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University criticised for publishing advice on how to prepare MDMA

Joanna Whitehead September 28, 2018

Sheffield University has come under fire for publishing drugs advice for students on its website which states, “never inject alone.”

The information, which also included guidance on how to prepare crystallised MDMA, was shared in an effort to help students make informed decisions around recreational drug use.

Users of MDMA were also advised to split pills into smaller amounts, to avoid mixing drugs and to drink plenty of water.

The information was shared in an effort to help students make informed decisions around recreational drug use.

Information on the Russell Group university’s website reads: “We understand some students may try drugs during their time at university. Whilst we don’t condone this, we want to ensure that if you do choose to take drugs, you are as informed as possible.”

Despite this, some students have reportedly expressed concerns that the guidance normalises recreational drug use.

One student, Bliss Hunter, told The Telegraph: “I think it’s a bizarre thing to tell students. It’s dangerous and it advocates taking drugs, which is completely wrong. The student union should be looking at protecting students and deferring them away from the drug scene, not encouraging them to take them.”

Another student, Sab Jones, told the paper that they were “ashamed” that the information had been published on the university website.

The guidance also suggests ways for students to remain safe while taking drugs, such as information about dosage, staying with friends and looking out for those who may be out alone.

LGBT drug use

Figures collated by the Crime Survey for England and Wales indicate that drug use amongst gay, lesbian and bisexual people is significantly higher compared with heterosexual users. Ecstasy use by LGB people, in particular, is up to five times higher than their heterosexual counterparts.

Drug use is significantly higher amongst lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

Data gathered by the Global Drug Survey earlier this year also revealed that England and Scotland both exceed the global average in terms of dosage per session.

Professor Winstock, consultant psychiatrist, addiction medicine specialist and founder and CEO of The Global Drug Survey emphasised the importance of drug users having access to reliable information:

“Our findings suggest there is a need to engage people who use drugs in honest conversations about drug use. Zero tolerance approaches do not allow governments to optimise public health policies or health promotion approaches,” said Wintock.

“People who use drugs are interested in their own health and wellbeing and that of their friends and communities. We need to harness the expertise and interest of the drug using community to help them stay safe, without ideological barriers that prevent the adoption of evidence-based drug polices.

“We cannot reduce the risks associated with drugs to zero but by helping people know about drugs we can support them to adopt safer use behaviours.’’

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