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Drugs, According to a 16-Year-Old

My Experience with Drugs as a Student in the UK


Well, it's safe to say this is an ambitious choice for my first post. Before I go any further, I feel I should give you some backstory.

I am a Year 11 student. I don’t know how that translates into other countries’ education systems, but to simplify, I am about to take a set of tests that will “define my future.”

Admittedly, my life has always been pretty consistently easy: naturally popular, naturally intelligent (that sounds even more condescending written down, apologies, readers) and a consistent group of close friends since I was three.

In a lot of ways, those friends are the subject of this whole article. Essentially my role in the group is being the sort of kid where your parents will only let you out if I’m also going because I’m “sensible,” but in reality they don’t realise I can be just as much of a fuckin idiot as you and the rest of the lads.

To return to the subject at hand, I don’t remember exactly when my friends became entangled in the drug underworld that exists within my shit-hole of a town. All I know is, and I’m sure this won’t surprise any of you reading, it started with weed.

I feel the need to clarify, before I go any further, that I am nothing but an observer. I haven’t tried anything and I don’t plan to. Do I think that makes me better than any other teenager involved in drugs? No. Fuck no. Not a chance. I’m writing this to provide an insight, not to look down or criticise others from some bullshit high ground.

Almost immediately after the news came back into the playground that my friends had tried weed, we were met with a social ostracism fuelled by mostly fear, that I’m sure so many others have experienced before us (it should be noted that this was led by other boys in the year. The girls didn’t feel the need to treat us any differently). Part of me doesn’t blame them. It’s a scary world and maybe you should just distance yourself from those who play a part in it.

A more primal, perhaps foolish part of me thinks that they’re all cowards for cutting us off like that so quickly.

Anyway, I’m sure none of you reading are surprised to hear this, but it didn’t take long for my mates to progress into regular smoking and the occasional couple of pills at parties. (Side note: I think this could’ve been avoided if weed was legalised, as the only reason weed functions as a gateway drug is because, “well, I’ve already broken the law, might as well break it again.” Feel free to disagree with me. I’m just a dumbass kid who’s in over his head).

I realise I’m writing this a lot of this in past tense, but in reality all this shit is ongoing. Most of my interactions with my friends are now limited to school and the occasional Skate 3 session on my Xbox, for no other reason than the idea of going out and watching them rip bongs with people I don’t really know is not particularly appealing to me. However, they are still the only ones capable of making me consistently cry laughing, and they’re still very much my friends. No amount of valiums, weed or flake will make them anything else to me.

That’s not to say that they’re the same as they’ve always been. They can often seem a lot more lethargic, and perhaps more worryingly, the starry-eyed, optimistic kids with dreams of being CEO’s, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs are gone, replaced with unmotivated teenagers happy to throw out their unquestionable potential in favour of “just getting by.”

Who knows? Maybe that transition is completely unrelated to the drugs, but somehow I doubt that.

I’d like to conclude this brief story with a more upbeat message of what you can learn from my first entry onto this website, maybe a little set of tips to ensure this doesn’t happen to your kids or what to do if you find that your friends are getting involved, but ultimately, I don’t know. Ask me in ten years and perhaps I might have something for you. But right now, I just want to leave what I’ve said for you to interpret how you wish. It isn’t a unique, or even particularly interesting story, but it is something I am forced to question and confront my own opinions on everyday, so why not share it?

Thanks for reading.

This will not be the style of my future posts, unless you guys are into this story time format. 

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