Alcohol Support

On this page, you can find out the ways we are working towards harm reduction around drug-use, and the services and support we have in place for students.

Newcastle is a vibrant city with a reputation for its nightlife. Of course, there is so much more to being a student and no one should feel under pressure to drink alcohol or be coerced into drinking to excess however, we know that going out is one of the reasons many people choose to study here. You can definitely enjoy yourself whilst avoiding dangerous situations because of alcohol and the information below is provided to give you some guidance on how to manage that.

We want you to remain safe, especially in a new city, and look out for your friends.

*Guidance on drugs and harm reduction here.

The Basics

  • Eat a decent meal before you drink.
  • Know your limits.
  • Watch your drink! Never leave your drink unattended to prevent spiking.
  • Make sure you have friends to go home with, and that you use a reliable taxi firm.
  • Look out for each other. If someone is too drunk take them home or ask for help.
  • Seek help if you need it. Door security are trained to help, there is also a safe haven van managed by Northumbria Police in the city centre during busier times (see section on support in the city centre).

Signs and Symptoms to look out for and when to seek help

There are some signs and symptoms you should be aware of if someone has consumed a lot of alcohol and is very drunk. Be aware of Alcohol Poisoning. Here are some of the signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Vomiting
  • Irregular or slow breathing
  • Being conscious but unresponsive
  • Passing out and being unconscious

When to seek medical help

If you are at all concerned about a friend and perhaps suspect possible alcohol poisoning, dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance. While you're waiting, you can:

  • Try to keep them sitting up and awake
  • Give them water if they can drink it
  • Keep them warm
  • Stay with them

Never leave a person alone to "sleep it off". 

The level of alcohol in a person's blood can continue to rise for up to 30 to 40 minutes after their last drink. This can cause their symptoms to suddenly become much more severe.

You also should not try to "sober them up" by giving them coffee or putting them under a cold shower, for example. These methods will not help and may even be dangerous.

More advice on the affects and symptoms of alcohol poisoning here.

Support in the City Centre on a night out: Inside a pub or club

You can speak to a member of staff or security if you need assistance or help inside a pub or club.

Support in the City Centre on a night out: Safe Haven Van

Northumbria Police Safe Haven Van (in conjunction with NEAS -  St Johns Ambulance) is located outside St Nicolas Cathedral opposite Tup Tup from 10pm until 3am every Friday and Saturday night.

  • This is an initiative operates every Friday and Saturday evening between the hours of 10pm and 3am. 
  • The Safe Haven works alongside NEAS ambulance staff and its main role is to address vulnerabilities of persons who are in need of help during their night out.
  • The Safe Haven is a ‘safe’ location where officers and our partners within the NTE are able to take a vulnerable person; there they can remain until safely re-united with family/friends, safely returned home.
  • As well as being a facility provides warmth, water, foil blankets, use of phone charging facilities, this is a safe place to speak to an officer, reporting any crimes, concerns, address wellbeing. 

In the Students’ Union: SU drop in

The SU has a Welfare and Support area on the ground floor and welcomes students to drop in to chat or get information for local services as well offering a range of resources to help support your wellbeing. One of the services offered is a Drug and Alcohol drop in. NUSU has partnered with Public Health Newcastle to offer a confidential space to chat and get support on your drug or alcohol use. This is a free, non-judgemental service open to all Newcastle students. Contact for more information.

In the Students’ Union: Report and Support

If you need to report an issue there is more than way you can do this. The University and Union have a way of reporting through Report and Support.

NUSU Report and Support

Newcastle University Report and Support

In the Students’ Union: Clubs and Societies

Student Societies and AU Clubs must have a Welfare Officer. These student volunteers receive additional training on how to help in a welfare situation. They may not be around on every social but they are a good contact to have in case you need to get in touch about a welfare related issue. They are a member of committee so if you haven’t met them you can look them up in the Facebook or other social media channels used for members.

University Wellbeing Services

University Student Health and Wellbeing Services (SHWS) 

SHWS provides free, confidential support to any student concerned about themselves or other students. Their support ranges from, helping you register with a GP, to informal pastoral support via Listening Ear, to ongoing counselling, help to access specialist external support services. Advice on how to help a friend or housemate, action you can take to protect your mental health, financial support if you are in  financial hardship. Remember their services are completely confidential, unless you or someone else is in immediate danger, what you tell them will be private, so you can be honest with them about the frequency and extent of your concerns so they can best help you.

Useful links to external sites

Newcastle Treatment and Recovery (NTaR) Integrated Drug and Alcohol Services