Gardaí warn students over cannabis edibles and nitrous oxide balloons as Freshers' Week begins
In 2020, 2,548 people aged under 24 entered drug treatment.
Gardaí have issued a plea to students to avoid the harmful consequences of drugs misuse, including a warning over the use of cannabis edibles and nitrous oxide balloons, as Freshers' Week begins across the country.
Gardaí launched their #Riseabovetheinfluence drug awareness campaign on Tuesday as part of a "campus watch" programme amid a return to on-campus lectures.
As part of the campaign, Gardaí have warned students to avoid drug use, saying that using drugs such as Cannabis, Cocaine, Ketamine and MDMA is a criminal offence that could lead to "addiction, loss of career opportunities, under-achievement, and international travel restrictions".
"Taking other substances like cannabis edibles: jellies, sweets, drinks, vapes, or synthetic cannabinoids or nitrous oxide balloons also carries health and prosecution risks," Detective Superintendent Sé McCormack of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau said.
The Superintendent also warned that un-prescribed ‘study’ drugs or sleeping pills can "lead to anxiety, addiction and psychosis."
"Freshers’ Week should be a time for celebration, the beginning of something good in your life. Don’t let drug use end your career before it starts," McCormack added.
Gardaí also warned students that the use of multiple drugs can increase the risk of death, encouraging them to contact emergency services if they become ill after consuming a drug.
"Contact the emergency services if you become ill after consuming a drug or are in the presence of somebody who may be ill," he continued.
"Drug use can lead to addiction, debt, prison and the destruction of your physical and mental health."
In 2020, 674 people under the age of 18 entered drug treatment, the majority for cannabis use. 1,874 people between the age of 18 to 24 entered treatment, with over 61% using more than one drug.
In 2017, 53 people below the age of 24 died from a drug-related illness.