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Student Drug Use In Scottish University

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Once all our interviews had concluded we re-wrote all the questions that we had asked our four respondents comparing them by using a table. From this it was easier to compare and contrast answers, assisting us in our search for re-occurring themes or major differences. For the purpose of anonymity the sample will be referred to as W, X, Y and Z.

Themes and Patterns

There were a vast amount of themes and patterns that emerged during our analysis of the four interviews. Firstly, the living arrangements of our sample were similar. Three out of the four students had resided in the Stirling University Halls of Residence during first year and by third year all four were staying in privately rented occupation. Significantly the social habits of the four students were alike. Of the three students who stayed in Halls in first year all three 'went out' on campus at least three or more nights per week. The attendance of 'nights out' on campus fell to only two visits per semester for two of our sample, whilst the other kept to much the same pattern. All four of our sample attended the 'Fubar' nightclub in Stirling town centre every Thursday. Respondent X was the only subject whom started university with any friends from back home. All traveled home regularly to see friends in first two years of university, with the exception of respondent Z who had a significant distance to travel.

Of our four respondents only subject Z had no previous experience with illicit drugs. All three of the respondents who had taken illicit drugs before entering university had consumed cannabis and 'speed' by the age of 16. Subject X had also taken solvents, 'magic mushrooms' and 'acid' before entering university. Respondent W had consumed all the afore-mentioned drugs before coming to university but had also experimented with Valium and had smoked heroin. The location of drug consumption for all concerned was nearly always at parties or with older friends.

Since entering Stirling University all four had experimented with 'ecstasy' for the first time. Three of the four tried cocaine the first after entering university. The social setting of ecstasy use was nearly always club and music based, whilst cocaine use appeared to be restricted to post-club parties with friends. All respondents had suspicions that their families were aware of their 'softer' drug use but no one had actually been confronted on the subject. None of the respondents'' families' had any inkling about their sons/daughters 'class A' drug consumption.

The body language of those respondents whom had previously used drugs appeared to be more relaxed and open compared to the closed nervous responses from respondent Z.


The most significant variation in responses occurred when discussing the individuals' motivation and reasons for taking illicit drugs. Respondent W was curious about the effects the different drugs



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