Otago University student, James Bryant began investigating the culture and effects of the drug Methamphetamine after initially experimenting with less-pure forms of amphetamine to get through the workload of his engineering major.
More commonly known in Australia by the street names ‘Ice’ or ‘Pookie,’ James says his experiences with Crystal Meth were a direct result of “gateway drugs”.
“My study workload was so gruelling, I just couldn’t keep up… So I went in to my local GP and told him that I was suffering from ADHD and that I needed something to help me concentrate,”
“I walked out with a repeat script for a bottle of [Dextroamphetamine] and a medical certificate excusing me from class that day,”
“I started taking two or three at a time… Within six months I had was getting average grades, it wasn’t enough though cuzzie”
The non-pharmacy-approved drug known as Ice has almost reached epidemic status in Dunedin, with widespread media attention culminating in an eye-opening report penned by journalists from The Daily Telegraph.
“Yeah I saw the report,” says James,
“…and I thought; it couldn’t be that bad. And it turns out, it’s not,”
“I have a community services card but was still burning through cash for my dexies’ and I read in the Tele’s report that a point of Pookie will keep you up for a few hours more. By that stage I had resorted to snorting through a bottle of [prescription drugs] a week,”
“So I headed down to South Dunnas and went looking for the loudest prick there,”
“I found the right bloke, he was shouting at people in the street and walking really fast for no reason… I picked up a gram,”
“Not only have I retained my grades but I’ve learnt a lot about this country and its problems with Ice in the process.”
James goes on to explain that Ice isn’t the problem, it’s the public’s perception of the drug and its users, mainly propagated by the media.
“You see, I had misconceptions about Ice too, until I started using it. That loud cunt? His name’s Trevor and he’s not a bad bloke, the rest of the world just isn’t on the same level as him, as us,”
“Once you’ve been up for a week straight, everything is different. It’s the whole outside-looking-in thing, isn’t it? We’re not hurting anyone, I’m maintaining a high-distinction average at one of the best universities in the world and Trevor is working on getting his taxi licence,”
“…But all you see that gets reported are the horrors of this drug. My teeth are fine and I’m not trying to scratch bugs out of my arms. Most of the people I know who smoke have skin problems that are hereditary anyway”
When asked what was next for him James replied:
“Well it’s been an eye-opening experience and I think I’ll further my research on a more casual basis, but I’ve finished all of my work for the year so I might head home and take a nap.”