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The beginning of the school year made me curious about people’s use of drugs during their teen years. Did you use drugs between 12-18 years old? Did it affect your education negatively or positively?
Drugs did affect my education, though serious negatives only came at university and beyond. I began using at 12, well before starting high school, first valium and vodka. By the start of high school at 14 I had used alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, benzodiazepines, and opiates (codeine). My life didn’t revolve around them, but drugs were a big part of it. In high school I began regular use of cannabis, and added barbituates, lsd, mushrooms, nitrous oxide, opium, and cocaine to my repertoire. This was the early 80s, today’s range of cannabinoids, research chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs was not available to me. Had they been, no doubt I would have done at least some.
Drug use alienated me from adults and some of my peers. I knew if my parents, teachers or other adults discovered there would be big hell to pay. I knew I was breaking laws. It was equally clear that a lot of the kids around me also thought most drugs (other than alcohol), and the people who used them, were dangerous, sleazy or ‘bad’. But none of this was too disruptive. I had friends, did well in school, didn't get addicted, didn’t get in trouble with the law, and didn’t get pregnant or have physical or mental health problems during that time. Actually the drugs were a benefit to me in my education, I think, certainly the cannabis and psychedelics, which kept my mind open, my imagination engaged, and instilled in me a healthy skepticism. They increased my desire to learn without blowing my world up around me. My friends, almost all users, identified as ‘druggies’ and part of that identity was shunning anything but very moderate alcohol use, so drinking did not interfere either. I was a good and ultimately pretty successful student, fortunate to have a stable supportive family and access to decent education. I went on to university and grad school, becoming a university professor. Even if it may have set me up for later addiction problems, overall I am glad for the drug use and experiences I had in those early years.
However, my friend Boris is a drug user and he says that drugs have not affected his education. Boris started doing poorly in school around the sixth grade, but Boris had not ingested even alcohol until the ninth grade. This tells Boris that drugs had nothing to do with him performing poorly in middle school or high school. Boris has always considered himself to be a fairly intelligent person, but never really had the motivation to do well in school. He just never cared. Boris has since changed his attitude about education, he believes this change in attitude may be due to a certain LSD trip, and is doing very well in school now that he is in college, getting straight A's more or less. Boris had been labeled somewhat of a "bad kid" throughout high school, seeing as how he, at one point in his high school years, did use cannabis regularly, sold cannabis, LSD, and mushrooms. Even though Boris did not use NEARLY as frequently as anyone else in his school (anyone else that used any drugs, obviously) but was still KIND OF bunched up with the "bad ass kids" crowd. Boris does wish that he would have hung around with a different crowd, like the smart popular kids, thinking maybe he would have taken school a little more seriously, though would have probably still used different drugs.
Boris' parents/teachers kind of had an idea that he used drugs, and some kind of thought he might have been selling them as well, seeing as how he always had a large amount of money in his pocket. Boris' grandparents, who he lived with in high school, found illegal firearms multiple times and almost kicked him out of the house for it. Boris thinks that the type of lifestyle he lived may not have necessarily affected his education specifically all that much, but says it more so affected his reputation, his before hand clean legal record, relationship with family members etc. Boris has since had all of his charges (all assault charges) expunged or "sealed", does not sell any illegal or legal drugs, and does not use drugs all that often anymore. Boris says he will probably always use drugs, but sees his use becoming less intense and less frequent as he grows older, since his priorities are and will continue to shift as new challenges show up in life. Boris has decided that his education and future are much more important than his drug use.
To sum it up, Boris did bad in school before drugs, and at times did his best on certain placement tests, etc etc while under the influence of cannabis and sometimes amphetamine + cannabis. Boris tells me that he thinks if someone is doing bad in school, it COULD be because of drugs, but that it is probably the result of a person who has low-self esteem, therefore a lack of motivation in certain areas of life, and that sometimes people like this use drugs as an excuse to why they're doing bad in school. Boris realizes that this is not always the case, and says that sometimes if people didnt spend so much time focusing on getting fucked up, they'd focus on their school work more, therefore doing better in school. To each their own!
though serious negatives only came at university and beyond
I'm interesting in hearing about this. Do you mean it just took a while for the negative effects to catch up with you or did you fall into addiction?
I'm headed to college soon, but during high school drugs never hurt my education. Sometimes they helped (for relaxing, or to keep my mind open and skeptic as you pointed out). Actually, amphetamines helped me get a lot done so perhaps drugs helped out a bit.
