VICE looking for students to inform Bristol-based ketamine documentary


By Patrick Sullivan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

This article is sponsored by VICE UK.

The media outlet, well-regarded for its online video content, would like to talk to users or dealers of the Class-B recreational drug ketamine for the latest in its ‘High Society’ series.

Ketamine use in Bristol is widely known to be high compared to the rest of the UK. In a 2017 survey of 11,000 students in The Tab, 48 per cent of University of Bristol students and 45 per cent of UWE students admitted to taking ketamine. Those results put UoB second and UWE sixth of the 29 featured universities.

Joshua Torrance, from the Bristol Drug Project, goes even further by saying ‘Bristol is often referred to as Europe’s drug capital’.

Now, the UK branch of VICE media are making a documentary about the use of ket in Bristol and are looking to talk to Bristol students anonymously about their experiences with the drug.

The documentary will be part of their ‘High Society’ video series, which currently features episodes on ecstasy, viagra, laughing gas, and even ‘groppers’, a slang term for ‘grandmas growing weed’. When they launched the series in 2016, the UK had three times the average drug mortality rate in Europe and VICE said they wanted to ‘meet the users, dealers, and manufacturers behind these statistics and look at the impact drugs have on British society’.

Each episode varies between 10 and 20 minutes and, while mainly featuring on VICE’s website, the series has racked up nearly 500,000 views on YouTube.

One third year UoB student told Epigram that they used the drug ‘once or twice a month initially’ and that ‘loads of people take it, especially in first year’. They said ‘it’s more intense than alcohol’ and a source of ‘escapism’. ‘[Afterwards] I feel bit delicate or hungover but there’s not a comedown like MD.’

National drug advisory service, FRANK, says that ketamine ‘can be fatal’ and ‘increase heart rate and blood pressure. Because of the body’s loss of feelings, paralysis of the muscles and the mind’s loss of touch with reality, you can be left vulnerable to hurting yourself or being hurt by others.’ It lists many other physical and mental health risks with taking the drug.

If you are over the age of 18 and have any experience using or dealing with ketamine, or have a particularly interesting story with the drug you would be happy sharing with VICE, email, or if you would like to share anonymously call 0800-086-9153.

For professional support regarding drug addiction, call Talk to FRANK on 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or visit

Featured image: VICE UK

What has your experience been with ketamine while at university?


Patrick Sullivan

Epigram co-Editor-in-Chief 2019-20, now digital puzzles connoisseur. EngD student researching sustainable composites, entering my sixth year at UoB (somehow).