As students return to the campus this week, many for their first real experience of college life after a strange year, Gardaí are launching a drugs awareness campaign for Freshers Week.
The #Riseabovetheinfluence campaign aims to make students aware of the potential harmful effects of drugs to their health and academic achievement, and the legal consequences that can follow.
Detective Superintendent Sé McCormack cautioned “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.”
Last year saw 674 people under the age of 18 enter drug addiction treatment, with the majority citing cannabis as their main problem.
Among young people aged 18-24, the main college years for most, there were 1,874 people in drug rehab in 2020, with three fifths using more than one drug.
“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.”
“While we strive to keep people safe, we believe that you can also help keep yourself safe.
Contact the emergency services if you become ill after consuming a drug or are in the presence of somebody who may be ill.”
McCormack also emphasised that taking illegal drugs can result in addiction, loss of career prospects, or a criminal conviction that will severely impact your ability to travel internationally.
“Freshers’ Week should be a time for celebration, the beginning of something good in your life. Don’t let drug use end your career before it starts.”