If you could go back and talk to yourself right after swallowing that first ecstasy tablet what would you say? “Be careful; be sensible for once in your life. Think."

Slipping into a drug habit can happen to anybody, even you.

If you are a first year, you are embarking on a new adventure mapping the rest of your life. You will be faced with lots of decisions both socially and academically. Some will be miniscule and bear little on your overall route but you may encounter decisions that will tempt you against your better judgement and throw you off course.

That’s exactly what happened to one Dublin student I spoke to.  Now a reformed drug addict and dealer Sean* (name changed) was one of the lucky ones.

Sean* shares his experience in this two part-series on Campus.ie.

First it was hash

"First it was hash. I was 15. I was with a couple of my mates around the back of the school and they had tried it before. There was no peer pressure and I had smoked cigarettes a few times before then so I didn’t see the harm. I was 17 when I moved onto taking pills (ecstasy). It was a similar situation again.

"I was at a gaf party with some mates who had taken them before. I remember when I got to the party I wasn’t sure about taking anything. I kept the pill with me for a while, I had a few drinks and maybe that lowered my inhibitions I don’t know but I took it. And it was whopper.  Nothing bad happened that night - I just went home and had a kip. No harm done. I wasn’t doing anything regularly at this stage, I was still in school.

"When I went to college I was working part time as well so I was really only going out one night a week, usually Thursday.  Not everyone in the class did drugs but I did get wrecked with some people.  I started to get more and more into drugs as time went on. I hadn’t had any bad experiences myself and none of my mates had either so I let curiosity get the better of me and started to experiment with more. Looking back now I can see how I was progressively getting further and further into a drug habit…

That drug habit was soon to take hold of Sean*’s life, leading him down a dark path of paranoia, debt, threats on his life and an eventual inevitable breakdown. Sean* explains how his seemingly nonchalant drug use throughout college led to addiction, dealing and death threats in the blink of an eye.

"Curiosity. It was always curiosity for me in the beginning. I’d see other people and think well they’re having a laugh and seem alright, not foaming at the mouth or anything  so why not? Some of the most intelligent and sharpest people I know have gotten mad out of it for periods in their lives so I was looking at that and people around me. Drugs were accessible, they were readily available and things like pills and hash or weed were affordable for someone my age."

I really got into drugs before first year in college

"Between leaving school and first year I got really into drugs, this is where it all began but I didn’t lose control at this point. College acted as a stepping stone for me, it opened the door and gave me an insight into Dublin’s drug scene.

"After college I was working as a promoter and drugs became normality. That was just that industry; drug use was rampant and to a point still very much is.  A lot of promoters would take and sell drugs but it was clear the more successful ones didn’t. A few of the companies I worked for here were staffed with people heavily involved in the drug scene. This was, and in reality still is a factor when it comes to larger events such as festivals."

At this point in his life Sean* had graduated, was working in a relatively lucrative industry and got a taste for money and the high life. He told me candidly about the attraction and how his own involvement with drugs progressed.

"I saw what could be made from it and what could be done smartly. I recognised the potential to make a lot of money and took advantage.  I suppose you could say it was greed. It was.  I just wanted easy money and I didn’t want to work too much for it."

Incredibly fast money...

“I knew if I got a hundred pills, I could sell them in one night making myself a tidy profit. Quick easy money was the name of the game. So I would get a hundred pills off a fella I knew and go to [a bar] on a Thursday. I had no problems getting rid of them, every single one of them. Rockers and ‘metallers’ inhaled drugs. I used to go down there and clean house.

"I was still doing pills every now and again but I wasn’t into taking them as much once I started selling.  I would go to parties and maybe take one then be mad out of it doing business until there were none left. Having a laugh and making money.

"It had become a business, I didn’t care I was living off dirty money..."

Read part two of 'Curious' on Campus.ie next Monday.