I was falsely sold weed and ended up in A&E
The worst five hours of my life
It is hard to take part in student life and not see the appeal of recreational drugs. We’ve all felt the relief meeting up with your friends at 4.20pm, putting on an episode of “The adventures of OG Sherlock Kush”, and then not moving for two hours. The concept of accessing a part of our mind, not available to us day to day, is highly appealing, but not all highs work out in this way. Some can take us to a dark place.
My experience was recent and all too vivid. I was walking down the street after leaving a casual session of cannabis consumption. I had a good day. My next exam was in a week and I felt that a had a bit of breathing room to relax and put my feet up.
I had been smoking a gravity bong with my friends like I would normally do about once a month, and when I left that’s when things started to get weird.
My senses were attuned to the world around me and the possibilities for the night were endless. In this moment, a thought struck me: a voice that many smokers are familiar with. This voice told me that I couldn’t breathe, and that the world around me was nothing more than an abstract thought.
My legs fell away from my body and I suddenly couldn’t distinguish where my body ended and the world began. I told my friend that I couldn’t breathe as a fell to the ground. I was unresponsive.
From the outside, my condition seemed disturbing, but inside I was screaming. I didn’t understand what happened to me and I assumed that I had died( I know, I know. A bit over dramatic, but remember, i was on drugs), or that I was dying.
“How could I treat my body in this way when I know that people care/cared about me?” I thought to myself, thinking ahead to the day that my parents would say their final goodbyes and move on.
I feared the feeling of being forgotten and an eternity trapped in a box, six feet under (by the way, Mum, If you’re reading this, I’d like to be cremated).
Salvation came knocking in the form of a good samaritan. A trusty Aberdonian with just enough knowledge of drugs managed to bring me back to some form of awareness. As he filled me in on the situation, I told him that I was dying.
Our brief tête-à-tête gave this man a reasonable idea of what I was experiencing and he reacted accordingly. An ambulance was called. There was nothing he could do to save me from the lucid hell that my mind and the drugs had created for me.
Minutes felt like hours as I was subjected to a mix of abstract hallucinations and intense emotions. Anxiety and fear gripped me for what felt like an eternity as I fell in and out of consciousness.
I was coached through what I was feeling, but the fear I felt of losing lucidity once again and drifting away was highly palpable. Even concentrating was a task. I was a broken man, lying on the street with no dignity, drawing a crowd.
The ambulance arrived as during a stint of consciousness. I was helped in and told to lie flat. At this point, I was mostly awake, but dealing with partial blindness.
I could only see the paramedic through the corner of my eye. That was my connection to reality. I clenched my fist. I steadied my breathing. I told myself that I was fine, however, the paramedic told me that my actions were aggressive.
The shame that I felt being so disconnected to reality that I was intimidating those around me. As I was brought into hospital, my feeling changed. I felt a line of vision was impaired to the point where I could only see the eyes of those around. It was as if I was having a conversation through a hole in a brick wall.
My emotional state was completely augmented at this stage as well. I could grasp the situation around on a completely literal level. I was perceiving my surroundings in a completely emotionless manner.
I wasn’t grasping the emotional realities behind the situation that I would have caught onto if I were sober. Even though the feeling of my body was returning, my connection to reality was still distant. I stayed in the A&E for hours, waiting.
I understand that the world that students choose to dabble in is not one that is entirely safe. It seems, as a group, students are not known for being cautious and skeptical.
We exist in a position of uncertainty when it comes to drug use. We are simultaneously encouraged by our peers to take part in the delights of drug use and told from authority that it is a trait commonly associated with the degenerate. This debate is enough to ruins anyone’s high.
We are part of a culture that confirmed my own biases, that drugs such as cannabis cannot cause extreme adverse reaction to you, but the reality of my situation was that I didn’t understand what I was putting in my body and I paid dearly.
We often look to authority figures that spread misinformation about drug consumption and as a result, when faced with a intimidating situation, neither I nor my friend, was able to act to any great effect.
We should all seek out information from legitimate sources and to understand what you are putting in your body. Apply the same level of scepticism and thought to recreational drug use that you are told to apply to your academic studies.