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18 October 2021

Student training launched to reduce drug-related harm

With You and The Loop join forces to help students stay safe

Drug, alcohol and mental health charity With You and drug checking and harm reduction organisation The Loop have partnered to create an innovative drug safety and harm reduction training module for students.

The training has been specifically adapted for university and college contexts, drawing directly on the latest drug testing data and market trends. The launch comes at a critical time as recent research from the University College London shows that 1 in 10 young people will have used drugs by the age of 17, while The Tab’s 2020 drugs survey indicates that drug taking continues to be prevalent among students—during the pandemic and amid lockdowns.

Drawing on With You and the Loop’s long standing expertise on psychoactive drugs, harm reduction and associated behaviours, the training raises awareness of drugs - how they work as well as potential risks and how they can be reduced.

Learning outcomes

After completing the training, students will—among other things—be able to:

  • Help someone in need—should the situation arise—using drugs first aid, emergency response and other appropriate strategies
  • Recognise risks associated with drug taking,
  • Recognise different social and peer influences,

Commenting on the new module, Rick Bradley, Head of Learning and Development at With You, said:

“Accurate and non-judgmental information can play a huge role in preventing drug related harm, including deaths. We’ve designed this training package to help universities keep their students safe—this is especially important at the start of term, when people find themselves in new situations where they may come across drugs they’ve never used before. We want people to be able to manage risks and know how to respond if things don’t go as expected.”

Professor Fiona Measham, Chair in Criminology at the University of Liverpool and Director of The Loop, said:

"This training package brings together the training and harm reduction expertise of national substance misuse and puts into radical practice the successful drug checking festival services pioneered by The Loop. It's been informed by our service delivery and is regularly updated in relation to rapidly changing drug markets, grounding it in the realities of contemporary drug use and drug-related risk in the UK."

For media requests or to set up an interview with one of our spokespeople, please contact Clara Long by calling 07929 877 401 or via email at pressoffice@wearewithyou.org.uk

Further Information

The training package has already been piloted and implemented and we aim to significantly scale up the use of the platform across relevant learning institutions in the coming months. For more information about your college or university working with The Loop and With You, please contact: learningsupport@wearewithyou.org.uk