Drugs 'don't define me' says regular Kiwi user

LIAM HYSLOP AND SHANE COWLISHAW
Last updated 06:35 14/04/2014

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Look around your workplace and you are almost guaranteed to see a regular drug user.

They might not look like what you would expect - they are not degenerates and they are probably not depressed, says Adam Winstock, creator of the Global Drug Survey 2014.

It found 75.6 per cent of the 5646 New Zealand participants had taken at least one illegal drug in their lifetime, while 30 per cent had taken at least one in the past month.

Most of those people were employed, reported a high level of satisfaction in their lives, and said their drug use did not define them.

Fairfax Media spoke to two male Wellington office workers, who looked just as normal as any of the rest of their well- dressed colleagues on Lambton Quay.

Neither wished to be identified in case they lost their jobs.

One, a 23-year-old, said he had taken just about every recreational drug you could think of: marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, magic mushrooms, legal highs and synthetic cannabis, MDMA, acid, valium and ketamine.

His main drugs of choice were marijuana, which he smoked a couple of times a week, and ecstasy, which he took on special occasions about once a month.

He said he was very satisfied with his life and his drug use was one small part of it.

"I wouldn't say it was affecting my life at all. I've been making pay grades at work."

Marijuana helped him to relax, while ecstasy was for social occasions, he said. "Marijuana helps me chill out and has helped me with a couple of prior anger issues. Ecstasy is for nightclubs and friends in the nightlife scene, and they are quite a lot of fun. The drugs I use, I find I don't rely or depend on them. They are just there if I'm bored, especially marijuana - it's just more boredom than anything."

A 30-year-old, who described himself as a regular weed smoker, also said his drug use did not define him.

"I like the way it makes me feel, it might make me enjoy something more, but it's not a defining part of me."

He also felt his general wellbeing was good and, if someone told him he could not smoke marijuana any more, he would not be too upset.

ONLINE HELP

To see if your drug or alcohol use is at harmful levels, try the following free online tools and apps: Drinks Meter (drinksmeter.com and free at the iTunes and Google Play app stores), and Drugs Meter (drugsmeter.com and free at Google Play app store).

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- The Dominion Post

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