I was that one strange kid who did tons of drugs but was in all the highest level classes getting straight "A"s. I always practiced harm reduction and I think that's what set me apart from the kids flunking out of school and partying every day. I knew a ton about drugs and I loved researching even more about them, so I knew my limits and what each drug could potentially do to me.
The only drug that really fucked anything up for me was marijuana (funny enough, since everyone appears to think it's so safe these days). I developed some anxiety and depersonalization disorders after smoking it a bit too much, and that sometimes distracts from schoolwork. Other than that, drug use has been all positive/neutral in terms of my education.
I hope this thread goes places, I'd love to know if there are any other "nerdy" drug users out there. I've met one other guy who was intelligent in school but also open to drugs. The majority of the kids I knew in high school either didn't touch drugs or only touched pot and booze (since everything else is automatically crap to most of 'em). Surprisingly, the kids who did other drugs (LSD, opiates, MDMA, amphetamines) were the more informed drug users; uneducated drug users tended towards the typical booze and pot combo.
Sorry if that didn't make too much sense; it's nearly five in the morning here.
AFOAF has often thought about this question and always comes to the same conclusion. He's glad to have waited until he was an adult to try weed as it would have definately effected his education.
In high school, he played soccer and ran cross country. Although weed was always available, he never had an interest in trying it. Drinking was more the norm and since he's always been tall for his age, he was the go to guy for buying beer (he first got served when he was 14). He drank at the occassional party in high school and college, but nothing too excessive as he can always tell when he's about to cross the line beyond drunkedness into feeling ill and stops. To this day, he's never been hungover (thankfully).
Academically, he's always done well, aside from his freshman year in high school, and eventually gruduated college with high honors (3.85 gpa). It wasn't until well after college that his interest in trying weed piqued, but access wasn't readily available. He's always felt like it was something that was on his bucket list, wanting to try it just to try it. It would be another decade before he toked for the first time while in his early 30's. At first he hated it and I'm still not sure why he tried it again after that first time, aside from desperately wanting to curb his insomnia.
At that point in his life, he was well established in his career and felt that he could try it without becoming addicted to it, despite the fact addiction runs rampant in his family. Looking back, it may have been foolish to try it, given his family's history, but he's got a stubborn streak and has always been focused on specific career and financial goals during his adult years.
Fast forward to the present; he's been toking on a semi-regular basis for about 10-12 years, but frequently takes self imposed tolerance breaks just to keep everything in check. I doubt he could have maintained such a stringent outlook while in his teens. He's absolutely convinced that if he had tried anything beyond beer as a teenager, his education, career, etc. would have been negatively effected and rather than contemplating retirement in three years, he would either be struggling with addiction or a veteran of rehab.
My pet parakeet who's a freshman in college now has done drugs, however, not to any large extent. He didn't start too early either, he started his drug use at the age of 17, he is now almost 19. He started with marijuana, and moved onto MDMA, mushrooms, 2c-B, DMT, acid, xanax, adderal, and cocaine in the order. He has done everything less than 2 times except for rolls and smoking, which he has done 10 and 20 times respectively by now. Furthermore, he spaces out his drug use and has about a 2 months break between any two drugs.
He feels the drugs have opened up his mind to many different emotions and values he would into have otherwise understood and will dot he same for anyone else, just they must be taken in moderation. He definitely feels stupider and slower the day after using drugs, and understands they cannot be abused if he wishes to continue studying chemical engineering. Although, he still plans to try just about every other drug he can get his hands on over the course of the rest of his life.
Despite the fact my pet parakeet does drugs he had a 4.67 GPA in high school and no body every suspected him of taking any drugs until he admitted to it. He doesn't like telling people he does them here and there because people become scared and get a negative perception of him, regardless if he's attending one of the top 10 chemical engineering colleges in the US. It' just a stereotype in today's society, not all druggies are idiots and brainless addicts, in fact very few are.
Oh yes, drugs/alcohol definitely affected me in a negative way as a teen. I drank and took speed and percoden here and there, but weed was my downfall. I was a good student, mostly As, didn't really have to try to hard. Started smoking pot before, during, and after school at age 15 and it just took away any ambition I had. I fell asleep in class, had laughing attacks, just didn't care at all.
Drugs during school definitely had a positive effect on my education.
I used to smoke a bit of weed on the weekends before I was in year 11, I've always got things pretty quickly without needing to put in much effort but put in zero effort so I did average.
Then I remember a life changing moment I was sitting in a class and I heard that abusing ADHD medication made you motivated (I may in fact have mild ADHD or some other mild mental illness). About 2 months after that I was suspended from buying ritalin off another kid at school then a month later I had a script for it.
