Tripping in the student house: drug use of students has increased significantly

A neighbor of the Nijmegen student house still has to recover from the event. “All students are home again. Two of them were on the ic. Scared of course.”

A group of students from a student house in Nijmegen had to go to hospital this weekend after taking so-called Tesla pills. It contains another, much heavier substance than it should actually be. The Trimbos institute has immediately put the pills on the blacklist and warns others not to use the pills.

The Nijmegen students are not the only ones who take drugs at home: almost a quarter of the students started taking drugs or started using more drugs during the corona crisis. This is shown by research among more than 7,000 students in three student cities, which was done by Martijn Janse, who is a physics student herself. The research was conducted among students in Leiden, Delft and Utrecht.

Because of the corona crisis, students cannot go to the pub or to parties, so they use drugs in their student house, Janse says. “They take each other with them. For example, if another student is studying, they will also be tempted to participate. It turns out to be difficult to escape the temptation during this lockdown.”

Experimenting out of boredom

According to the Trimbos Institute, some of the students use more drugs due to the lockdown. “This is usually out of boredom, or as a substitute for going out,” says researcher Ruben van Beek. “Some students are also curious about new experiences and therefore start experimenting with resources.”

“What we also hear is that people use drugs because of stress or loneliness,” says Van Beek. “That group is more at risk. If you feel bad, and use drugs to feel better, you can develop a pattern of addiction where you need drugs to feel good.”

In addition, some drugs, such as 2C-B or magic mushrooms, can actually enhance negative feelings. There is also more experimentation with these types of means, possibly more often than with other means.

No first aid post at home

The fact that people have started using drugs more often at home also entails risks, says Van Beek: “There is no first aid post at home, so if something happens it is less easy to seek help. On the other hand, some risk factors such as a busy environment or a warm ambient temperature is often not there at home on the couch. ”

The institute does not know exactly how often things go wrong at home. Van Beek: “We see that far fewer people report to the hospital, but we do not know whether that is because there are fewer incidents, or whether people do not report when something happens.”

But the biggest danger of using at home is a higher risk of addiction. Van Beek: “Before corona, many young people mainly used drugs while going out. More people have now started to find it normal to also use drugs at home. when you’re alone. That increases the risk of addiction. ”

The students do have one advantage, says Van Beek: “They are still quite young and flexible, so they can easily adjust their behavior. When the situation returns to normal, it is easier for them to get out of that pattern of drug use.”

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