Natasha Doris | Mon, 9 Mar 2020
Drug use and experimentation with substances is an incredibly varied experience shared among many students as a part of their time at university. The Gaudie interviewed three Aberdeen students and asked them about their experiences taking drugs both sparingly and regularly while balancing their lives and studies on campus. All contributing students have talked to the Gaudie with the request that they remain anonymous.
What drugs do you take?
- I’ve taken weed, MDMA and cocaine.
- I take weed, cocaine, MDMA, and I’ve done LSD once.
- I take weed, cocaine, ketamine once or twice, MDMA, party drugs like that. I have also taken CB2, which is acid and mandy together.
How often do you take them?
- I use weed quite often, I have taken MDMA three times, and I’ve done cocaine once.
- I started taking weed when I was fifteen, sporadically at first; I increased my use of it to weekly in the first and second year, but I’ve dropped to using it monthly now. I started taking cocaine at eighteen, but I only take it once or twice a year, on nights out. I started taking MDMA at eighteen, taken about three or four times a year on nights out; usually, I combine it with alcohol. I’ve taken LSD once, and I can say I would never take it again, it was the strongest thing I’ve ever taken.
- I tend to take it on the weekends or on Tuesdays.
Why do you take them?
- I take weed to relax. It’s a way for me to forget about stress from university, and it’s a way I connect and chill with people. I don’t really use weed for partying; I took MDMA for that – it makes you feel better in certain clubs, and for me, I had a boost of energy for partying. I took cocaine once just to try it.
- I use weed primarily to relax and destress, but I admit I also use it to avoid doing my work. I take cocaine when I’m drunk pretty much as a means of improving my conversation and to increase my confidence, and I use MDMA because it makes me more talkative and empathetic with others. I took LSD just to try it, but I wouldn’t do that again.
- It is usually done in the context of getting drunk. There’s definitely a social element, wanting to belong to something. It’s like drinking, to me, it’s a way of relieving stress. University life can indeed be stressful; How I was sucked into it was because I was lonely in primary school, but then in high school, I found a group who got me into drugs, and then it carried on into university.
What advice would you give to those who are currently taking drugs or considering getting into them?
- The advice I would give is to not take drugs alone. Do it in a safe environment and do it with people that you trust. Definitely don’t do it if you have to do anything important the next day, especially with stimulating drugs. Take it in small doses. Don’t do edibles for the first time with weed – they are so much stronger, and they hit differently. I wouldn’t argue that drugs are necessarily bad, but proper and safe drug practice is crucial to have a positive experience and to reduce the chance of an overdose.
- I would say do not make the decision to do something if you’re doing it to cope with anything in your life, and, obviously, always start small. You can always take more, but never less. The moment you become reliant on them to have fun or relax is when it’s been taken too far. Dependency on drugs is an incredibly prevalent and worrying issue, as far as I’m concerned.
- It personally affects my studies terribly - I think weed is honestly the worst for it. It can make you not go to places or not do things that you need to do – you can become incredibly lazy. It makes me poorer, so I can’t afford healthy food, and it negatively affects my lifestyle among other things. I don’t think it’s good at all – if you’re doing it, I’d say get out of it. You can die from taking one line of something, you can overdose, or have an allergic reaction, an epileptic fit; a few boys in my hometown died that way. It is an individual thing, but that doesn’t mean you can escape from the fact that it’s also a social issue affecting communities and our society as a whole.
How prevalent a drug culture do you consider Aberdeen University to have?
- I would say that it is quite prevalent. I know quite a lot of people who smoke weed at least once a month, but they do it outside university grounds. I do think that this prevalence is incredibly subjective. It depends entirely on the people who you spend your time with. I cannot tell for sure, but I think that there is quite a big drug culture in Aberdeen city overall, and not just in the university.
- Considering Aberdeen, I can only say from what I’ve seen here and when visiting my friends at other universities. I don’t regard it as much more prevalent here than anywhere else that I’ve seen. I wouldn’t describe it as a culture as I don’t think drugs are what form groups of people here on campus.
- I know boys who came to university and had never done drugs before, and it has utterly corrupted them. There is so much in the environment that makes it easy to get into drug usage and stay in it. There’s such a big drug culture. I’m trying to give it up at the moment, I’m trying to say no, but when you’re in a group of people who regularly take it and they suggest it, it makes it easier to justify it if everyone else is doing it. I would not recommend getting into it though, I would definitely recommend avoiding it because it can be utterly detrimental to yourself.