Drug use, students and peer pressure

Columnist Emily Fitzgibbon
Columnist Emily Fitzgibbon
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Undeniably, as a student, part of my subculture is going out to nightclubs and bars to socialise with friends, meet new people and essentially to get drunk.

With places hosting events every night of the week, it’s no longer just a weekend thing.

Recently though, getting drunk doesn’t seem to be the main issue. The more I go out, the more I see people I know doing things they wouldn’t normally dream of doing. People borderline obsessive with their health and fitness are experimenting with drugs in dingy club toilets or others who actively discourage smoking can be seen spending much of their night outside puffing away in the designated areas.

Obviously these actions have occurred before; it isn’t a new thing to be peer pressured into doing something you don’t want to do. Butit is undoubtedly on the rise.

One important question is how are so many students getting their hands on supposedly expensive drugs? Like many students, I live in student accommodation with CCTV monitoring and security guards who roam the quad in the evening. So it may not be surprising that I have never seen any sneaky meetings or heard of any suspicious activity taking place where I live.

If students aren’t getting what they want or ‘need’ for a night out at home, then it suggests they are getting substances elsewhere, potentially in the bars and nightclubs. If this is the case, aren’t the bouncers there supposed to stop this kind of activity? Maybe it needs to be addressed that if they were doing their job to the best of their ability, so many people wouldn’t get away with using a harmful cocktail of substances. A mixture of alcohol, smoking and drugs can’t be good for anyone.

Any kind of drug, including excessive drinking and smoking can cause a variety of cancers, heart disease and high blood pressure. Often, the user becomes dangerously out of touch with reality. So, with Sheffield being a so called ‘student city’ it’s worrying that this is happening on a daily basis.

So why do people who aren’t addicted feel the need to do these things? Is it to fit in, to look cool or simply just because they want to?

Decisions are never best made when fuelled by alcohol or a desperate desire to fit in.