Surveys show that there is an increase of university students engaging in drug use. This has led student unions to approach this increase by offering an alternative way to drug use.
The view on drugs is changing. Students at the University of Manchester Students’ Union, are given single use testing kits to test what is in their drugs. These single use molly/MDMA testing kits are also available to students from across the city and other universities. This approach is way to deal with the illegal use of drugs among students. However, this approach has only been used by a handful of students so far.
An executive officer at the University of Manchester Students’ Union said, “We advocate a more adult conversation around drugs policy”. “We know some young people choose to engage in drug taking- to ignore that fact won’t improve the problems that do exist around the issue. “We believe it’s part of our responsibility to look after our student members to make these tests available to students across Manchester and we will continue to campaign to policy makers to makes changes to drugs policy that reflect a more realistic and proactive attitude”.
The Students’ Union Advice Service offers availability of single use testing kits at a donation of €2.50. This service operates independently from the University of Manchester. These tests are also available to other universities, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Royal Northern College of Music.
The kits work by adding a small amount of the substance to a chemical, which in turn will cause the color to change depending on the substance it contains.
The test will help students identify any harmful adulterants in the drugs.
SU states that one way to reduce the risk of illegal drug use is to test your drugs. They further say that they do not advocate drug use and will not take responsibility for the accuracy, adverse reactions, consequences or damage of the kits.
The Univerisy of Manchester also offers students a way to deal with their addiction and can speak to the university’s counseling service, academic advisor or wellbeing support staff.