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If you think you may have a problem with drugs, your GP can provide help and advice and refer you to other relevant services. Find your nearest GP using the NHS tool. 

You can also submit a referral to the wellbeing service here and we can support you. Read more about drugs, support and risks on the NHS website.

View the Change, Grow, Live website for more support.

Drugs policy

Be aware that the University of Sunderland will always take an appropriate and proportionate response against any student found to be taking, under the influence of, in possession of, or selling or supplying any form of illegal drug. It is important to note that the Psychoactive Substances Act is law as of January 2016, and in force from May 2016, which means that substances previously known as "legal highs" are now illegal, and as such are subject to this policy in every respect. Accommodation Services also have strict policies about the misuse of drugs on their premises.

The full University Policy can be found here:


If students wish to seek help regarding their own or others’ drug use, the wellbeing team will provide information about available sources of support.

The facts

  • Any substance that is ‘intoxicating’ can be abused and can be addictive.
  • Any substance abuse can have very serious consequences for your physical and mental health, your relationships, and your future career.
  • Drug use is a personal choice. It is wrong to pressure others into using drugs.
  • The use of illicit drugs is illegal, and any students found with drugs on campus will be reported to the police in line with the Students Disciplinary Regulations.
  • Before taking drugs, you should be aware of the legal implications, the risk to your continued membership of the university and the risk that drugs pose to your physical and psychological health.

Mixing Drugs

Advice from HNS inform Drugs: what you need to know | NHS inform

Mixing means taking two or more drugs at the same time. This can include alcohol, over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs (such as diazepam, tramadol, Lyrica/pregabalin) and illegal or illicit drugs (such as MDMA, cocaine, heroin).

By mixing drugs you increase your chances of having a bad reaction or outcome for a number of reasons;

  • Taking similar types of drugs can increase their negative effects and increase risk. For example, taking two depressants like an opioid painkiller and alcohol.
  • A drug may affect you in a particular way that makes other drug(s) you take more dangerous than usual. For example, alcohol can increase the side effects of some antidepressants, such as drowsiness, dizziness and coordination problems.
  • One drug may mean you have to take higher levels of another type of drug to feel the effects, for example if you take a stimulant and a depressant together. This can lead to overdose.
  • The drugs might interact in completely unexpected ways (even if it’s the same combination – drugs and dose – you have taken before).

Information above from the Public Health Agency, read more about mixing drugs  here.

Worried about a friend

If you’re worried about the health of a friend or housemate, you can contact the Wellbeing team for information, support and advice. Email at wellbeing@sunderland.ac.uk or call 0191 515 2933.

Useful contacts

Visit the Frank website to find local drug treatment services.


01325 731 160

DISC is an integrated substance misuse service in Sunderland. They provide a new recovery focused model of drugs and alcohol treatment and care. DISC have a member of staff at Student Wellbeing every Wednesday afternoon that you can drop in and see or make an appointment with Kim.

Talk to Frank

FRANK helps you to find out everything you might want to know about drugs. They offer a national helpline that can be contacted 24 hours a day for free on 0800 77 66 00. They also offer live chat, SMS support and accept email queries – all through their website.

Live Life Well

If you want support making changes to your alcohol and/or drug habits you can contact LiWell, they are a local organisation support people make lifestyle changes and are also on campus through the year, you can contact Live Life Well via Student Wellbeing.

Wear Recovery

Wear Recovery are a dedicated service for anyone in Sunderland experiencing problems with drugs and alcohol. They offer support such as harm reduction, abstinence programmes, medical support, and recovery support.

Click here to download their leaflet

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