From then on I have used every stimulant I can get my hands on to do work and although sometimes I do toe the line a bit in terms of almost taking it too far thus far (aside from a period in 1st and 2nd year uni where I was an alcoholic) drugs have had such an important positive contribution to my education. I've been doing it for 5 or so years (although now I am trying to cut back to normal doses since I've realised that this can't go on forever) and the work that I have done and the marks that I got would not have been achievable otherwise.
Calliope, this is a very great thread because it is actually a subject that hits close to home. My drug use has not always been something negative, and it hasn't always resulted in too many negative outcomes, but for the times it has disrupted my life, I would say that in its entirey, my drug use, beginning from when I was 14 and tried my first hit of ecstasy, has caused more harm than good.
My entire life has been about school, going back to preschool. Teachers told my mom that I was possibly gifted, and my knack for reading and writing was well above average. School came natural to me; it was fun in its own weird way, and getting a good grade was my high. From grades 4-7 I won the proficiency award at my public school, which is for the student who has the highest average out of all students in his or her grade. I won writing contests and contests at the local fair (neatest hand writing, most creative poster for smoking awareness). I also played baseball; no athlete, that's for sure (my brother's the athlete. He could have made it into football if he hadn't been overcome by his own demons), but I won MVP a few games. During graduation in grade 8, I went home with at least three awards for the highest mark in geography, literature, and history (surprisingly, history and geography are my most hated subjects).
In grade 8, I tried weed, but it was a one time, irrelevant experience In grade 9, when I was 14, I excelled academically as well. I made the honour roll, won the french award (97% final grade), and was selected to write a province-wide math test. Right after my birthday in April, I tried E for the first time and loved it. I had always hung with the main crowd, or the cliche "cool crowd", but mostly kept to myself and caused no trouble. The summer after grade 9 was something else, that's for sure, and what I believe was the start to my seemingly life long battle with drug abuse.
I didn't have a shortage of people in high school who liked to party on the weekend drinking, and ecstasy was the popular drug for some reason at the time - it was easy to get and everyone tried it. Interestingly enough, finding ecstasy in this town would be like finding a needle in a hay stack. Anyway, since I was doing so much E, I lost around 25 pounds. I was never a fat girl by any means; average I would say. Well, when I lost the weight I became really obsessed with my food intake, exercise, and my weight/appearance in general, so I also was working out hard core while staying up on weekends barely eating. I started to receive a lot of attention from guys, and to be honest, I loved the attention, the wild nights, knowing everyone in high school and hanging out with people who were well liked and known around town (I live in a small town).
In grade 10, I did good academically, making the honour roll, and also chosen again to write a province-wide math assessment. But I remember in July, 2005, during my grade 10 final exams, I had pretty much neglected my math class the entire semester. I went in to write the final, having barely studied, which was not like me at all. I passed the course though, with something like a 72. I was mostly distracted by the fact that my mom was getting married the next day. I invited a few of my close friends to the wedding, enjoyed the open bar (had to get people of age to bring drinks over to me), and took some E at the reception. Afterwards, a bunch of my friends and my brother and his friends came back to my house to party all night. I was mostly stoked, however, that I would have the house all to myself for 7 days since my mom and step were going away on their honeymoon. I was excited to throw parties, do some E, drink with friends, and whatever else.
That summer I did even more E than the previous summer, it was definitely my main drug, only having tried coke about 4 times at that point. My partying wasn't just limited to E though, there were many nights where I just went out drinking with friends, but even to this day I've never really liked the feeling of being drunk. Anyway, when I did drink with my friends, I always binge drank and had alcohol poisoning so many times. There were countless times where I had to go to the hospital, or have my mom pick me up cause I could barely stand. This got me a bad reputation around town, and I learned that a reputation is easy to get and damn near impossible to lose. This is when the drug use began to impact me negatively. I remember telling friends that I wanted to be done with drugs before entering grade 11. Now look at me, almost 6 years later with the same line.
From September-December of grade 11, which was the last months of 2005, I rarely did E and kept to myself while focusing on my studies, but the motivation wasn't there, the innate ability I had always had for school dissipated into nothing. I hit the first and biggest episode of depression of my life, yet I didn't understand depression at the time; all I knew was that something in my life wasn't right and that I didn't want to live anymore. For the first time, I got drunk by myself and cried endlessly in my bed, certain that if I had had a gun in my hands I would have pulled the trigger.
