UNIVERSITY STATEMENT FOR STUDENTS ON SUBSTANCE USE/MISUSE

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1 UNIVERSITY STATEMENT FOR STUDENTS ON SUBSTANCE USE/MISUSE HEALTH & SAFETY UNIT AUTUMN 2012

2 CONTENTS 1 AIM APPLICATION DEFINITIONS EDUCATION AND AWARENESS RAISING PROVISION OF SUPPORT CONFIDENTIALITY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES... 3

3 1 Aim The aim of this statement is to minimise the damage of substance use/misuse by promoting responsible attitudes to substances through education and awareness programmes. 2 Application This statement will apply to students whilst on University premises or undertaking any activity under the direct control of the University. 3 Definitions This statement is therefore intended to address actual or potential misuse of substances and their effects on behaviour and performance. Substances in this context includes: Alcohol Controlled (Illegal) Drugs Controlled Prescribed Drugs Other Prescription Drugs Other Substances e.g. cannabis, amphetamine, ecstasy, heroin and cocaine e.g. methadone, diamorphine, anabolic steroids e.g. diazepam, temazepam e.g. over the counter medication and solvents, which when used inappropriately or excessively can be dangerous 4 Education and Awareness Raising The University will ensure that accurate and realistic information about the potential problems and hazards associated with substance use/misuse will be available for students. The aim of education and awareness raising will be to help students to: fulfil their legal, personal and social responsibilities; be better informed about the effects of substances and their misuse; be aware of the help and support available both within and outside the University; make informed choices about their lifestyles and associated risks. Material will be made available through faculties, Student Services, halls of residence and the Students Union. Where necessary students will be referred to other support agencies.

4 5 Provision of Support The University will provide support to students where substance use/misuse has an impact on their: performance behaviour reliability The individual circumstances surrounding each substance s related case will be taken into consideration, recognising that the choice of responses will vary accordingly. The University will seek wherever possible, to balance the interests and concerns of the person experiencing the problem with those of other members of the University and the local community. In relation to prohibited drugs, the University has responsibilities under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and must comply with all its legal obligations. It is important that individuals seeking support can have confidence in the process and in its confidentiality. Information disclosed by them in this context shall be treated as confidential unless the individual concerned expressly gives consent for specific information to be disclosed. 6 Confidentiality Confidential records held by staff providing support are governed by relevant professional ethical guidelines. Information disclosed by individuals seeking support will be treated as confidential unless specific consent has been given. It may be necessary to disclose information in exceptional circumstances such as a risk of serious harm to the individual or to others. 7 Duties and Responsibilities The University has a legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for its students, staff and visitors. All students have a responsibility to conduct themselves in a way that does not endanger the health and safety of others or themselves. Students who are involved in or have responsibility for the operating of machinery, equipment and tools, the use of chemicals or who are in charge of vehicles, have a particular duty of care imposed by law. 8 Disciplinary Procedures 8.1 The University s Student Disciplinary Procedures form part of its Rules for Student Conduct. It may be necessary to invoke these procedures in the case of misconduct or other breaches of University regulations 3

5 including Terms of Occupancy of Halls of Residence. 8.2 The possession, production and supply of illegal drugs are criminal offences. The University will co-operate with the police in compliance with the Misuse of Drugs Act The University has a legal obligation to maintain a safe working environment and to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of all students. Therefore, the University also reserves the right to initiate disciplinary procedures where a significant risk of harm to an individual or others has been created or an incident has occurred that breaches University policies or regulations, as a consequence of substance misuse. The University may exercise this right whether or not the misuse forms part of a pattern of substance dependency. 4

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