Sabbatical Officers

Ellen Holmes

Ellen is the Welfare & Campaigns Officer.

1 post
Last post 20 Nov 2017
Ellie Martin

Ellie is the Sports Officer.

No posts
Emily Dunford

Emily is the Postgraduate Officer.

1 post
Last post 13 Dec 2017
Hope Worsdale

Hope is the President

9 posts
Last post 04 Jan 2018
Liam Jackson

Liam is the Education Officer.

No posts
Michael Kynaston

Michael is the Democracy

No posts
Niall Johnson

Niall is the Societies Officer.

No posts

Chloe Wynne

Chloe is the Welfare & Campaigns Officer.

Study Drugs: why take the risk?

We all know just how stressful student life can be – particularly in Term 3, with deadlines, exams and dissertation season looming large. In recent years, however, a particularly worrying phenomenon has been a rise in the use of so-called ‘study drugs’ among students. While you might think you are going to get a temporary advantage from the use of these substances, in actuality it could turn out to be a permanent setback.

It goes without saying that anything you take – whether that’s a study drug or an energy drink - has a significant effect on your body. However, if you are thinking of taking specific prescription medications without a prescription, you should really be asking yourself some serious questions:

“Do I know exactly what it is?”

Without clear knowledge of the origin of the medication you could be taking anything. Don’t just trust your friend who says that’s it’s ‘X’ substance - it might be something completely different, or could be contaminated with something that will do you serious harm.

Do I know exactly what it is going to do to me?

While you may be hoping for better concentration and more study hours, sometimes there can be side-effects you hadn’t bargained for.

For example, some of the side-effects of the amphetamine methylphenidate (Ritalin) can include: severe depression, suicidal thoughts; anorexia nervosa; psychosis; uncontrolled bipolar disorder; hyperthyroidism; cardiovascular disease (including heart failure, cardiomyopathy, severe hypertension, and arrhythmias), structural cardiac abnormalities; phaeochromocytoma; vasculitis; cerebrovascular disorders. Amphetamine psychosis is also not unusual. These side-effects vary from person to person – just because a substance affects others in a certain way, that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the same for you.

Do I want to take an illegal drug and risk arrest?

If not prescribed, Ritalin is actually a Class B drug. Possession carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 5 years and/or a fine, and if you are caught giving it to your friends you could be convicted of supplying which carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years and/or a fine. Having a criminal record can also affect your ability to travel, as you may need to disclose it before you are allowed into a country such as the USA.

Here at the SU, we would always argue that the risks associated with so-called ‘study drugs’ far outweigh the potential benefits – and what may seem like a good idea in the short-term could have severe long-term consequences. There are many other ways to improve your productivity over the exam season, just a few of which can be found here:


If you need any further assistance on this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact the SU Advice Centre.