I just plain gave up. I stopped going to school and laid in bed all day. I stopped talking to everyone. My mom eventually saw how bad I was doing, and contacted as many resources as possible to help me, which I thank her for now. She had a therapist/social worker come to the house and talk to me, she reached out to some people at the school for help, contacted her work to see if I was covered for therapy, took me to my family doctor so that I could be referred to a psychiatrist. I went to see a psychiatrist, who had been my psychiatrist up until recently, who put me on Zoloft. The Zoloft worked wonders, although I'm sure the other various avenues of therapeutic support helped me recover from my depression. I remember one time my mom came with me to school so that we could both talk to one of the academic advisors. My mom said to me, something along the lines of, "this is an important time for you in your life, and I don't want to see your talents wasted, since your grade 11 and grade 12 marks are what the universities are going to be looking at". I told her I didn't care about that, or life, or anything. We went in to see the school advisor who was also tremendously supportive to me and understanding. After the meeting, I walked out of school, called this guy who I sort of had a huge cursh on, and went to his house and got drunk.
For New Year's Eve that year, I had signed up for a trip to Quebec city being arranged for people attending my high school. I had signed up and paid for the trip a few months before when I was close with my best friend. By the time of the trip, we weren't so close anymore, because she was fed up with my partying and drug use. She was the first person who ever laid down the law and told me that if I didn't change my ways, she didn't want to associate with me. She was a great best friend and the abrupt end of our friendship is something I actually feel like I still haven't gotten over, and has probably contributed to my huge fear of abandonment. I still have dreams to this day where the entire dream consists of me being in some sort of situation with her in it, and some other old friends from high school, and I am trying to make up for all the things I did but I never quite gain her acceptance back. The feeling of rejection feels so real in these dreams.
Anyway, right before the trip we made up, although understandably it takes time to get close to a friend again after a large dispute. The night before we were to leave to Quebec, she had a bunch of people over who were going on the trip, for a night of drinking - casual drinking that is. Of course, I got plastered and blacked out; I didn't remember anything that happened. The next day when I went to meet her at the pick up point, she was barely talking to me and looked like she just had enough of my ways and was giving up. I was completely isolated on that trip, and it was so awkward for me when everyone was hanging around having fun and I was just trying to hang around in the background and be well behaved in the hopes that it would seem as if my old ways had changed. When we took the shuttle bus to the bars, most of the group went off on their own and I was left by myself, so I kept taking shots at the bar and just talking to strangers, having no anxiety since I was drunk. Each night I got insanely drunk and always woke up not quite remembering the previous night, but I knew I must have made an ass of myself because now most of the group had been acting distant towards me. I believe the second night I became so depressed about the trip being a complete bust that I got drunk, wound up crying and got lost; I called my best friend's cell and unlike any of the nights I got overly drunk, she came to me about this incident, telling me that she could no longer deal with getting late night calls from me where I've put myself in some sort of dangerous situation, causing her to worry and ultimately bail me out.
I was happy to get back from the trip, and happy that my other best friend wasn't on the trip, although I am sure she heard stories about how I acted on the trip and how much of a burden I continued to be to others while there. This is when I really began isolating myself, avoiding the cafeteria at lunch, walking home alone, etc. I started staying in on the weekends, and barely used E on the nights I went out. My grades improved, almost back to what they were prior to my drug use. After grade 11 ended, summer was starting, meaning I had lots of free time. I still had associates who partied, because a couple of months of isolating myself was not enough time to completely lose touch with all these party buddies. I went out one weekend, partying for 3 days straight, taking so much E I lost count. There happened to be a ton of people holding parties, so it was a pretty jam packed weekend. My friend and I went back to my house at 5 am at the end of this bender we were on, and I snuck some more people in the back door and we were taking shots here and there. I remember just lying on the floor, feeling like death, ready to puke my guts out, or just rolling over and croak. My friends left shortly after and I spent a good few days recovering. That was the last time I ever used E. I never planned it to be my last time, but I got a job that summer and had to work weekends a lot, so I didn't want to go into work hungover with no sleep.
When grade 12 came around, I gained tons of weight, stopped talking to everyone I knew, did okay with my studies but still lacked motivation in some areas. In February/March 2007, replies from the universities were being sent out to students who applied; I was accepted to all five universities I applied to. As soon as I turned 18 in April, life was pretty decent. I had gotten a few friends back and had some normalcy to my life. My father and a friend died one month later, but I just ignored the feelings of grief and kept to my previous decision to move to the city where my University was to get a break from my small town, with the hopes of meeting new people at university and leave my high school past and reputation behind. That summer I got a job on the other side of the city, where I had to take two buses at 8 am everyday just to get there. My social anxiety was at an all time high, so it is safe to say I hated every second of being there. At that point I had zero friends. Looking back, I don't know how I did it, but maybe that is because right now my functioning is ridiculously low, and any accomplishments I've made in the past seem astonishing to me.
