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• I’m worried about the risks of passive smoking. • Study healthcare type degree so • It’s toxic, but fun. know a lot about the risks. • That’s a problem for future • Because it can kill you. me!

• Laughing gas • Synthetic cannabinoids • It was a cannabis substitute called sweet leaf, and does laughing gas count? • Some cannabinoid called ‘Annihilation’

• Psychosis • Paranoia • Wouldn’t say it’s a medical problem but after taking it I felt horrible for the next few days as if I had been partially zombified • Digestive issues • MDAI triggered an anxiety disorder and recurring panic attacks • beld [sic]

• No longer as anti-drugs • No one does them at UEA or even talks about it, overall negative towards them • They’re more popular than anticipated • I’ve seen how people abuse legal highs purely based on the fact they are legal. But I have realised this is definitely not the case in comparison to the illegal drugs I take that have been tried and tested for years, which can be done safely and sensibly with the right information.

• They discuss them like they are a normal day-to-day thing and it’s such a shame • Drug related mental problems • She talks about it all the time and it’s really annoying • Friends become less social

• Wouldn’t touch with a barge pole. • They have not been tested properly which causes concern and it is not truly known what the full effects are. • Not as good as old drugs. • A lot of legal highs are actually a lot more dangerous than illegal highs. • The more I’ve done them, the less scary they seem. • Never want to try them again.

• Had panic attacks in second year exams. • Seeing as adderall (amphetamine) is legal in its commercial form and is classed as psychologically active then I would say that it is a legal high that is helping a lot of people.

• They’re untested, so I can’t know the risks. • Because I believe that you should try and keep control over your own mind. • Same reason I wouldn’t take illegal drugs, the effect drugs have on someone scares me. • I do not want to expose myself to chemicals which may be harmful and have unknown side effects, they are unattractive. • They have no regulation and could contain anything, some illegal drugs are better than legal highs. • Because I feel it is unnecessary to take drugs to have a good time. • They are too new and there are not many studies on how they may affect your health. • There is generally no reason to take them, the risks outweigh the benefits. Who wants to inject plant fertilizer for a quick ‘buzz’?

• Argue about them taking legal highs. • Trying to protect them can lead to differing opinions. • They’re dumb and I’m not.

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People seem more willing to try them, which suggests that they might be less harmful. I didn’t even know what they were prior to coming here. Even more so against them. Before I would not have considered doing them, but now I might. Before university I was less educated and assumed they were less dangerous. People seem to be accepting of the use of legal highs and they are often talked about as if they are accepted as part of normal societal behaviour. I know more about them through the internet. I know more about them, they do not seem hugely risky. More willing to take them. I’ve become aware of just how little people know about them, which makes them rather dangerous.

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Increase my value of aesthetic features of nature. I was drunk. Taken in a country where it was legal. I wanted to feel a closer spiritual connection with my friends. It worked. Lose a sense of reality. Unhappiness and loneliness. Drank my friends drink, didn’t know she had MD in it. It would make a funny story and to make me last longer in the bedroom.

• I realised they’re not so bad, in normal amounts. • A lot of misinformation surround illicit substances, so the real dangers are often lost in the clouds of ignorance. • Cannabis has exasperated my depression. • Drugs are fun, but if you rely on them for fun all the time you must be an incredibly dull person. • Less stigma for me. • There should be more emphasis put on the dangers of ketamine.

• Psychosis. • Mental health - depression, anxiety, panic attacks, chronic depersonalisation/ derealisation. • Valves in renal vein gave out (genetic disposition to disorder) due to heavy cocaine use in teenage years.

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Makes it harder to socialise on occasion. They become a waste of space and a waste of a friend. Leads to arguments. They have difficulty talking about anything else, become unreliable and paranoid. • You can bond over drugs but also it can be the cause of negative experiences between friends. Also you can worry about your friends or friends who don’t take drugs can judge

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you for taking them or worry about you. • Don’t feel like I can connect with them. • I worry for them and I’m angry at them. Some are becoming ‘dealers’ and manipulating more vulnerable people; others are losing study time and relationships to drugs. More than anything else, it’s made me decide not to take illegal drugs again. I feel like I’m losing the kind, lovely friends I had to drugs. • I don’t wanna talk about it.

