Exploring students’ substance use and the impacts on their health and wellbeing


  • Chloe Mulholland


Drugs, Alcohol, Addiction, Health and Wellbeing, Students


Background: Numerous studies exist which look at students drug use or their alcohol use, however, there are relatively few studies that have researched both drugs and alcohol together to explore how they both impacts on students health and wellbeing. This study aimed to explore the nature, extent and impact of students’ alcohol and drug use on their health and wellbeing.

Methods:  An online survey was created through JISC online surveys, it was then distributed through online personal social media accounts and was sent out via the Faculty of Health’s email list. It was completed by students of any gender, aged over 18 and enrolled in a university within Liverpool City Centre. The survey asked questions about participants demographic characteristics, drug use, alcohol use and how these have impacted their health and wellbeing.

Results: A total of 23 participants completed the online survey. The main findings of this study revealed that 60.9% of participants went out in Liverpool City Centre once a month or less. The majority (85.7%) of participants stated that their most used drug within the past 12 months was powder cocaine, whilst the second most used drugs were cannabis and ketamine. Most (85.7%) stated that they typically took drugs with their friends and 43.8% stated they used drugs once a month or less during the past 12 months. A third (33.3%) stated that they have a drink containing alcohol 2 to 3 times a week and they would usually drink 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks when they are drinking (33.3%). A third (31.3%) also stated that they felt anxious or depressed the next morning after taking drugs and 78.6% stated that they also felt anxious or depressed the next morning after consuming alcohol.

Conclusion: This study suggests that there was a significant amount of drugs and alcohol use within University students. The study also found that drugs and alcohol use contributes negatively to an individual’s health and wellbeing. It also showed that there needs to be more done within universities to help prevent students suffering harms from their drug and alcohol use.