• Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

Something to take the edge off: party drugs in Edinburgh 

People in warehouse partying

The Student conducted a survey about the student experience of the party culture in Edinburgh.

The Student found that 52 per cent of the student respondents had personal experience with drugs, while 48 per cent reported alcohol as their go-to substance.

Among the students having used or using drugs, smoking weed was reported as being the most common drug-related activity.

Several students mentioned the relaxing effect of weed that makes socialising easier, although some shared that it gave them more anxiety.

Another student also pointed out that in spite of weed being fun to use, it “is terrible in Edinburgh”, adding that it “is of very very bad quality”.

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Other frequently used drugs included cocaine, ketamine, ecstasy/MDMA, and poppers.

Some students also reported trying substances such as the psychedelics 2C-B, acid/LSD, DMT, and drugs like 3-MMC and 4-MMC.

In general, these drugs are found to be easily accessible, with someone even having experienced being “airdropped a contact for a dealer in a club during freshers.”

However, most students shared that the party scene in Edinburgh does not seem to be as influenced by drug use as, for example, Glasgow’s nightlife.

Drug use was said to be more “casual” over there, making it the case that there is “more access to substances/more variety of substances” compared to Edinburgh.

Similarly, the party scene in Manchester was described as “way more fun” and getting drugs in London is “almost as normalised as asking for the time or directions”.

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On average, students in Edinburgh reported using drugs 3-4 times in a month.

In contrast, alcohol was reportedly consumed in larger quantities, being more “normalised within occasions.”

Among those who did not report using drugs, they reported alcohol helped them feel freer, more confident, and less inhibited. One student said that alcohol made them feel they did “not have to be perfect” and that it “stops the overthinking”.

Furthermore, several students pointed out that there may be small differences between going out with and without using/consuming a substance (including drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes/vapes).

One student mentioned that going out sober can be fun too, and that they are “normally sober by the end of the night” anyway, even when they take substances. 

Despite student drug use, many UK universities implement zero-tolerance policies regarding drug use on and off campus.

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In response, the Higher Education Policy Institute released a report in 2022 saying that this approach “may cause more harm than it prevents,” encouraging universities to shape their policies around harm reduction instead.

Andy Paterson, a recent Politics graduate at the University of Stirling, told The Herald that Scottish universities should acknowledge students’ wants and needs, and make sure that they are made aware of the potentially negative consequences associated with taking drugs.

To ensure students’ safety, the Advice Place has made available a list of resources for anyone who has been using or is interested in drugs.

Warehouse rave” by Goodnight London is licensed under CC BY 2.0.