I am a student drug addict

Thought freshers week was bad enough? Try doing it whilst battling a drug addiction

addiction Clubbing column Drugs Life recovery valium

Please Note: This is a real account, and as such is not trying to glamorise or trivialise drug taking or abuse. Although anonymous for obvious reasons, we also hope that it helps people both to understand, and to talk about, the problem of addiction, and the often painfully secret reality of being a high-functioning user, within the university. 

Week 1

I was clean. I was standing in the queue for the bar at ‘Life’ at 11:30 pm on Sunday 5th October. My bloodstream was empty of all intoxicants. No booze, no uppers, no downers, no caffeine, no nicotine, no vodka, no coffee, no red-bull; no amphetamine and, most painfully of all, no diazepam.

The women at the bar asked me what I would like to order. “Please may I have a glass of tap-water”.

I needn’t have bothered: my voice was certainly not going to overpower ‘Starships’ by Nicky Minaj, which was currently blitzkrieg-ing both her ear-drums and mine.

 “Never mind,” I mumbled, and turned to walk away. But I didn’t get the chance. A six foot four gentleman/minotaur wearing a rugby shirt emblazoned with the St John’s College crest threw me out of the way.

part men, mostly just giant bulls

Part men, but mostly just giant bulls


Some background is necessary. At the end of last year I was taking more drugs than I could successfully disguise. I was ‘strongly encouraged’ by the Senior Tutor at my College to get help from an addiction counsellor.

The counsellor, when I met him, ‘strongly advised’ the following: no benzodiazepines; no alcohol; no amphetamine; no cocaine; no nicotine; no caffeine; no sugary food (even fruit). He also suggested that I try a night out whilst stone-cold sober.

Flash forward to 10:30 pm on Sunday 5th of October, the THE FIRST SUNDAY LIFE OF TERM. I was primed and ready for my date with destiny. Would I be able to enjoy the evening whilst completely ‘clean’?

I paid my five pound entry fee and walked inside. Upon entry, I quickly realised that I’d apparently learnt how to apparate but not how to control it; and had involuntarily transported myself to a Guantanamo-style torture chamber.

Dark waters

Life: ultimately just a carpeted hell hole

Then I had a flashback.


Sunday, some time in March, 2014: night out with my college drinking society after a swap. It is around midnight and I am parading myself in my drinking society blazer and tie.

I am in what other people think is the night-club ‘Life’, but as far as I’m concerned it’s not, it’s somewhere in the clouds above Mount Olympus and I am a demi-god in a state of testosterone-fuelled ecstasy to which no mere mortal can aspire.


Olympian scenes beneath Waterstones

Released from my human bonds by a copious amount of amphetamine, I have been transformed into a Hercules-cum-Adonis with my libido soaring like an eagle: my only worry, if I had any worries, would be that my erection is probably visible through my jeans.

But I don’t have any worries because I’d counter-balanced the ‘uppers’ with a healthy dose of the magic-pills: the anxiety-busting sedatives which make all problems go away (OH MY GOD I LOVE DIAZEPAM).

I am, proverbially speaking, ‘pumped’. Pumped, pumped, pumped. My testicles are pumped like overfilled space-hoppers and are ready to burst; they are ready to burst so violently as to leave at least half of the University of Cambridge’s drinking society population with their blazers drenched in semen.

The only thing now is to find a willing and beautiful nymphomaniac who will give me satisfaction in the only department in which my desires so far this evening are yet to be fulfilled. I want to fuck someone. 


Back in the present, (Sunday 5th), things were getting worse. I started trying to talk to some of the girls I knew. Girls I knew and liked, and girls with whom normally I would have aspired to sleep with. Girls who were now pungent with sweat, alcohol and halitosis.

I felt like Jean Valjean must have felt, towards the end of Les Miserables, when he carries an unconscious Marius Pontmercy through the sewers, searching for the safety hatch that will bring himself, Marius, and his nose out of the waist-deep pipelines of shit and into the sweet Parisian night air.

19th century paris or Life alley?

19th century paris or Life alley?

I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to get away. I could feel my libido sinking like The Titanic and it felt more likely that the wreckage of the latter would come up to the surface North Atlantic than that the former would ever rise again.

Another girl, a friend, came over to me. More than a friend, because for a long time I have harboured secret fantasies that involve the two of us in bed together, copulating in improbable positions, long into the night.

She put her and arms around my waist and breathed heavily into my mouth and nostrils. “Hey! Would you like to go halves on a cocktail pitcher?” A fresh projection of stench. “No thank you”, I managed to reply, and turned and ran away.

I got back to College at 2:00 am. I got into bed and lay still and tried to get to sleep.

Then, at 4:30 am, still wide-awake, I screamed “FUCK IT” as loud as I could. I got out of bed and desperately searched through my bathroom cupboard.

Finally, I found it: the packet of Diazepam that I’d hidden for ‘emergencies’.

I swallowed 60mg with a glass of whisky and got back into bed.

I had a wonderful night’s sleep.