"Moderation in all things" is an old adage, and when it comes to taking drugs in New Zealand, "prohibition of all recreational drugs" is the law.
There may be opportunities to experiment with drugs as you embark on your new course of study. However, the use of drugs for recreational purposes in New Zealand is illegal, and there are risks in taking any kind of drug.
Although the taking of prescribed medication is not illegal, overuse of these drugs can have serious side effects on your body and mind. Although marijuana is the most common drug used for recreation in Dunedin, there are also so-called herbal highs which mimic the effect of other drugs such as ecstasy. These seemingly harmless highs can have serious side effects which are not unlike the opiates they copy.
Knowing the potential risks of taking drugs to your physical and psychological wellbeing is very important so that you can take control of your life. Do not allow drugs to affect your ability to perform well in your studies and spoil your happiness for life.
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Student Health Centre,
M Block, Dunedin
Side effects of taking drugs
Although students studying at tertiary level are much more likely to drink than to take drugs, some people become addicted to drugs, to the detriment of their health and their studies. In severe cases they could experience the following:
Feelings of anxiety, paranoia, depression, panic. With every high, there comes a low and seemingly irrational feelings can occur which are very out of character.
Loss of motivation. Although at the time of taking a drug, you may feel invincible and capable of achieving so much, or simply mellow and in the best of spaces, you may feel lethargic and unable to settle to any task the following days. This can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle where the desire for the drug outweighs your desire for success in your studies.
Health problems. Depending on the drug and the amount you use, you may find changes in your weight, your skin quality, and your heart condition. Make sure you visit a doctor if you notice such changes occurring.
Being drug free is a healthy choice and being clear in your own mind about your position on taking drugs will enable you to make healthy choices.
Be aware of the following:
It is your right to stand strong behind your own set of values, to say “no” to the offer of drugs, and for this refusal to be respected.
Your friends have the same set of values as you do. If you are not respected for your views, these people are not your friends. This will ensure that you are free from worrying about pleasing a group with whom you share very little.
There are counsellors at Otago Polytechnic Counselling with whom you can talk about any concerns you may have about your own behaviour or that of your friends.
(1) Cannabis plant. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Image retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Marijuana.jpg Licensed under Public Domain.
(2) Pills 3. e-Magine Art. Image retrieved from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emagineart/4742089272/in/photolist-8e3rVS-FrkFe-5Ya3x-bBkdSW-dFHZpC-7e7YYi-gXH688-m76xa4-bQcRCr-fipy3n-5mbfoe-9kv3dR-iXN9Th-7Dxfr2-ax1hrs-dME4N1-aHaeR-5SrgdV-2oQMqy-52wDYH-D3X8F-4Ec2Rm-nV3T3b-2HGF9Y-8ZC1YD-5FXhiX-5jhgZX-jzZsMe-6h6wHw-3HcAUH-4xcHp9-541o4X-9Ti8-av3zV5-XN2e7-crE4G1-e8MdZN-6D2Sp3-bdhxZT-pv4SH9-3HhCxy-mCfinK-vDbtC-ebBu8J-9Hyj7s-hjGyqt-6T4Sid-qb6yav-nBZhn-8oXF9y Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.