Image of the Cardiff Metropolitan University sign for Llandaff campus taken by Murthaza Ali-Hassan

Joint support campaign launched to help students struggling with alcohol and drugs misuse

Cardiff Metropolitan University and its Student Union aim to ‘show students that there’s help there for you’

CARDIFF Metropolitan University and its Student Union have launched a new joint initiative to help students struggling with the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

The new scheme considers how drug and alcohol misuse has been “historically stigmatised”, according to Will Fuller, the CEO of the SU.

Students in the past have been “fearful of reaching out” with their drug issues, under the impression that they would “find themselves [being kicked] off campus”, he said.

But the new scheme seeks to discourage harmful drug usage, increase education on how misuse can harm you, bring attention to support that is available, and “protect the learning community from harm and risks associated with the misuse of substances”, according to a policy document.

Though the university and SU have “struggled to get [lots of] hard data” on misuse, they “observed partial increases” in student self-referrals, according to Mr Fuller, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new harm reduction approach is “considering that drugs and alcohol are harmful,” but not being “hardline” and punishing students immediately, especially as “some students might be being exploited or coerced”.

The goal for the Met and the SU is to spread awareness to “at least 70% of students”. They also plan to “put specific training for the wardens’ team, ambassadors and domestic and cleaning staff”, according to Mr Fuller.

The university have also had the Cardiff and Vale Drug and Alcohol Service (CAVDAS) on campus for community days, expressly to increase awareness of support for students struggling with drug and alcohol misuse.  

This new campaign comes alongside the university signing up for the Students for Organising UK (SOS UK) student audit for their ‘Alcohol, Drugs and Student Wellbeing’ in June 2024.