The Union of Students in Ireland is urging young people to stay away from the ‘designer drug’ 2CB after six people were hospitalised following its consumption at a house party in Cork this morning. According to the 2015 National Student Drug Survey, 82% of students have at some point used illegal drugs.

94% of the 2,701 people surveyed who said they have used drugs in their lifetime have shared drugs with another person. Full survey results are available here.

USI said that we need to acknowledge that drug use happens but the key to keeping young people safe is through education.

“We need to recognise that drug use happens and young people experiment.” Kevin Donoghue, USI President, said, “We need to ensure that young people are being educated on the risks in a way that is relative to them. That is how we keep them safe – by arming them with information. The ‘just say no’ campaign simply doesn’t work. Young people don’t connect with it. We are urging students to stay away from the 2CB drug because it can have serious side effects, both psychologically and physically, such as paranoia, hallucinations, kidney problems and gastrointestinal effects.”

The HSE issued a statement saying the full details in relation to the 2CB drug are not yet available but it is thought to be one of the new psychoactive substances similar to those products previously sold in ‘Head-shops’, like an ecstasy substitute. According to the 2015 National Student Drug Survey, the majority of students reported taking drugs at a party or with friends but the Union of Students in Ireland is urging students to be ‘vigilant’ when they’re at parties or nightclubs for dangerous substances.

“Young people are advised that there is no quality control on these drugs.” The HSE said in their statement “There are problems with purity and contaminants, and there is no way of checking that what is purchased or consumed is the intended substance. Given the serious side-effects experienced by the young people in Cork, the HSE Addiction services are issuing a warning about possible contaminated ‘party pills’ and advise people to not consume any unknown substances that they are offered at this time.”


Further Survey Results:

  • 82% of students have tried illegal drugs. While it is common for some students to try illegal drugs at least once in their lifetime, recurring drug use is lower for illegal drugs compared to alcohol.
  • When taken over the past 12 months, 49% of all respondents have consumed normal strength cannabis compared to 44% who have used high potency cannabis.
  • Respondents reported that the common reason why they do not use illegal drugs is 16% health consequences and 9% due to criminality.
  • The most common reason why students are consuming drugs is fun (27%), curiosity (19%) and “switching off” (13%). Among the lowest is peer pressure at 6%.
  • 35% of people that have used illegal drugs in their lifetime have sold illegal drugs
  • 94% of people that have used drugs in their lifetime have shared drugs with another person. Under Irish law this breaks Section 15 the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Click here for full survey results.