A-Z

Hugh - Interview 22

Age at interview: 20
Brief Outline: Hugh thinks that when you get to university it is such a different environment, with so many new people, and it is easier to socialise when you're drinking. Sometimes when drunk, he would smoke cannabis with friends and at festivals. He has also tried MDMA.
Background: Hugh is a first year university student who found that drinking at university was very different from drinking as a teenager. Ethnic background; British.

More about me...

Hugh's family let him to drink alcohol with meals or at family gatherings, when he was growing up. As a teenager he would usually drink at weekends with friends, and during the week at dinner or at a friend’s birthday party. He worked hard for his ‘A’ levels, and tried to avoid drinking during the week.
 
Hugh thinks that when you get to university it is such a different environment, with so many new people, and it is easier to socialise when you’re drinking. That’s why they have fresher events with lots of alcohol, making it easier to mix and meet people. Alcohol is much cheaper at student organised events, and at the Student Union Bars. When student loans come through, many students aren’t good at spreading the money throughout the academic year. Hugh had a gap year and had a job to earn all the money he used to go travelling himself. He learned to manage his money, and says that many students straight out of school get carried away and drink too much.

Hugh has occasionally tried drugs. At ten or eleven, he tried cannabis a few times with friends, but didn’t like smoking. He once had a girlfriend who was anti smoking, which influenced him. Sometimes when drunk, he would smoke cannabis with friends and at festivals. He has also tried MDMA with friends, and says that he would only take it if friends offered, but would never buy it. He has hardly ever taken drugs without being under the influence of alcohol. He has friends that have smoked cannabis from a young age and he thinks it has affected their education. 
 

Hugh said that some of his friends who smoked a lot of cannabis could have done better in school.

Hugh said that some of his friends who smoked a lot of cannabis could have done better in school.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Some people you can just tell behave very differently after a lot of, lots of smoking cannabis but then like consequential kind of things. I mean just quite simply my friends who smoked cannabis from a young age and continued to do so kind of under-achieved I’d say.
 
Under achievers?
 
Yeah definitely.
 
So it has affected their education?
 
Yeah definitely. I think I might, I don’t know that it actually has... It’s hard to say I mean because my friends who are really clever and still smoked a lot with, have still done amazingly but that’s because I think they could kind of knuckle down when it came to it. But I think there’s definitely a correlation between smoking weed from a young age and kind of how seriously you take your schooling, I think probably. 
 

Hugh thinks that experimenting is part of the university experience. In the last two years he...

Hugh thinks that experimenting is part of the university experience. In the last two years he...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
No. Well I mean I might if I’m drunk or every now and then if a load of friends are but I would never kind of buy it. I’ve never, actually I’ve never ever bought a drug ever. I’ve never bought anything so that’s quite. I’d only if it was offered I think.
 
And MDMA where have you tried it, with friends?
 
With friends and at festivals but again I’ve never bought it.
 
I’ve just, if friends have excess or something or they are ok. That was one thing I always said to myself, I would never, I’d never buy.
 
So you take them quite occasionally?
 
No, no not at all.
 
Not at all. Ok.
 
I mean I have over the last two years I’ve probably taken it about five or no maybe it’s been six and seven times I’d say.
 
But no I haven’t for example I haven’t done it all summer.
 
Always in the context of being with friends so in a...?
 
I mean yeah for example it’s a university thing all over again. I would never do it in [place] on like a normal night.
 
No?
 
No. It’s yeah I wouldn’t.
 
So why do you think you do it there, at uni?
 
Probably because it’s under the kind of title of, it’s the whole context of uni. It’s kind of experimentation and all that kind of stuff.
 
I don’t know. I think that it is actually an excuse for trying new things.
 
You know because I know with my parents that’s when they tried things and it’s when people are renowned for experimenting. 
 

Hugh would be very worried if a friend who'd never used drugs suddenly started.

Hugh would be very worried if a friend who'd never used drugs suddenly started.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Do you have any concerns about any of your friends or people that you know?
 
No. No I don’t. I mean but the thing is most of my friends who do drugs have been doing them for a while now. If I had for example, I mean [friend’s] an example. [Friend] has never really done, taken drugs. If, and he’s doing an amazing course at [City] and he’s kind of set up to do really well. If [friend] in his second year started doing huge amounts of drugs yeah I’d definitely, I’d say something, definitely. But you know if I said to my friend who’s been doing drugs since he was in Year 11 and isn’t at university, ‘I don’t think you should do this’. It’s kind of a bit late now I think. It wouldn’t really be to any benefit. It would be a bit embarrassing if anything. I wouldn’t do that.
 
So the people best placed to spot perhaps those who are having issues about alcohol addiction or...?
 
It probably is friends.
 
It’s friends isn’t it?
 
But only if it’s been a sudden change in attitude towards the two. I mean for example I don’t think I’d. If one of my friends started smoking cannabis in Year 9 and then takes Ecstasy in Year10, 11 and then takes Ketamine in Year 12 and then all the other drugs in Year 13 that, I mean that’s just a steady progression. Whereas if it’s a friend who was drinking alcohol casually in Year 12 and then taking acid in Year 13 then you’d kind of have something to say.
 
Why, why is that?
 
Because that’s just dangerous. I think that’s, [laugh] well actually I suppose there isn’t, they are both equally dangerous aren’t they? But you’d have to be concerned if it’s like a phase.
 
Ok so one
 
If it’s like a sudden phase you’d have to speak to them. 
Previous Page
Next Page