Drugs Awareness Week: My Negative Experience with Alcohol

All posts are from anonymous contributors to our platform. While The Hysteria Collective does not endorse drug-use, we believe that judgement-free education and resources can only have a positive impact on the safety and welfare of others. We’re not all massive druggos, we swear.

Colloquial name of drug: Alcohol

Scientific name of drug: Alcohol/ethanol

Type of experience: Negative

My experience:

I started drinking before I should have, but everyone in the UK does. It was Caribbean Twist and WKD, it was Smirnoff Ice and lager that I sipped at, pretending it was delicious to me.

I started mixing cigs with shots when I was just sixteen, I felt cool and chill, my inhibitions left the building. I hadn’t had many to start with, but people liked me more when I was drunk. So, why would I stop when I didn’t like me sober either? Sober I was brash and rude and well, drunk, I didn’t care. I could say anything I wanted and blame the drink that I had recklessly poured glistening down my throat. Sure, I guess that’s not so bad when you’re eighteen or nineteen: it’s expected, even.

But when you don’t know when to stop and love hurtling past your limits, your phone’s gone missing, it was left at a bus stop, and no one has seen you either. The ambulance has been called and you’ve pissed yourself and you’ve broken your nose on the curb. And you’ll wake up tomorrow with no idea what has happened. At least you’re in your bed this time – surprising when you’re not sober.

Because normally, come closing time, you find someone to take you home, so at least you can be this version of yourself a little while longer.

Another of our contributors shared their negative experience with alcohol, but as a friend rather than a participant.

Colloquial name of drug: Alcohol

Scientific name of drug: Alcohol/ethanol

Type of experience: Negative

Location they took it: A certain Soton club renowned for its four-shot drinks.

Who they took it with: Other friends.

My experience:

My worst experience with alcohol is seared into my brain. It is second year of university, and I’ve had an argument with my housemate. A guns blazing, throwing-things, swearing and shouting kind of argument. I had planned to go out that night with friends, and I go to pres, but I decide against going out. I’m not in the right state of mind.

I come home at around midnight and stay up with another housemate, decompressing and overall having a much needed chat. We are in her room, both in our pyjamas, when the doorbell rings at past 1am.

At the door is a boy we don’t know, my first housemate collapsed in his arms. She is sobbing and unintelligible, and he says that he found her on the street. She tries to run past us but she trips and lands on the stairs, slipping down them to lay on the floor of the hallway. She stays there. She doesn’t move. She starts to throw up, and we quickly move her into the recovery position.

We try to get her to talk to us. We try to get her to open her eyes.

Eventually, the second housemate calls 111 and I hold my housemate’s hair. She keeps trying to roll over onto her back and I have to physically hold her down so she doesn’t choke. She passes out and we can’t wake her.

The very helpful adviser at 111 rings an ambulance and stays on the line. When the paramedics arrive, they struggle to get her to wake up. She does, eventually. She’s fine at the end of the story. There’s no lasting damage. We stay up all night with her to make sure she doesn’t chunder in her sleep.

What I remember most is when the paramedics first arrive and we think they’re going to take her to hospital. I remember putting on my trainers and my coat over my pyjamas to go in the ambulance. My second housemate is getting her car keys; she’s going to follow us behind. I am getting my first housemate’s stuffed bear for comfort. She can’t sleep without it.

I have never felt such calm panic before. I haven’t since.

This wasn’t the first time that my housemate had drunk so much it was dangerous; she struggled with alcohol for the rest of university. She often drank bottles of wine alone in her room. We were only twenty – we didn’t know what to do. I wish I had done something, though, beyond a staged intervention every two months. It wasn’t enough and we didn’t know how to help her.

Advice to others: Look out for your friends and your housemates. Don’t let them walk home alone. Tell someone if you’re worried about the amount they’re drinking. Even if you have to call their parents, or 111, or a helpline. Don’t let them fall into alcoholism just because it’s university and “that’s what students do.” Look after each other.

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