You may not have had much (if any) contact with illicit substances to date – but all that could be about to change. You will inevitably come into contact with people who use drugs while you are at college and you may be offered to partake.

One more thing before launching into technicalities – remember that however you decide to deal with the drug issue is cool and if other people don’t like it well that’s their problem. You may go to parties and feel like the biggest nerd ever created for not partaking in some wacky baccy. But if your friends are worth keeping they’ll respect your right not to join in as much as your respect their choice to smoke it up. And a good many people live up the student experience without even toting a Marlboro light so just do what you feel and enjoy it.

Using drugs carries a range of physical and mental health risks and the only certain way to eliminate these is not to use any drugs at all. Having said this, whether or not to take a particular drug is a personal choice. Whatever decision you decide to make about drugs, wherever you decide to draw your personal line in the sand, make sure this decision is based on factual information. So please read on.

All drugs affect the user’s judgement and probably reduce their inhibitions, increasing the likelihood that they might find themselves in situations they would normally avoid and which may be unsafe. Using drugs may reduce your ability to choose safe sex so make it a habit to carry a condom and use one every time you have sex.

Injecting drugs into the bloodstream carries serious health risks. If it is not done properly you can puncture an artery or get air into your blood stream. And if equipment used (needles, spoons, syringes, filters etc.) are not clean or are shared with others you risk contracting tetanus, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV and other blood-borne infections.

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