First year of university, I met no friends, but I did make the Dean's Honour List, getting an A in 8 out of 10 of my courses. After my first year of university, I entered another period of depression because school had ended, and I couldn't stand not having a reason to get up. I gained even more weight, and my anxiety increased so much that when I went to hand out resumes, I couldn't even make it into the store. I began chatting with someone in my city who posted on an anxiety forum that I had posted on for a long time. He bugged me constantly to meet him but I wasn't interested. It is this person that introduced me to all of the pharmaceuticals I am now addicted to. He gave me adderall and told me it would help me lose weight. I took it, not knowing what to expect, but I felt good and was able to work out for 3 hours straight. Then the come down hit me, and I felt so crappy that I didn't touch adderall again for what would be a year and a half. During my second year of university I excelled, despite my depression, and my drug use at that point was very minimal; I don't remember even using that year. When I started my summer internship after second year, my recreational use of drugs grew. I took clonazepam daily at work due to my crippling social anxiety. I remember my tolerance being as high as 4 mg. Sometimes after work I would take 20 mg of ritalin for workouts, but that was about it. That summer I tried a 4mg dilaudid pill and I remember just being immobilized on my bed but feeling good.
Third year university rolls around, and I am in the midst of term 1 midterms. Still having met no friends at university despite being there for two years put me into a state of loneliness like no other time in my life. I would go 10 hours without talking to another human being, feeling so lonely despite the irony of being surrounded by thousands of students. The person I mentioned earlier gave me ritalin and told me it would help me study for my midterms and get good grades. When I ran out ritalin, I remembered having 7 adderall pills that the same person had given me 5 months which I never used. This is the point where my addiction went through the roof. I used amphetamines every day, and used benzos to get through the come downs. I would take upwards of 100 mg of adderall XR a day. When term 2 started, I was so depleted mentally and when February hit, I had hardly attended any of my classes or touched my course work. I relied on the adderall so much that when it stopped working, I stopped working too. I cut myself while in a state of despair, and was suicidal that March, where I went to the ER for being suicidal. I dropped out of the term, but the school was understanding of mental illness and made it so my transcripts wouldn't have an F for the courses I dropped.
I talked to my mom and told her about my struggles. I was also open with my psychiatrist. I put myself on the waiting list to go inpatient to a rehab centre, and at the beginning of July is when I was to check in for 30 days, under the grace of my mom dishing out thousands for me to go there. That summer I had received a job offer from my employer from the previous summer, and turned it down. This is another example of something I lost due to drug use. I also joined an outpatient program for depression and addiction. I ended up hardly going to the outpatient programs, and was expelled from the program for missing too many sessions. Instead of focusing on getting better like I had planned for the summer, I found a buddy who had a few scripts and we would stay up on dexedrine for up to 5 days at a time. I went inpatient as planned at the beginning of July, but left after a disappointing three days. The very minute I got back into town, I went to see my friend and took some dilaudid. At that point, my dilaudid use was around 2 times a week and I managed to keep it at a minimum up until July of this year.
Anyway, when I left rehab, I was so depressed and suicidal, and I remember crying every minute of the day; my mom didn't know how to help me, and I was hopeless, mostly bothered by my failure in my academics only a few months before. I got on Welbutrin and it helped me tremendously, and seemed to ease the drug cravings. I returned to a status quo level of functioning, fully accepting that it was alright if I had to take a bit of extra time to finish my degree. A new semester was weeks ahead, and to me, it was going to be a fresh start and the beginning of my journey to getting back on track in my life. I met my boyfriend in August and we became official in the middle of September. Unfortunately, my drug use crept back up because I figured that since I had barely any cravings for 6 weeks, I could control my use. I was using dexedrine and dilaudid, and then within a month, I got back to the point where I didn't want to do anything without dexedrine. I've detailed the ruin of my relationship in other threads, but to sum it up, my boyfriend was very anti-drug, and he did his best to help me quit. I quit drugs for two months, but was pretty much useless for that two months, living in depression with no motivation. My marks that semester were a joke. In January of 2011, I moved in with my boyfriend. I was still clean, but depressed, and by the time midterms came, I had barely attended class or done any school work. Fearful of another case of a failed term, I texted a person I had met in the past that I thought might have some sort of ADHD drug. It was on a whim and I didn't expect him to have anything. But, for better or for worse, he did. I got some dexedrine, and went to studying right away. I hid the use from my boyfriend, but I got caught after he read a text message I had got from the guy who gave me the dex. I wound up using dexedrine daily, and xanax too. I ended up dropping a few courses again, but finished a few.
