Increase drugs education & testing for university students

Increase drugs education & testing for university students

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Hayley Sarratt started this petition to UK Parliament

Young people in the UK are dying from recreational drugs every day because they don't know what they are taking. Telling them to 'just say no' won't work - we need to properly educate them on the risks and how to keep themselves safe when experimenting with drugs. UK Universities must be required to give clear education on student drug use and provide easily-accessible drug testing.


This petition has been created by Hayley and her little sister Hannah, who has just started university in Newcastle, where there have already been four drug-related deaths in a matter of weeks.


Tragedies like this are happening every day; another family grieving the sudden loss of their 18 year old son or daughter. How many more young, accidental deaths will it take before we are forced to make a change?


I want students like my sister and her friends to be fully versed on the dangers of drugs, and know how to keep themselves safe. I want young people to be able to easily test their drugs if they do decide to use them, and know that what they are taking is not laced with potentially lethal substances.


In order for this to happen, the UK Government must intervene, and make it a legal requirement that all UK universities provide the following to their students:


- Culturally relevant and up to date information packs detailing the dangers of drugs and ways to keep safe, provided to each room in every halls of residence/first year accommodation.


This should include information on every mainstream drug, explaining the short-term and long-term effects, the risks, the correct dosage, and signs to look out for to spot unsafe batches. It should include ways to tell if a friend is having a bad experience, how to help them, what you should do if someone is falling ill from drugs, and how to call for help (as well as techniques like CPR, recovery position, etc). There should be details on UK drug laws, to avoid young people being afraid to call an ambulance for a friend in case they are arrested for taking drugs. There should be helpline details in here too, for anyone who needs support or advice. Alongside these info packs, there should be posters displayed clearly around all university buildings and student union.


- Easy accessible, discreet and affordable/free drug testing made available to every student. Drug testing kits that can be ordered online/through a text service, and delivered to uni accommodation or made available for discreet collection. Not many students will feel comfortable walking into the student union and asking for a drug-testing kit; these need to be made accessible to all with ease and convenience. NB: This could be a government website where students enter their student ID and can order them through this format for delivery.

For this to be impactful and make a difference, I want to work with the government and universities to put out a nationwide drugs education campaign on social media, as online is where these young people are most likely to respond and engage. With my experience running social media campaigns for a number of global brands, I know with the government's support, I can drive that change. 


Whether we step in or not, young people are going to use recreational drugs. It's part of the generational culture. We need to guide them to make the right choices on their own.


Please help, if we can save one young life, it will all be worth it.


Thank you,


Hayley & Hannah Sarratt x

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