‘Don’t let drug use end your career before it starts.’
That’s the message from Gardaí today as Fresher’s Week parties mark the start of the new academic year for Cork students.
As part of their ‘Campus Watch’ programme, Gardaí are launching their #Riseabovetheinfluence drug awareness campaign, which aims to encourage students to seek out positive influences and avoid the harmful consequences of drugs misuse.
In 2020, 1,874 people between the age of 18 – 24 entered drug treatment, with over 61% using more than one drug.
Detective Superintendent Sé McCormack of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau said Freshers’ Week should be a time for celebration, the beginning of something good:
“If you use drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, ketamine and MDMA, you are committing a criminal offence and also risking addiction, loss of career opportunities, under-achievement, and international travel restrictions.” said Det. McCormack.
“Taking other substances like cannabis edibles: jellies, sweets, drinks, vapes, or synthetic cannabinoids or nitrous oxide balloons also carries health and prosecution risks. Taking un-prescribed ‘study’ drugs or sleeping pills can lead to anxiety, addiction and psychosis. Multiple or poly-drug use is extremely dangerous and increases your risk of overdose or death.”
Detective McCormack implored students to contact the emergency services if they become ill after consuming a drug or are in the presence of somebody who may be ill.
“Drug use can lead to addiction, debt, prison and the destruction of your physical and mental health. You don’t know what you’re taking. You don’t know where it will take you.” he added.