek help from the Warden or Subwarden (or in their absence, some other responsible person) if the incident takes place in a hall of residence, or from another member of staff (or responsible person) if the incident takes place elsewhere. With the person’s help:
  • call Security, who will decide what Police involvement is required, if any, having due regard to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act;
  • take away the substances, but avoid confrontation as it is important not to threaten or crowd the drug-takers, or expect normal behaviour: they could react with uncharacteristic violence. Help them stay calm and give reassurance;
  • write down details of the incident clearly and accurately. This will help those who are involved later;
  • ensure the drug-users are in a safe environment.

4.3 What to do in an emergency *

ACUTE INTOXICATION, PHYSICAL COLLAPSE OR UNCONSCIOUSNESS CAN RESULT FROM EVEN ONE EXPERIMENT WITH DRUGS OR SOLVENTS. THESE CONDITIONS CONSTITUTE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. In such cases:

  • carry out immediate first aid measures (see section 4.4 below),
  • and
  • call an ambulance:
  • Dial 888 from any University extension and give details to the switchboard operator, who will call for an ambulance and then contact
  • Security so that the appropriate entrance barrier can be raised, the ambulance escorted to the correct building and the crew taken to the right location; or
  • Dial 9-999 from any University extension in the unlikely event that the switchboard cannot deal with your call. Then call security (ext 2141) so that the appropriate entrance barrier can be raised, the ambulance escorted to the correct building and the crew taken to the right location; or
  • Dial 999 from BT lines at off-campus halls and other premises . Then call security (Loughborough 222141) so that the appropriate entrance barrier can be raised, the ambulance escorted to the correct building and the crew taken to the right location;
  • contact the Medical Centre (Loughborough 222061, or ext 2061);
  • keep any tablets or substances that are found; they will be checked at the hospital. If the person has been sick, keep a sample of the vomit for the hospital to analyse. (Further guidance on emergency procedures is contained in Appendix XVIII of the current University Health and Safety Policy).

4.4 First Aid Measures *

IN ANY DRUG-RELATED EMERGENCY, ALWAYS BRING IN A TRAINED FIRST AIDER IF THERE IS ONE WITHIN REACH AND CALL FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL HELP. IF THERE IS ANY DELAY BEFORE HELP ARRIVES, TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

If the person is ‘high’, aroused, woozy or uncoordinated:

  • try to take away the drugs or solvents – without a confrontation;
  • do not lecture them: they will not be able to take it in;
  • do not crowd or threaten them, or expect normal behaviour; they could react with uncharacteristic violence. Help them stay calm and give reassurance;
  • do not put them to bed to sleep it off. People have died from choking on vomit in their sleep. Keep a careful watch on them; and
  • write down details of the incident clearly and accurately. This will help those who are involved later.
  • If the person is unconscious but is breathing put them in the recovery position (or lying on their side); in a supported position;
  • loosen tight clothing around their neck and chest and, if they are in a cold
  • environment; keep them warm. Stay with them until medical help arrives;
  • check to make sure they continue breathing; if possible, observe the rate of breathing every few minutes.

If the person is unconscious and not breathing:

  • carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions) if you or anyone at the scene is trained to do so;
  • if there is blood present around the mouth, do not carry out mouth to mouth unless you have a suitable protective device;
  • stay with them until medical help arrives.

Detailed first aid advice and information about local training is available from the St John’s ambulance Association. The University’s Health and Safety Office also organises first aid courses.

* Adapted from the DFE booklet ‘Drug Misuse and the Young’ – a guide for the education service’.

5. Disciplinary Issues

5.1 Initiating Disciplinary Procedures

Details of illicit drug use must be reported to the Security Manager and the Registrar so that, if appropriate, the matter may be referred to the Police. Depending on the location of the incident, the following procedures should be initiated:

a) Halls of Residence

In accordance with Ordinance XVII, the Wardens of Halls of Residence may take action against students in respect of breaches of Regulation VIII governing the residence of students in the University. Details of any incident involving illicit drug use should be reported to the Warden at the earliest opportunity. The Warden must then decide whether any action should be taken under the Minor Offence procedures. If the Warden considers the incident to constitute a Major Offence s/he must consult with the Registrar to determine the action to be taken.

In all cases, the warden should keep a careful note of the details of the incident. The student(s) concerned must then be referred to the appropriate support agencies as detailed in Section 8 and other people should be kept informed as in Section 6.

b) Departments/Sections

In accordance with Ordinance XVII, the Heads of Departments may take action against students in respect of breaches of good order within their departments. Details of any incident involving illicit drug use should be reported to the Head of Department at the earliest opportunity. The Head of Department must then decide whether any action should be taken under the Minor Offence procedures. If the Head of Department considers the incident to constitute a Major Offence s/he must consult with the Registrar to determine the action to be taken.