Luckily, I landed a really good job opportunity for the summer. By that point, I was completely addicted and dependent on dexedrine and xanax, but had not touched opiates in over 6 months. Every day I hid my use and financial expenditures from my boyfriend, constantly walking around feeling like a fraud and living a life that felt like a lie. My performance at this job was poor because I called in sick constantly, due to the depression surely magnified by the drug use. I fought with my boyfriend constantly, where I was the instigator, and he treated me with nothing but kindness. In August, during the last week of my internship, I went bananas and went into working crying in histerics for three days in a row; right in front of everyone, without a care of not being professional and a disregard for leaving personal matters away from the office. The last week of my internship, I confided in my manager about my depression and mood disorder. I never went to my last five days at the job, which is disappointing, and another consequence of my drug use.
Term 1 of the next school year started right after the fiasco with my job, and at that point I had spent a lot of money on drugs but didn't want to go through the process of tallying up the total - denial was better for me, so I thought. I failed a course that semester. Next term, my boyfriend broke up with me in February during midterms, stating that I left him with no choice as every time I told him I was going to quit drugs, I didn't even put in an effort or take him seriously. I never thought he could leave me, because he was head over heels for me and he liked me much more than I liked him. On top of this, it was only a few days prior that I had decided to drop the term through a retroactive withdrawal, meaning I would get my tuition money back and the courses would not show up on my transcript. Another blow from my addiction.
When my boyfriend left me, it was the worst pain imaginable. I cut myself repeatedly, and sent him the pictures to make him feel bad, but I stopped when he threatened to call 911 on me for being a danger to myself. At that point, I really minimized my drug use because it made me sick to my stomach to realize I lost my relationship over drugs. Plus, I really had the desire to quit for good, but clearly it did not last. I stayed in bed for a good month, crying over my lost relationship. At one point I had what I would call a mental breakdown, and was taken to the hospital by my mom. Anyway, to make up for the courses I dropped, I decided to take them in the summer (the summer of this year), and it turned out that all of the courses left that I needed to graduate were being offered in the summer - I only needed 4 courses to graduate at that point. Once again, I was filled with hope for another "fresh start". I finished two courses, and in July dropped two courses, because my dependence on adderall was so severe that the adderall had stopped working long before and I was unable to function or be happy. So I signed up for four courses for this year; two this semester, and two next (I only need two to graduate, but the other two are prerequisites for the career I am pursuing).
Well, I ended up dropping my two courses for this term just a few weeks because of my opiate addiction, adderall addiction, and just my overall abuse of drugs. My ability to function is non-existant at this point, and it amazes me to look back and see how productive I was and the potential that I have. To get back on topic, I would say my drug use as a teenager led to my drug use as a young adult, which has now negatively impacted my whole life, never the less my academics.
Wow, I really just dished my whole life story, but maybe it will be a lesson to those who are early on in their drug use that the sooner one quits, the better, because the situation won't fix itself, and the lifestyle will wear you down to a shell of your former self. Thanks for reading if you made it this far.
i first starting taking drugs at the end of sixth grade, first adderal then weed. by the beginning of my freshman year in high school i was addicted to oxycodone and hydromorphone, was in major trouble with the cops, on juvenile probation and pretty much made it my mission to rebel against the whole culture of the town i grew up in. my freshman year i skipped so much school i got to a point where if a skipped a class i went to juvie the next time i was seen by any police. i was expelled after only 4 months in high school, spent a month and a half in juvie and then had to go to a school where the send all the bad kids, they could physically restrain us.
drugs contributed to my problem in a few ways. first many of the people from my hometown are really rich, and when i started to reject aspects of that culture, instead of doing something productive i would do drugs and commit vandalism. i found it made me feel like i was fucking with the status quo and that gave me some identity and purpose. than the criminal nature of drug use itself got me into scuffles with the law constantly, mostly our school officer which further made me hate school. lastly as my use progressed it became my main hobby, so it took over much of my life. by the time i was in high school id all ready tried tons of drugs and was addicted to painkillers, i skipped class so much i got a habitual truancy ticket, which is about ten times the fine as a normal one.