I got over the ‘drugs are all bad’ mentality that is taught in schools. I’m much more open to trying things, but I know my limits now too. I’m much more liberal. Generally more accepting.

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I’m already lazy, weed makes you lazier. Less time sober to prepare for exams. Was too high to revise. I took too much LSD and ran out of an exam.

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Don’t like hanging out with them whilst they’re high. Avoid them when using, it’s embarrassing. Can’t go to certain events to avoid drug taking. They’re boring, all they talk about it drugs. I have witnessed friendships crumble as a result of drugs. When one person doesn’t want to take part they are excluded from the group and things that they do together. • We are on different ‘levels’ when on a night out. • I don’t like it, it makes me uneasy, I worry about their health. • I plan to live with a friend who takes drugs next year, so have

Just don’t want to, not interested. Don’t want them, I can be happy in other ways. Because they are illegal for a reason. I am on a course where I would be kicked off and not be allowed to register with the GMC. I associate illegal drugs with losing control of yourself. Only idiots take drugs. I think illegal drugs are really dodgy and I’m worried about the effect they would have on my body. I know too many people who have ruined their lives due to drugs. Fears of addictive behaviour. I knew two people who died because of drugs by age 17. My cousin is a heroin addict. Baaaaaaaaaad.

had to have a talk with them. • Their mental state is in flux. • Distracts them from studies, more likely to do things with people they smoke with, want to socialise less such as drinking or going out. • It makes it difficult to relate to them, as they usually have very poor reasoning as to why they take them. They use them less for simple pleasure and more to avoid important issues which should be faced, • I don’t like them taking drugs and they know this.

• Become more relaxed to the idea of certain drugs, for example weed. • I realised that you can’t condemn someone for taking them. • I feel like pot is stupid, but probably not the kind of thing that will kill you. • Happens a lot more than at home. • I’ve met more people who take illegal drugs and found that the majority of them are decent, friendly people. My perception of drugs has changed although I’d still never take them myself. • More acceptability to some drugs. • People seem to be more accepting of the idea of drugs in university life, it is not a shock that someone is taking drugs. I feel that I have been sheltered before coming to university as I did not have any idea about drugs or acceptance of their use by so many people. • More casual than I expected. • People don’t give a fuck, you become desensitised to seeing people take drugs. • I never knew anyone who did drugs before university, and now I know many people who do.

• My drinking has become a problem, I am unable to control myself. • About 10x more. • I used to drink more but since starting third year I’ve cut right down. • More socialising. • Smashing off the VKs in the LCR since day one. £1.65 always well spent. • I’m now a borderline alcoholic. • More occasion to party at UEA. • I know my limits but also I know how alcohol can help me out of my comfort zone, even in moderation, as well as relaxing me. • I drink more casually, however I feel this is a reflection of my age (getting older) as opposed to being at university.

• It’s a social lubricant. It has helped me form and maintain friendships and deeper relationships. • Made it easier to form friendships at the start of university. Can put pressure on romantic relationships though. • Bonding with people over drunken antics. • By getting blackout drunk and making decisions I would never ever have made if sober. • Alcohol has encouraged me to be more confident in forming new friendships. • Bad, I tend to do things that I wouldn’t sober and the relationship I have suffers. • I first hooked up with my girlfriend at the LCR, we were both drunk; I owe my relationship to alcohol. • I got too drunk and was taken advantage of by a man, when I tried to go public about it, he retaliated and hurled abuse at me telling me that “people know him”, so his reputation couldn’t be marred.

• I have had to go to A&E over injuries caused whilst drunk. • Once I got hypothermia as a result of being so drunk. • Having diabetes, drinking can mess up my blood sugars for a couple of days. • I have had acid reflux, a kidney infection from cystitis caused by drinking, I’ve had quite a few injuries from falling over, one of which cumulated in puncturing a muscle in my leg. • Immediate effects in terms of being hungover or getting injured. Long term, it has indirectly affected my mental health and my liver is probably screaming for mercy. • I destroyed my stomach lining through alcohol and now have to counteract it with dietary needs and medication. • Exacerbates my depression. • Self harming increased. • Broken ankle, broken glass in hand. Shattered dignity.. Bruised, so bruised. • Beginnings of developing some sort of addiction.

