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Drug consumption and implications for students

on Thu, 09/25/2014 - 07:58

The drug culture in Ireland has become an increasing concern among young people and has almost become equated to the problems associated with alcohol consumption. A glance any week at the news will show the level of incidents involving drug misuse and sadly a high number of these have been linked to Irish students. With such statistics it’s vital that students are aware of the implications of consuming illegal substances for both their own health and safety and also their future in the university.

Attention has been drawn in particular to cannabis use along with ‘Ecstasy-type substances’ and the number of hospitalisations and fatalities linked to their use. These substances may be sold as Ecstasy (MDMA) itself or as an alternative drug having similar effects. The reasons students have for taking such substances are varied, but the consequences apply to all users. Drug use can cause problems for a student when for example:

  • A dependency develops (they have to have the drug to feel normal) 
  • It causes difficulties in relationships with partner, families or friends 
  • Too much of their money goes on drugs, so that he/she cannot to pay for things such as rent, food, clothing or get into debt 
  • She/he misses work or lectures or is unable to complete course work or study for exams 
  • He/she is caught in possession of an illegal drug by the Gardaí

In another blog we will elaborate upon the risk of criminal convictions but it is important to note they pose a real and severe threat to a person’s future, and should not be forgotten. The possession of an illegal drug is a criminal offence and the Gardaí have the power to stop, search and detain a person if they have reason to suspect he/she of being in possession of an illegal drug. To give students an idea of the repercussions, a person can be convicted for possession of cannabis and given a maximum fine of €635 for a first offence and for a third or subsequent offence an unrestricted fine and/or 3 years prison sentence.

NUI Galway has responded to the issue of drug abuse by students in forming a Drugs Policy which is available to read online. There is a consensus in the policy that the misuse of drugs is inconsistent with the ability of students to apply themselves fully to their academic work. Therefore the university recognises it has a duty of care to help and support those students who by use of legal and illegal drugs put their wellbeing at risk.

If you or someone you know is having a drug-related problem, there a number of services ready to help. NUI Galway offer a free and confidential counselling service to all students and have a specific drug & alcohol counsellor;

  • Contact: Student Counselling Service, 5 Distillery Road, NUI Galway. Office Hours: Mon – Fri between 9.15am and 1pm and 2.15pm and 4.15pm. 
  • Appointments 091-492484 or email: 
  • Drop in any time Mon – Fri between 2.15-4.15pm to see a counsellor 

Advice and support is also available from:

Student Health Unit (091 492604) 

Student Health Promotion Service (091 492048) 

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