after all that happened at that school i got off probation, moved from a suburb to the city, and thrived at the new school i went too. graduated with honors, but since i only got like 1.5 credits (flunked all classes aside from two really cool teachers) freshman year i was always playing catch up. anyway i still used drugs, aside from painkillers, at the new school but the school was much bigger, a more open culture, and i did really good. the teachers and administration didn't treat you like a freak for not being in show choir or football. took advanced placement courses in government, history and did really well.
maybe if i didn't start with drugs and used my objection to the way people acted to motivate myself to do something other than drugs, who knows. i could have turned into a crazy psycho as easy as i could have gone to duke or something. i say " if ifs' and buts' were candy and nuts we'd all have a merry christmas". i find dwelling on what could have been does nothing but pull you down, the only regret i have is a felony i got as a juvenile (no adult record) which has caused issues when ive purchased fire arms.
i actually saw my old school cop a couple months ago, shot the shit with him and shook his hand. back in the day he tried to fuck me over more times than i can count, but than again i was doing all kinds of illegal shit and was a smart ass to him. anyway i shook hands with the man who got me for a felony, did everything he could to make my life as hard as possible and im glad i did. i bet i was the last person on earth he'd expect to bury the hatchet with, all those times he arrested me, grilled me about shit and i would stand mute and not answer anything. he's now a legislator and is in the party i vote for, he was also involved in a union dispute with the city when he was still a cop and since im very pro union that improved my opinion of him.
anyway there are many reasons people use and abuse drugs, and in my case school had a lot to do with it when i first started.
To a degree I believe it did, my often heavy (but recreational) use of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, MDMA, meth, various hallucinogens, opiates, benzos and others did little to help my academic performance and definitely affected my social development by steering me toward a social group that most would indentify as outsiders. However I don not necessarily see the second part as a bad thing, I believe that the experience of my teens and early twenties gave me an extremely perceptive and balanced worldview that those who simply do as they are told do not have the luxury of grasping, pretentious and excuse-seeking? Maybe, but it's how I see things.
Nosferatus added 2 Minutes and 9 Seconds later...
To a degree I believe it did, my often heavy (but recreational) use of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, MDMA, meth, various hallucinogens, opiates, benzos and others did little to help my academic performance and definitely affected my social development by steering me toward a social group that most would indentify as outsiders. However I don not necessarily see the second part as a bad thing, I believe that the experience of my teens and early twenties gave me an extremely perceptive and balanced worldview that those who simply do as they are told do not have the luxury of grasping, pretentious and excuse-seeking? Maybe, but it's how I see things. I definitely see being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and the ensuing anxiety, depression and paranoia caused directly by this diagnosis, to be infinitely more damaging than anything drugs did.
Last edited by Nosferatus; 29-11-2012 at 08:28.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
my drug use in highschool definitely had a negative impact......
first time I ever got high was in the second month of 9th grade at age 14 - weed - but never really became a 'pothead' like many of my friends. started drinking and using dxm, ketamine and ecstasy in grade 10 and often did K during school/in class. grade 11 started drinking a lot more and sometimes skipped class to drink in the woods/at someone's house. grade 12 was more of the same but perhaps I was a little more focused because I knew I was close to graduating...
overall, the above drugs greatly reduced my motivation to do anything in school. they also definitely fucked with my short term memory.......
i haven't mentioned psychedelics because I believe my mushroom and LSD trips either had a neutral or a positive influence on my education.
I don't think it affected my education much either way, at least not in terms of grades. I was an excellent student in high school and college, I got straight a's when I was straight edge, and that didn't change after I discovered alcohol, pot, and ritalin. I just made sure to restrict my use to where it wouldn't interfere with school or evening/weekend jobs. Even much later, when I was using opiates on a daily basis, I managed to maintain my grades because I simply didn't ditch, even if I had to show up dopesick, and made sure that I wasn't sick on test days.
However, I do think it affected the course of my education, as in, what I decided to major in. Around age 16, when I discovered DXM, mushrooms, and acid, I became fascinated with their effects on the brain, and just how the brain works, in general. I had to get a uni library card because I couldn't find enough books on pharmacology and neurobiology in the public libraries, and taking advantage of a program where I could take college courses that the school district would pay for, so that I could take biopsychology courses (after the prereqs, naturally). I ended up double majoring in psychology and biology, and I really doubt that I would have ever discovered I had an interest in either one had I not used drugs as a teen.
