Alcohol and Drugs Awareness and Disciplinary Action

Newcastle University is committed to supporting the health, welfare and safety of all of our staff and students, and to providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of our community. 


Whilst a good social life is an important part of the student experience, in some cases drinking alcohol can end up being a daily or binging activity and can become problematic.  Please think very carefully about your alcohol consumption and ensure you are not damaging your health, have addiction issues or are putting yourself at risk.

The Joint Staff and Student Alcohol Wellbeing Policy sets out the University’s stance on the sensible use of alcohol in the University community, strongly encouraging education and personal responsibility on the subject.


Drug misuse can be harmful to your health in both the short term and the long term, and could possibly lead to addiction.  Please reflect on the dangers of using drugs by reading the NHS Choices’ information on drug misuse

The University receives Police reports of student arrests, which includes charges relating to drugs.  There are a variety of outcomes of Police action for possession of an illegal substance but even a low level outcome such as a 'Cannabis Caution' may show on a CRB check and could therefore affect your future employment.

University Guidance and Support

The Student Wellbeing Service offers guidance on Understanding Alcohol Abuse, which includes advice on sensible drinking limits, helping yourself, helping others and getting support.  The Students’ Union also offers advice about safe drinking.

If you are worried about drug addiction, you can seek help from the Student Wellbeing Service which also provides information on the risks associated with legal highs.

Other Useful Contacts

If you feel that you are drinking more than you want to, a list of organisations that can provide support can be found on the Human Resources website

The following external support services can assist with drug-related queries:

  • Frank (the National Drugs Helpline) – freephone: 0800 776 600 – is a 24-hour, seven-days a week, free and confidential telephone service that offers advice and information for those who are concerned, or have questions, about drugs. The service is available to anyone.
  • Drugwise - national independent centre for information on drugs.
  • North East Council on Addictions (NECA) – local organisation offering free counselling, group work and complementary therapies.

Disciplinary Action

The University receives Police reports of student arrests due to anti-social behaviour and also charges related to drugs. Upon receipt of a police report, the University will investigate and take appropriate action in accordance with the Student Disciplinary Procedure.  Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not accepted as a form of defence against disciplinary action.

Initiations and irresponsible drinking can be synonymous. Initiations are banned by the University and it is likely that anyone found to have organised or participated in an initiation ritual will become the subject of disciplinary action.

The University has a Misuse of Substance Policy in University-owned and Managed Accommodation (Zero Tolerance) Policy.  Possession of illegal substances, legal highs or banned substances on University premises can result in a fine of £100.  Alleged involvement in the supply or manufacture of illegal or psychoactive substances will be treated very seriously. Cases are dealt with initially by the Student Progress Service and usually considered by a Student Disciplinary Committee.  Students found guilty face eviction from accommodation and possible expulsion from the University.

Further Information