In all cases, the Head of Department should keep a careful note of the details of the incident. The student(s) concerned must then be referred to the appropriate support agencies as detailed in Section 8 and other people should be kept informed as in Section 6.

c) Students in Private Accommodation

If it comes to your notice that students in non-University accommodation are involved in illicit drug use, the matter must be reported to the Security Manager, the Community Warden for the geographical area in question (if appropriate) and the Registrar, in order that the appropriate action may be taken, including advising the students of the support and help available to them, and keeping the appropriate people informed (Sections 6 and 8).

d) Visitors et al

In cases of others, not being members of the University, found on University premises in possession of, supplying or using illicit drugs, the Security Manager must be informed, in order that the appropriate police action may be initiated.

e) Students Union

It has been recommended that the Students Union adopts arrangements which are complementary to those at the University.

5.2 Major Offences under Ordinance XVII

Serious cases of illicit drug use by the students of the University shall be considered by the Registrar for possible referral for consideration by a Student Disciplinary Panel under the Major Offences procedure of Ordinance XVII, even if Police action has been taken. Serious cases may include, for example, supply of illicit drugs, repeated use of cannabis, or the use of other substances. The disciplinary powers of a Student Disciplinary Panel are very wide-ranging. There is no upper limit on the fines it may impose, and it may also temporarily suspend or terminate a student’s registration at the University.

5.3 Liability for hall fees

Regulation VIII (Residence of Undergraduate and Postgraduate students in the university) makes students liable for the payment of full fees for the whole academic year. Therefore a student expelled from hall for illicit drug use could incur this financial penalty in addition to any fine imposed under Ordinance XVII. In practice, however, the liability may be waived at the discretion of the Director of the Residential Organisation, depending on the length of the unexpired portion of the academic year and the level of the fine or penalty imposed.

5.4 Appeals by students

Students have the right of appeal against penalties imposed under Ordinance XVII. In brief, a student who has been penalised must lodge his or her appeal by writing to the Secretary of the Student Disciplinary Appeals Committee within ten working days of notification of the decision. Students facing disciplinary action or wishing to appeal against penalties may seek help from Loughborough Students Advice on appropriate procedure and/or representation.

6. Lines of communication

It is important to keep the University’s lines of communication working effectively. It has been agreed that the security manager, having been notified of and become involved in incidents, will ensure the following are kept informed at the appropriate time:

  • Registrar
  • Warden (where the student is resident in hall)
  • Head of Department
  • Student Records Officer

7. Future Developments

Information about the nature and numbers of incidents involving illicit drug use will be monitored via the student services committee, based on the annual reports submitted by the appropriate student welfare sections.

8. Advice and Support Services (University)

A range of sources of support and advice is available to students involved in substance abuse. The students must be advised of the help that is at hand and encouraged to make use of it:

a) University Counselling Service

For in-house counselling or onward referral to specialist agencies outside the university; telephone Loughborough 222148 or ext 2148.

b) University Medical Centre

For medical advice on substance abuse; telephone Loughborough 222061 or ext 2061

c) Loughborough Students Advice (Students’ Union)

For health education and advice; for help with immediate issues of finding accommodation (following expulsion from a hall of residence) or coping with financial problems; telephone Loughborough 635072

d) Student Accommodation Services

For help in finding accommodation off campus; telephone Loughborough (222258) or Ext 2258

9. Other Advice and Support Services

i) Turning Point

24 Frederick Street, Loughborough, LE11 3BJ, Tel: 01509 611611

ii)Telephone help lines/websites

National Drugs Helpline Language Services: 6–10pm

Cantonese

Tel: 0800 371137

Monday

Italian

Tel: 0800 371138

Monday

Portuguese

Tel: 0800 371139

Thursday

Spanish

Tel: 0800 371140

Monday

Bengali

Tel: 0800 371142

Tuesday

Punjabi

Tel: 0800 371143

Wednesday

Gujarati

Tel: 0800 371144

Wednesday

Urdu

Tel: 0800 371145

Wednesday

Hindu

Tel: 0800 371146

Wednesday

iii) National Drugs Helpline/FRANK, 0800 77 66 00 or email: talktofrank.com

iv) Resolve (Solvent Abuse), 0808 800 2345 www.re-solv.org

v) Leicestershire Constabulary

Police Headquarters
St Johns
Narborough
Leicester
LE9 5BX

Confidential helpline

For confidential advice concerning a drug related incident occurring within an educational establishment, manager or their nominee may contact the Detective Inspector Special Operation (Drug Squad) Tel 0116 222 2222 ext. 4880

Operational support

Where an educational establishment accommodation requires a police presence to respond to a drug related incident contact should be made as follows:

Immediate urgent responses DIAL 999:

An offence is going on

A public order situation is anticipated or happening

The safety of persons on the premises is under immediate threat.

 

Routine response DIAL 0116 222 2222 ext. 4880

The offender has left the premises

The safety of persons on the premises not under threat

Information only

Glossary

The following link provides a glossary of terms and commonly misused substances.