Realising that you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol is an important first step in the recovery process.
King’s College London’s policy on drugs
The central aim of the university’s policy on controlled drugs is to balance respect for the privacy and freedom of individual students, with the imperatives of compliance with the law and maintenance of a safe, productive and legal environment in the best interests of all students.
Our Drugs Policy is currently under review but one of its important features is the offer of assistance to students who may need advice or counselling about drugs, or about any issues arising from the use of drugs. We wish to support students who have a drug dependency to seek help, and to be supported in doing so. For more detail and the university’s full policy, please refer to: Drugs: A Policy Statement.
However, King's must operate in the context of national legislation and would be committing a criminal offence were it to knowingly permit the use, production, or supply of any controlled drugs on its premises (The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971). Therefore, King's cannot allow the possession, use or supply of controlled drugs or psychoactive substances on its premises.
Where disciplinary action/actions under misconduct needs to be taken, the focus will be on the person’s behaviour and its actual or potential impact on others. The university recognises that the use of drugs and alcohol exists on a dynamic spectrum from managed and recreational to problematic and potentially causing serious harm to self, others and the wider community and as such any action taken will take this into consideration.
Counselling & Mental Health Support
Although the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service is not able to offer a treatment programme to students with drugs or alcohol issues, we are here to talk about the problem and to help you connect with specialist drug and alcohol services.
Important to know: The Counselling & Mental Health Support Service is private and confidential.
Here are some indicators that you might have a problem with a substance:
- Using alcohol or drugs to escape problems
- A high tolerance level; this means that you gradually seem to be able to drink more and have fewer side effects
- Blackouts – sometimes not remembering what happened while intoxicated
- Problems at college or at work as a result of drinking or drug use
- Concern shown by family and friends about drinking or drug use
- Noticing a change in friendship group to those who also use
- Finding a reason to use drugs/alcohol independent of feelings (e.g drinking to celebrate, drinking to drown sorrows)
Alcohol and drugs affect us not just physically but also psychologically:
- Increases self-harming behaviours
- They can cause depression or trigger anxiety
- Drug use may lead to psychosis (loss of reality)
- Lowers our inhibitions, leading to greater risk of violence and unwanted sexual encounters
- Numerous long-term health risks.
Where can I get more information and support?
If you would like to speak to a Counsellor about alcohol or drug use, please contact us or make an appointment to see your GP.
These are some external organisations who specialise in supporting with difficulties with drugs or alcohol:
- NHS Alcohol support has tips and advice on alcohol and how to cut down.
- Royal College of Psychiatrists: Alcohol and depression contains some basic facts about alcohol and depression, how to help yourself, how to help people you care for, how to get further help, and where to find more information.
- Royal College of Psychiatrists: Club drugs looks at the effects of club drugs (or ‘recreational’ drugs), including legal highs.
- Royal College of Psychiatrists: Cannabis and mental health gives you some basic facts about cannabis and also how it might affect your mental health.
- Alcoholics Anonymous provide information about problem drinking and details of local support groups and recovery programmes
- Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope in order to solve their common problems. Includes Alateen for 12 – 17 year olds.
- Narcotics Anonymous provide information about drug abuse and details of local support groups.
- FRANK provides a comprehensive A-Z of drugs, a twenty-four hour helpline and online support.
- Drugscope is a charity providing an online encyclopedia of drugs and a directory of help sources.