UCC students more likely to have taken drugs than others

UCC students are more likely to have taken illegal drugs, are less likely to be teetotallers, are more sexually active and are more financially independent than students of UCD or Trinity College.

Those are among the findings a national student survey which were published yesterday by student website, campus.ie.

The nationwide survey of 4,583 students found 70% are not regular smokers and only 15% of those who smoke, do so socially.

Half said they consume between one and six alcoholic drinks a week, while 10% said they don’t drink.

Of those who did drink, 80% said they consume less than the weekly maximum recommended by the Health Service Executive — up to 11 units for women and up to 17 for men.

Almost 60% of the national sample said they have never taken illegal drugs. However, the UCC sample of 366 students showed just a third had never taken illegal drugs.

Marijuana was by the far the most common of the illicit drugs, with 55% of the UCC sample reporting they had smoked it, with a quarter trying ecstasy and 9% taking various hallucinogens.

The rate of UCC students who said that they did not drink alcohol (5%) was lower than the national average identified in the overall survey, with spirits (46%), beer (17%) and cider (11%) the most popular forms of alcohol.

The survey suggested a higher ratio of female students to male students in UCC — an almost 60:40 split.

Meanwhile, almost 90% of students surveyed described themselves as heterosexual, with 6% saying they were gay, and 2% who said they were still “questioning” their sexuality.

Just over a-third said they were in a relationship, 64% were single, with 80% describing themselves as “sexually active” — slightly above the national average. However, at 18%, the number of students who underwent an STI test is below the national average.

The survey found over half of the students (56%) do not live with their parents or depend on their family for financial support, and that 42% of students have either dropped out of, or want to drop out of their course. Most said they didn’t like their course, a fifth blamed stress and almost one third said based on hindsight, they would have changed their CAO selection.

The survey also found 40% of UCC students walk to college, with almost a third driving and a fifth getting the bus.


Lifestyle

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman who’s growing resentful of her widowed mum’s needy behaviour.Ask a counsellor: My mother is so clingy since losing my dad – what can I do?

More From The Irish Examiner