University accommodation resident and ex-drug dealer says many students are taking drugs “daily” amidst enforced lockdown, and fears for their wellbeing.
An ex-drug dealer and resident at a Leeds Beckett University Accommodation, who has chosen to remain anonymous, claimed that he has seen many students increase the quantities and frequency in which they take drugs, particularly since the closing of social spaces such as bars and nightclubs,
“Pre-lockdown, I guess I’ll call it, we’ll do pre-drinks [at the halls of residence] and then got to the pub, whereas now [we will] not go anywhere…Instead of doing a bit of drugs here and then go out, I’ll just sit here and degenerate all night.”
He also expressed concern that students were being encouraged to buy in greater quantities than they normally would, which he feared could result in people becoming more dependent on substances,
“as someone who’s taken drugs for a long time, if I bought bulk there’s no way that I’d be able to resist it, even if I know a safe way of how to take it.”
Since the UK went into enforced lockdown last Monday evening, many parties have expressed concerns about the effect self-isolation can have on an individual’s mental health.
While most Universities and associated accomodations in the UK operate a zero-tolerance policy to drugs and psycho-active substances (one exception being Newcastle University, which opted for a harm-reduction policy in 2019), a 2018 survey by the National Union of Students reported that 56% of students admit to using or having used drugs.
Of these, over half claimed to have done so to deal with stress or to self-medicate for an existing mental health problem. A third responded that they felt the mental-health issue had worsened due to drug taking.
Very little is known about what we can expect to happen to figures surrounding students and drug use during the lockdown, and every University and accommodation has a different approach to its drug policy.