All comments have been printed exactly as provided. • There is a big drink culture at UEA. • Cannabis should be legalised. • Students are going to take drugs, but people at UEA seem to know that MDMA/cannabis is safer than any of the legal ones. By and large, from my experience, a relatively small proportion have tried any of the others. Addiction to cannabis and excessive drinking are the main concerns for UEA in my opinion. • It’s never OK... • The more the better, wowza. • Don’t do drugs!

• NAH THEY ARE JUST FUN INNIT talk to Frank if ur scared tho. • There is a difference between use and abuse. It’s okay to experiment, and it’s okay to say no. Your body, your choice. Do your research, trust your dealer. • The UK has a binge drinking problem, face it. • No, but I do love a VK, especially Shrek flavoured. Shrek is love, Shrek is life. • Media perception of narcotics strongly influences the perceived dangers of the drug.

• It worries me how common place and casual the usage of illegal drugs and legal highs is at university. It seems like no one cares about the risks that may be involved. There is a very hedonistic atmosphere among many students. • All drugs should be legalised and regulated, all the evidence suggests this. The longer they are illegal the longer addicts will be demonised and money will remain with dealers.

• A new way of looking at drugs and alcohol; socially, morally and politically should be considered. • I masturbate, that’s enough for me. • Less drunk people on campus chasing rabbits would be nice.

• I’m from the Netherlands, where we tolerate soft drugs like weed, and personally believe that making drugs less of a taboo has made me much less eager to try them. Most of my friends have never tried, or tried once, and never felt the need to continue using any drugs. • UEA is a very easy-going university, I have never felt any pressure to take anything here, and I don’t know anyone who has either. • Drink responsibly, smoke weed, and that’s all. Don’t fuck with the other shit.. • Random drug testing throughout education would help remove the issue. I feel students are getting the alcohol message much better than when I was at uni the first time around.

• Drunk/stoned people are only amused by each other. To your sober friends, you probably look like an idiot. Not worth it. • Mr Garrison: “Drugs are bad, mmmkay.” • I want to know why it is seen as abnormal not to drink. • I binge drink to get drunk rather than drink for pleasure. • Drugs taken with mates at uni is harmless if taken in the correct doses. They can improve a night and can be cheaper than alcohol. You are at university once and why not spend it experiencing new things and having the best time possible? You are more likely to regret what you didn’t do than what you did do.

• Abuse and misuse needs to be top of the agenda for the union. There are some real issues that are hugely affecting their members in many ways. Yes, we are at uni to have fun but we aren’t here to ruin our futures by abusing our minds and bodies. • I personally think that alcohol is more damaging than many of the drugs listed, the physical and mental impact of alcohol is huge. The impact that alcohol users have on surrounding people is huge and worrying. • Everything is okay in moderation. Strong people in the right cliques can avid addiction/overuse. However that leaves a certain group of people that should not take drugs, and I believe I fall into the latter category.

• Doing pills is great and makes you love everything! • It was in fact explained to me that I should get into the English ‘drinking culture’, seems like not a bad thing really. • Friends in the past have taken drugs, but have always accepted that it is not my cup of tea. I have never even been tempted. • From what I hear, stimulant highs - pills etc - are monumentally dangerous. I wouldn’t touch that shit with a ten foot pole. However, chucking people who do want to wreck their bodies into prison is about as useful as a helicopter ejector seat. • Surely management is better than prohibition? • In my personal experience, I’ve experienced more harm from having to hide my drug use and be secretive about it than from the actual drugs. • I had more experience of drugs before I came to university. • The war on drugs is a foolhardy endeavour. • People can do whatever they like but I think drugs are dumb. • Alcohol is by far the worst drug I have ever taken. • I think that they’re incredibly damaging and dangerous. I wish they did not exist, as my friends and family using drugs have made many relationships very difficult. • I’ve taken less drugs at UEA than at home, on holiday or when visiting friends at other unis. I do not feel that UEA has a big drug culture.

Profile for Concrete - UEA's official student newspaper

Concrete Drugs and Alcohol Supplement 2015 - 24/02/2015  

Concrete Drugs and Alcohol Supplement 2015 - 24/02/2015