Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug. Hallucinogenic experiences are quite common and, although not chemically addictive, a psychological dependence may develop. Heavy users may become de-motivated, leading to lack of interest in academic work, friends and family.
Experimentation with drugs such as cannabis may quickly lead to an addiction to harder drugs.
Drugs pose a risk to both mental and physical health and addiction can have a disastrous effect on your studies. Mixing drugs (and alcohol) could have an even greater effect on health, whether mixing depressants or stimulants and depressants. Injecting drugs directly into the bloodstream carries some very serious health risks. You might accidentally puncture an artery or allow air into the bloodstream. Buying drugs from the internet or an unknown source is also unadvisable. If the needle is not clean, or is shared with other users, there are risks of Tetanus, Hepatitis B and C and HIV. Generally it's best to avoid drugs especially if you're feeling anxious or depressed. You should be even more wary of using recreational drugs if you're taking prescribed drugs, as there could be unpredictable side effects.
Many drugs are illegal and possession could leave you with a criminal record and suspended from your degree. Possession of cannabis holds a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and supply 14 years. Getting a criminal record can prevent you from working in certain jobs, stop you travelling to certain countries (including the USA and Australia) or affect your chances of getting into some colleges and universities. The University of York states:
"Any student who has possession or makes use of illegal drugs, or who supplies any person with such a drug or knowingly assists him or her to obtain possession of it, becomes liable, independently of any penalty imposed on conviction by a court of law, to disciplinary action by the University"
Services like Talk to Frank offer confidential help on beating addiction, as the best way of minimising risk is to stop using altogether.