Drug Use and Mental Health

Recreational drugs and mental health problems; two things many people have experience with separately, though some together. I am part of the latter group. For the past few years, I’ve been using MDMA, smoking weed, and taking 40mg of Citalopram a day to manage my depression.

I didn’t begin using drugs looking for a way to get better; I simply experimented in second year with a number of drugs, and weed and MDMA are ones that have stuck as alternatives to drinking on nights out. MDMA remained as such, however weed began to become a crutch. Weed is glamourized to a degree, with people seeing it as a way to unlock creativity, and inspire new ideas or ways of thinking. It’s also believed by some to be helpful in battling depression, anxiety and a number of other mental health problems. Reddit, Bluelight and other drugs forums provide many testimonies of marijuana use in the fight against mental health problems, where you’ll find many success stories about how careful usage proved beneficial. The keyword here, though, is careful. I reached a point in my life were I only felt happy whilst high. It wasn’t real happiness, but I’d take what I could get; anything that made living with depression bearable.

I realised how detrimental my habit had become quite far down the road: I was constantly fatigued, my common sense had left me, and was consumed by an overall feeling of sluggishness, which only lowered my productivity and motivation to do anything other than watch Netflix in my boxers 10 hours a day. This lack of productivity just further fed my depression, and I found myself in a pretty horrible cycle.

This isn’t the case anymore. After months in that downward spiral, I weaned myself off. Not completely; I’ll still hit a 20 bag every fortnight or so, but now instead of waking up at 3pm, immediately rolling a joint and writing the day off, you’ll find me on campus at 9am, working on a degree I’ve rediscovered a passion for. Know yourself, your limits, and look after your mental health when using drugs – it’s far more important than the occasional buzz or high.

[Sam Taylor]


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