These things are seen as central to student culture. Students, apparently, do sex and drugs and smoke themselves hoarse all the time. Not true. Not all students do any or all of these things, and even if they do them, they don’t do them all the time. What’s more, while doing them might lighten your mood or give you an instant hit, none of them will, in themselves, make you happy.
The right to abstain from these “vices” has to be respected by those of us who indulge, but the fact that students often experiment with their sexuality or drugs has also to be recognised and provided for.
It’s not our role as a students’ association to tell you what to do, but to try to support you in the choices you make for yourselves. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is your choice, and if you do decide to do all or any of these things, recognise the element of risk in them and do what you can to minimise it.
The twin aim is to be safe from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. There’s no such thing as totally safe sex, but condoms provide the best protection if properly used and you don’t have an allergy to them. NSA is part of the C-Card Scheme which issues free condoms from 12 Merchiston Place. It’s a popular service. Pick up a card at reception – all we need is your date of birth and the first part of your postcode.
The problems are: unreliable quality, dependency and dodgy company. Drugs are illegal so quality isn’t regulated. Never do drugs on your own and don’t do them where everyone else will be off their faces. If you try anything new especially, ensure that you are with someone you trust to get help if the experiment goes wrong. If you do Ecstasy – make sure you drink water with it – not loads at once, but a pint per hour sipped gradually is usually recommended. Using needles should be avoided, but if you do it, don’t share needles, and be careful how you dispose of used needles.
You can make an appointment by telephoning 229 8791 or send an e-mail with your enquiry. We will aim to see you as soon as possible and within three working days during term-time.
You can also check out the Student Survival Guide for more advice. Pick up a copy from NSA at 12 Merchiston Place.