If you or someone you know may have consumed drugs and is feeling unwell, you should speak to a member of security staff, or dial 999 immediately.

Cardiff  University Students’ Union does not condone the use of drugs, but wants to ensure that students are making informed choices and are aware of the resources to help them stay safe. The best way to avoid harm or punishment, is not to take drugs at all.

Drugs can be classified by their legal status or by the effect that they have on the body. For more information on specific drugs, you can read the A-Z on the Talk to Frank Website.

Taking drugs comes with a number of risks. If you, or someone you know, is going to take drugs, then you should read harm reduction guidance. Some suggested sites are:

The Law

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 is the legislation that describes which substances are illegal and their legal classification. This legislation classifies drugs as;

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971




 Supply and     production


Crack cocaine, cocaine, ecstasy (MDMA), heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms, methadone, methamphetamine (crystal meth)

Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to life in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis, codeine, ketamine, methylphenidate (Ritalin), synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones (eg mephedrone, methoxetamine)

Up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


Anabolic steroids, benzodiazepines (diazepam), gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL), piperazines (BZP), khat

Up to 2 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both (except anabolic steroids - it’s not an offence to possess them for personal use)

Up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both


You can also get a penalty for ‘psychoactive substances’, eg laughing gas, under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016

Psychoactive substances


Supply and production

Things that cause hallucinations, drowsiness or changes in alertness, perception of time and space, mood or empathy with others

None, unless you’re in prison

Up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both

Drugs and Covid

Coming out of lockdown or returning to University may mean you are more likely to take drugs or to drink alcohol again, particularly if you haven’t been able to during the lockdown period.

Be aware that this could however mean your tolerance is lower than usual and these substances may have a greater affect than you might expect.

Additionally, sharing joints, bongs, snorting tubes or other materials could expose you to Covid19. 
The pandemic also may have interrupted drug supplies so that these may be stronger or weaker than usual. 


Harm Reduction Advice

WEDINOS (Welsh Identification of Drugs and Novel Substances) is a harm reduction project has been set up to monitor the use of substances in Wales, and identify dangerous samples.

You can get samples of drugs tested anonymously by WEDINOS, who inform you of the test results on their Sample Results page. By doing this you are contributing to their research.

For more information on sample testing, see the WEDINOS Sample Testing webpage.

You can alos read pragmatic Harm Reduction Advice on the WEDINOS website.

Sources of Support and Guidance

If you are worried about your (or someone else's) relationship with or use of drugs, we recommend that you seek support in addressing the problem.

There are lots of sources of support and guidance available to you:

  • Dan 24/7 the Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline
  • Taith a confidential drug and alcohol support service in Cardiff
  • You can search for your closest Drug and Alcohol agency
  • You can talk to your GP
  • You can talk to Student Advice

Drugs and rented accommodation

If you are using drugs in or around your rented accommodation, it is important to consider how other people in the property feel about it. If any of your housemates feel uncomfortable with drugs being in the house, it is best to find somewhere more appropriate that is safe and does not affect others.

Landlords have a responsibility to prevent illegal activity taking place in their properties. If they suspect that illegal activity is taking place then they may take action to try and stop this and even report you to the police.

If you are living in University owned halls then you could face disciplinary action if security find drugs in your room or on your possession. This could risk your place at the University and you could also be asked to leave halls.

Further Consequences

It is important to consider that being caught in possession of drugs can have serious legal consequences, which can prevent you from getting certain jobs.

Students who study courses that have fitness to practise requirements, (for example Physiotherapy, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Nursing, Medicine, Law or Social Work) may be removed from their course if found in possession of, or found to have used any of these substances.

If you are ever investigated for concerns relating to your Fitness to Practise you should contact Student Advice immediately.

If you are found to be in possession of any drugs or paraphernalia, or found to be under the influence of drugs, in the Students Union night club, then you will likely receive a lifetime ban.

Receiving a criminal record for drug possession can prevent you from entering certain countries, restricting international travel. 

How can Student Advice help?

Student Advice is committed to providing confidential advice, information and support. We are an independent service.

Student Advice does not share the information you give us with other individuals and/or organisations outside of Cardiff University Students' Union without your express permission except in very exceptional circumstances; for example, if we believe that you or other people are at risk of serious harm.

You can seek advice if;

  • You are having trouble with your own consumption of drugs or alcohol;
  • You are worried about your friend’s use of drugs or alcohol;
  • You are upset that someone in your property is using drugs, or you are beign affected by someone else’s use of drugs or alcohol;
  • You may be being investigated by the University under the Student Conduct or Fitness to Practise Procedure;
  • Your study is being impacted and you feel that you need to take a break or report extenuating circumstances.

We can help you by:

  • Providing independent, impartial advice for your circumstances;
  • Assisting you in responding to allegations and preparing for any meetings;
  • Attending disciplinary panels and meetings;
  • Advising you on support services for you or a friend, or how to discuss this with someone else. 

Contact Student Advice

+44 (0)2920 781410