This is exactly what your student union is doing to avoid drink spikes


Right now, it seems there are more reports of spikes than ever before. Young people from top to bottom of the country are reporting to have been doped, with a poll by The Tab revealing last month that at least 2,600 young people believe they have already been doped this quarter. Students say they are “terrified of going to clubs” following reports, with 56 suspected injection doping incidents reported to police in September and October this year.

Over the course of one night, two young women believe they were pricked with needles at a party at the Birmingham Guild club – one was taken to A&E and the other ended up in intensive care. The Guild has now put additional measures in place, including increased searches of bags, metal detectors and a trial of passive drug detector dogs.

The tab asked student unions at more than 40 major UK universities what steps they are taking to tackle the spikes problem.

In a landmark program, Lincoln students can take a rapid drug test at the SU’s wellness center if they think they were drugged the night before.

Lincoln is one of six SUs, including Southampton, Sussex and St Andrews, to offer beverage test kits inside its sites. The SUs at UEA, Bristol and UCL all say they are also considering testing.

At least 12 SUs will currently or soon offer anti-diffusion bottle lids, lids and caps, including Leeds, Lincoln, Sussex and Oxford. Northumbria is also issuing panic alarms.

SUs including Edinburgh, Southampton, Queen Mary and Lancaster have dedicated wellness areas or specially trained wellness staff.

In addition to the Birmingham SU Passive Drug Detection Dogs program, Lincoln SU also has drug detection dogs alongside physical searches.

Many student unions have also joined the Good Night Out program. SUs including Edinburgh, Leeds, Queen Mary, UEA and Warwick either received training or became accredited members of the campaign.

This involves training staff on sexual, racial and LGBTQ + harassment, consent, and other topics to keep people safe. To be accredited, SUs and other venues must also display Good Night Out information posters and adopt or adapt the campaign’s good practice policy.

Here’s what your student union is doing about doping:

TO Lincoln SU, students can take a rapid drug test at the wellness center if they think they were doped the night before. The SU Campus Night Room offers drink covers, tops, and drink test kits. Other measures include drug detection dogs, as well as physical searches.

from Edinburgh The student association has taken precautions including video surveillance, staff monitoring of spaces to identify students who may need help, first aiders on duty and a dedicated wellness area where participants see each other. provide safe transportation to their homes, if necessary.

Liverpool Guild has created a “Peaks Information Center” which includes information on peak symptoms and ways to feel safer when going out at night. In all of its bars, anti-scatter devices are now available free of charge, along with tip information and additional assistance. Bar staff are being trained and there will be more trained doctors and first aiders on site for large events and concerts.

Southampton SU told The Tab that it is creating a student safety charter that will be in place at all of its sites. This includes providing a “wellness area” with trained staff, “all reasonable attempts to ensure that students do not return home alone” and providing a means to test drinks if a peak is suspected. It also encourages other businesses and local reception centers to sign this charter and accept the measures it puts in place.

Queen mary SU postponed the Halloween events in order to have time to review existing security measures in place and implement others at its sites, including retraining security teams, providing drink covers and the introduction of doping test kits. It has also set up a dedicated wellness agent and a secure space at each event. Students affected by spikes in alcohol consumption can report to a staff member at SU sites.

Bristol SU offers advice to student groups on keeping students safe on social media, requesting funds for toppers and test kits, and training bar staff.

Gaz Smith, President of the League at Northumbria, told The Tab Newcastle that its union bar gives out free spike-free drink caps and lids, as well as panic alarms for students. The Sabb team met with the police, local authorities and universities to better understand how they can tackle the problem and support students.

Lancaster SU owns and operates The Sugarhouse, its own off-campus nightclub. A spokesperson for the League told The Tab it had policies including a dedicated and fully equipped wellness room; an SIA approved FGH welfare supervisor, fully trained in first aid, working nightly to offer support; and free drink test kits. It will soon also have lids for drinks.

Leeds SU told The Tab it has added more frequent “staff trips” to sites, trained staff, and invested in beverage caps. It also operates a safe taxi program.

In its own premises, Aberdeen SU is training staff and considering additional security measures. He said he also communicates with local nightclubs.

Oxford SU told The Tab that its vice president for women had ordered drink blankets and facilitated witness intervention training, as well as talked to local clubs about protection policies.

Liverpool John Moores The League has met with groups such as the university, city council and the police to increase support for students. He plans to support self-defense classes for students and offer walk-in sessions with the police officer on campus so students can raise any issues.

Sussex The League is teaming up with Brighton Pryzm for Wednesday student nights. Pryzm says he has a number of measures, including CCTV cameras throughout the site as well as body cameras for security personnel and medics (there are two fully trained medics per shift), Diffusion-proof drink lids, additional training for staff, drug testing kits and metal detectors. Wednesday evenings Pryzm will now be student-only events, where participants will be required to present a student card.

Brooke Union has launched a campaign to ensure that Brookes’ culture is safe for everyone, and she is already working on a number of initiatives as part of them, including education on sexual consent. He’s working with groups such as the police, the university and the NHS, which he says includes actions against drink spikes and broader student safety concerns.

Aaron Campbell, Social Services Officer at UEA SU, told The Tab that the Union was taking a number of measures, including an increase in searches and checks of bags, anti-pointing devices at the bar, training for staff and an “impact team of ‘alcohol’ every night and St Johns rescuers at their busiest and biggest club nights. He is also studying new methods such as test strips.

Warwick The League has put in place additional measures, including an increase in door staff who have been specifically briefed on sexual increases and misconduct, messages to clubs and social sections of society, and relaxed its “no drinks” policy. »In the smoking area. Going forward, it is reviewing a number of policies, including the introduction of anti-diffusion devices, and examining whether current staff training is sufficient.

Anna-Ruth Cockerham, Director of Welfare and Equality at Saint Andrew SU, told The Tab that their bars are currently Best Bar None accredited, and in the long run, they are looking for Good Night Out accreditation. Students can request drink and urine test strips if they think they’ve been doped. The customer safety team has received additional doping training and regularly walks around the premises looking for signs of doping, as well as random searches of bags at the entrance; and the League is revamping its training on alcohol safety for student associations.

In the next weeks, UCL SU provides additional staff training and increases the number of security staff and supervisors on busy nights. He will join the Good Night Out accreditation program and provide free drink lids, bottle caps and doping test kits. He has already put in place a number of measures, including searching bags and applying for a student card.

Following two reports of needle doping over Halloween weekend in Birmingham Guild, he works with the students involved, the university and the West Midlands Police. It has implemented additional measures to protect students from spikes, including an increase in bag searches, an increase in personal searches at entrance to sites (including with metal detectors) and a dog test. passive drug detectors. He also held an open meeting for students to voice their concerns about safety and highlight any additional measures they would like.

The tab also contacted student unions at Queen’s Belfast, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Durham, Exeter, Glasgow, Imperial, King’s, Leeds Beckett, Leicester, LSE, Loughbrough, Manchester, MMU, Newcastle, Nottingham, Trent, Royal Holloway, Sheffield, Hallam and York for comment.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• There have been 56 reports of doping by injection across the UK in the past two months

• “I went from sober to throwing up in five minutes”: the stories of young people about being doped

• More than 2,600 young people believe they have already been doped this quarter


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