Content warning: Drug use
University, it’s a place where the future of our society come to learn, grow, and to become the, hopefully, well rounded leaders and creatives of tomorrow.
It’s also a place where a lot of students are put in positions of freedom for the first time, away from the guiding and sometimes intrusive arms of the parents.
With that freedom comes the chance to dabble in experiences that could never have come about back in their hometown, in this case drugs.
Drugs, that big bad word that we are taught back in primary and high school. The catch-all term for chemicals that can both save your life, and ruin it. The temptation in student social circles to try substances for the first time, often with people that we trust for no other reason than they are the ones around.
With all this comes danger. I have seen first-hand lives changed forever, a friend hooked up to a heart monitor in the emergency department because of a bad batch of ecstasy. I have had to clean up cocaine from a coffee table because someone thought it a good idea to draw lines at a height that the two year old girl living there used frequently to play and eat from.
My own biological father, after years of alcohol abuse, replaced the demon drink with cannabis. Have you seen what happens to someone that uses cannabis like tobacco? It melts your brain, your motor functions slowly degrade, and weird physical ticks start to emerge as your body is manipulated at a neurological level. A brother, brought up in that environment, struggling with mental health because he was using cannabis before his brain had fully developed.
I won’t lie to you, drugs can be fun. They can be the catalyst for friendships that last for the rest of your life. They can make music you never thought you would like flow through your body and make you want to hug every single person you meet.
But they can easily destroy you, make you reclusive, bad trips can scar your personal growth, destroy relationships forever, wipe out your potential, or worse, make your parent have to bury you.
I won’t tell you not to try them, that’s what your parents and the authorities are for, but I will ask that you be careful. Don’t be another statistic, if you are to dabble, dabble with truly trusted friends that won’t ditch you at the sign of trouble. Don’t make it a habit, because a habit is just a prettier word for addiction.
Choose to be another bright young mind about to embark on their university journey, one that comes out the other side ready for their dreams.
Not one forever stuck in a drug induced nightmare.
(All images by David King with help from Shannon Wallace)