Drugs In Pubs

This guide is intended to help you and your staff tackle the problem of drug misuse in your pub. You may be totally unaware of a drug problem in your pub but this guide will give you the tell tale signs that it might be happening and advice on what to do if you discover drug misuse in your pub.

No matter how well you think you run your pub, you along with a great proportion of pubs in the UK, may experience this problem at some time. Early intervention can prevent isolated misuse from turning into a major problem that can threaten your licence and your livelihood. Research undertaken by the Home Office and released on 27/7/13 shows how prevalent drug use is in the UK click here to see a summary of the results.

How can it be prevented?

High standards of customer service and cleanliness are a big deterrent to the drugs trade, it shows you care about your pub and want to promote a safe, social and drug free environment. Low standards may give out the message that you don’t care what happens in your pub and many dealers will look for a poorly kept venue because of this.

How do drugs affect people?

Different drugs have different effects on people, these are outlined in more detail in this guide however signs and symptoms can be both physical and behavioural.

Physical signs can include:

  • Very dilated pupils (“saucer eyes” is a common name for this)
  • Excessive sniffing, dripping nose, watering or red eyes
  • Sudden severe cold symptoms following a visit to the toilet/garden/car park
  • White marks/traces of powder round the nose

Mannerisms and behaviour:

  • Excessive giggling, laughing at nothing, non-stop talking
  • Unnaturally lethargic, vacant staring, sleepy euphoria
  • Non-stop movement, jiggling about
  • Excessive consumption of soft drinks
  • Sudden inexplicable tearfulness or fright
  • Big alterations in behaviour following trips to the toilet, garden or car park areas

What do I look for?

  • Torn up beer mats/cigarette packets/bits of cardboard left on tables or in ashtrays
  • Foam stuffing from seats/foam left lying around
  • Roaches (Home made filter tips from cannabis cigarettes)
  • Small packets made of folded paper, card or foil.
  • Empty sweet wrappings left in toilets
  • Payment with tightly rolled bank notes, or notes that have been tightly rolled
  • Traces of blood or powder on bank notes
  • Traces of powder on toilet seats or other surfaces in toilets
  • Syringes (Caution can carry infection do not touch)
  • Spoons or burned tinfoil in toilets

How do I spot a dealer?

  • A person that stays a while and has a lot of friends that only stay for short periods
  • A person making frequent trips to the toilets, garden or car park followed by different people at the same time
  • A person seeming to hide in corners talking very quietly
  • Lots of hand or body contact with members of the same sex (not particularly helpful if you run a gay or gay friendly venue)
  • Dealers are not identifiable by appearance and they may look very respectable

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