Drug misuse among university students in the UK: implications for prevention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIMS: The aim of the research was to identify the types of drugs currently being used by university students, their involvement in multiple drug misuse and drug combinations, and the consequences of drug misuse in terms of associated harms. METHODS: The research was based on an email survey of all first- and second-year students registered as undergraduates at a university in south Wales during October 2012. RESULTS: The results of the research showed that drug misuse on the university campus studied was widespread in terms of the types and patterns of drug misuse. The most troublesome findings concern the high levels of multiple drug use, the use of some of the most dangerous drugs (including crack and powder cocaine and heroin, as well as ketamine), and the list of recorded harms experienced as a result of drug misuse. CONCLUSIONS: The article concludes that little attention has been paid outside of the United States to drug use among university students or to interventions designed to prevent it. However, there are signs that government policy in the United Kingdom is beginning to pay attention to the specific problems of drug misuse among university students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448 - 455
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2014


  • drug misuse
  • university students
  • prevention


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