Preferred Name: Ted
Ted works full time in the arts sector and lives with his partner. He describes his ethnic background as ‘American Caucasian’: he and his parents were born in the United States of America.
Ted began smoking cannabis daily while studying overseas. After moving to Australia in his early twenties, he began attending parties and taking MDMA, cocaine, and GHB regularly. He also took ice and ketamine occasionally. A few years later, in his mid-twenties he moved overseas and his drug use became ‘a really regular thing, a habit’. After a few months he started feeling depressed but since returning to Australia he feels better and has reduced his consumption. He now smokes cannabis a few nights a week, and takes ‘party drugs’ about once a month.
A few years ago, Ted moved overseas and found that the move brought ‘change’ and ‘instability’ to his life which he had trouble coping with. He says that taking drugs was a ‘way to take [his] mind off other things’ but that it also contributed to him feeling ‘quite depressed’ and lethargic. He was particularly concerned about his cannabis use and sought advice from a doctor who suggested he cut down and go back to exercising regularly. Ted reduced his cannabis smoking but it wasn’t until he decided to move back to Australia that he began to feel less depressed and more energetic.
Ted now feels that his ‘professional life’, ‘personal well-being’ and relationship with his partner ‘take priority over having three-day benders’. He still enjoys taking party drugs with friends but now does this about once a month. He also smokes cannabis three to five nights a week, ‘after work in the same way that a lot of people go home and have a glass of wine’. Ted says he’s unsure of what the future holds and has no plans to stop smoking cannabis or taking party drugs.
Ted (M, 26, works in the arts, cannabis and party drugs) takes drugs that ‘complement’ each other to create intense experiences and bond with other people. (Played by an actor)
Most commonly [I’ll take…] something like MDMA and cocaine, or MDMA and GHB. And [I’ll] sort of use the two to complement each other […] It’s usually, you know, take one and then, when that starts to wear off, use the other one to sort of complement [it…These drugs] take you to extreme places. People mostly think of it as positive and most of the time, it is positive. They can make you very outgoing but they can also make you very inward-looking […] Most of the time, for me, they put me in a position […] where I feel like I can better create relationships. So you have these really intense experiences with other people that you wouldn’t otherwise be having. Or maybe you would have them, but you wouldn’t necessarily be feeling the same way about them. And you can create a bond, and that can be really thrilling.
Ted usually takes drugs with friends but he and his friends also enjoy leisure activities which don’t involve drugs. (Played by an actor)
Pretty much everyone in my group of friends here is a drug user, so most of what we do […] in a social situation involves using drugs. But having said that, some of them are also my gym partners so it’s not like that’s all we do. You know, we also have coffee […] or go for brunch. But I mean, there’s pretty much an assumption that if it’s a social event that we’re all going to, there’s going to be some level of drug taking involved.
Ted limits ‘partying’ to Friday nights to allow time to ‘recover’ before work. (Played by an actor)
In my mind, it’s always better if I can party on a Friday night rather than a Saturday because […] if I’m still partying on Sunday then I have to recover on Monday […] So if I can do it on a Friday, that’s usually better […] I don’t think I’ll ever be the type of person who’s taking drugs on a Tuesday night, unless it’s a concert that I know I’m going to and I’ve taken the morning off or something but […] I don’t think I’ll ever be the type of person to be taking drugs all the time. My professional life and even just my personal well-being takes precedence over that.
Ted resists the term ‘addiction’ because it implies an activity that is compulsive and ‘destructive’. (Played by an actor)
I’m a regular drug user, but I’m also, you know […] a citizen of society. I’m not the image of regular drug users that gets painted on the news and I think most regular drug users are people like me […My drug use is] regular, frequent. You could say [it’s a] habit. Of course, I wouldn’t say ‘addiction’. It’s more of, I guess, a vice. But I even hesitate to look at it as a vice because a vice implies there’s something bad about it, but I don’t use drugs because I feel like I need them.
[…I mean] you usually only hear about people being addicted to something [like] drugs or alcohol, or gambling, or sex […] when it’s […] destructive […Like] I think people think of addiction as [in] ‘I need it now, I need it now’.
Ted has seen sniffer dogs in the past but has avoided being searched. (Played by an actor)
I had one instance where I was already on drugs and had drugs on me, and had a sniffer dog come up to me. And I, like, turned and bolted […] I just tried to get as far away as I could and sit down and breathe […] And I guess I got lucky because I never had any issue […So like] if you’re going to something like [Pride or a big New Year’s Eve] party then, I mean, that’s the focus. That’s what everyone’s talking about: how they’re […going to get their drugs into the venue…] That’s all we’re talking about [even] when we’re in the cab […] everyone is like, ‘We’ve just got to get in the door […] and then we’ll feel like we can have a good time’.