The Incredible Rise Of The UK’s Student Drug Dealers

Holly Smith·5 April 2016·4 min read
The Incredible Rise Of The UK’s Student Drug Dealers

Your student years are a time to experience new things, learn about yourself and take risks. While you’re in the midst of training for the real world, it’s easy to crave a little ‘harmless’ escapism now and then. That’s why it’s no real surprise then that nearly three quarters of university students have tried illegal drugs. What this worrying trend means for dealer is that university areas are a selling paradise- the ideal place to set up camp and do a roaring trade every student night.


So, who are this mysterious dealers? Is a dealer likely to be a middle-aged man wearing dark clothes and looking somewhat shifty? Or is it Samantha, the girl next door, who studies psychology and needs the extra cash? While it might sound strange, the rise of student drug dealers is a real thing, and it’s happening on every university campus in the country.

This boom in entrepreneurial students setting up their own drugs businesses dates back quite some years. In fact, back in 2008, when Mephedrone was still a legal high, many young people found an easy way to make some extra cash was to start buying and selling the stuff. You could easily order it in bulk online, which meant that there was low-risk factor for anyone wanting to give it a try.

By 2012, the trend was more popular than ever. So much so that the University of Cambridge’s newspaper ran a survey. Their findings showed that one in seven students who took drugs also admitted to selling them on at a profit. While it might sound like an easy way to make some extra money (and much more fun than getting some underpaid bar job), selling drugs is a very serious criminal offence. Back in January 2014, Michael Thompson found that out the hard way.


At the time, Michael was a third year student at The University of Sheffield. He’d ordered £600 worth of ecstasy pills, but they never quite made it to his door. The police intercepted the package, which lead to a raid on his flat, where they found even more illegal drugs. He was sentenced to three years in prison – that’s not quite how he planned to be living his post-university days.


It’s a horror story that most of us can’t or don’t want to imagine. While the world of drug dealing might be ever-changing, it’s worth remembering that the consequences are not. Aside from the obvious legal risks, there are many other troubles that dealing can bring to your doorstep. In short, the easy money is never worth risking your life or your freedom.