So I don't think that teen drug use is always necessarily a bad thing, but I did notice that my peers who were using daily at the time generally had poor grades. Of course, these were mostly people that didn't have an interest in school to begin with; many of them were much happier after leaving public school for alternative high schools or vocational tech courses, or just dropping out, getting a GED and working. Their grades essentially weren't much worse when they started smoking pot daily, simply because they weren't attending school often or doing their coursework much to begin with.
I don't think my drug addiction effected my school much besides for the fact I would always skip school... except when I would comeback I always made up my work on time and did well on my tests. My teachers began to not care because they knew I was fine... my one teacher even said she wasn't worried about me because I always got everything done. Even at my height of addiction in high school (was addicted to oxycontin) I still managed to get accepted into five colleges... all of them pretty well known. I never let my gpa fall by a whole lot and I still tried my hardest.
I still can't believe how I did it... I was out doing illegal activities to make money and everything but still managed to come home at a reasonable time and go to school the next day.. I just had to keep myself motivated and I also had to make sure my mother wouldn't catch on to anything. My depression was a good cover for everything if she did get a little suspcious. In the end she never caught on until the day I told her I was using.
Now I'm in college and no longer an oxycontin addict... but instead I use heroin now. I know what a great change.. Anyways I still go to school and use dope. I even went to my dope dealers house and chilled there in between classes. We did bags and then I was off to my next class.
I guess its the fighter in me not wanting to become a complete failure because without school I'd probably be dead by now.
I did copious amounts of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis, and Amphetamine during my undergraduate years. I also tripped on LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms several times each, and did some Cocaine and MDMA. I was smoking about 4-6 spliffs (Tobacco + Cannabis) a day, upon waking up, before class, inbetween classes, after class, etc. And then the booze and amphetamine would come out after class.
I graduated with a high GPA despite all that, and I'm glad to have experienced so many things during that time. Fortunately I got addicted to Kratom after undergraduate and stopped partying so hard, though I still do my fair share of drugs.
Yes and no. Starting at the end of freshman year, I began smoking pot and drinking alcohol on a once-weekly basis. Then curiosity took hold and by the end of sophomore year I had tried methylphenidate, clonazepam, salvia, zolpidem, amphetamine salts (adderall) lorazepam, mushrooms and DXM. The summer after sophomore year I gained a deep curiosity about psychedelics and tried LSD, did mushrooms a few times, MDMA (helped me come out of my shell and make me a stronger, happier person in the long run) a mystery drug (2cc maybe?) and DXM once a week. Junior year I became even more interested in psychedelics, and would trip 1-2 times a month on psychedelics and 2-3 times a month on DXM. Towards the end of junior year I got ahold of a research chemical connection and by the time senior year started, I had added 4-aco-dmt, 4-ho-met, 4-fa, 2c-c, 2c-e, 2c-t-2, mxe, 25i-nbome and nitrous oxide to my list. Senior year was where it began to get bad. Having over 2000 hits of 25i-nbome at my disposal, and not caring too much for it, I began trading it to friends for their prescriptions of morphine and adderall.
I was doing heavy doses of morphine 1-3 times a week, adderall followed by clonazepam 3 times a week, and mxe somewhere in between.
Yes, drugs have improved my educational experience because as a result of the revelations and new understanding that psychedelics blessed me with, I was able to have a more positive attitude about school. In english class, my essays were extremely deep and insightful, once making my teacher tell me "those 5 paragraphs changed the way I see myself" math became interesting as I began to understand how mathematical concepts (especially geometry and algebra) manifested in the world around me. Chemistry was excellent because I was able to decipher the molecules I was pumping into my brain.
No, drugs have effected my education negatively as well. Most notably during senior year in the midst of my love of morphine. It kept me foggy headed for 3 days afterwards, and I was unknowingly in a state of constant withdrawal (though extremely mild) Also, the adderall I was consuming on week nights to finish homework followed by the clonazepam to wind down and sleep left my dopamine depleted, and foggy headed, confused and irritable almost every day at school for 6 months. That on top of the morphine withdrawal really negatively impacted my education. I didn't give a shit, I was always sore and irritable, the people around me pissed me off to no end, I was hopeless about my future, didn't work hard and sunk into a depression. However my stash eventually diminished and I got better.
However, in conclusion, I'd have to say that drug use hasn't really effected my education negatively or positively, as my grades have always stayed the same since third grade (3.0-3.7 gpa) and my problems with opiates/amphetamines never got serious enough to drag me down.