Members of San Diego State's Students for a Sensible Drug Policy held
a conference today in front of Hepner Hall to share their feelings on
the ongoing drug bust.
The group advocates a more rehabilitation-focused process for student
drug users. Randy Hencken, a graduate student in the School of
Communication and former president of the SDSU SSDP chapter, was the
main speaker. He called for the university to create a "Good
Samaritan" policy for illegal substances, so that students can have a
safe place to get help instead of keeping quiet out of fear.
Members from "A New PATH" (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing)
and the Drug Policy Alliance also were on hand to speak.
Hencken spoke in front of 77 plastic folding chairs to represent the
75 students who have been arrested in the drug bust and the two
students who passed away while under the influence of illegal
substances - Jennifer Poliakoff and Kurt Baker.
"Seventy-seven students are gone from campus, but we must ask
ourselves, 'Has drug abuse left the campus as a result?'" Hencken
said. "SDSU should instead pursue effective alternatives that
actually address drug abuse problems, including overdose.
"Good Samaritan policies are such an example. These policies, which
are being adopted by colleges with increasing frequency, protect
students who call for help during overdose emergencies. It is a
policy that has been proven to save lives."
Hencken noted that "Good Samaritan" policies such as the one in place
at Cornell University in New York have "dramatically increased the
amount of 9-1-1 calls related to overdoses."
Many students, who gathered around to hear the conference, agreed
with Hencken and want to see more rehabilitation for student drug users.
"It's not like there's going to be no repercussions for these kids,"
public administration junior Monica Alnes said. "The issue is rehab
and really educating everyone about it and keeping the channels open.
I think (students) have the fear of 'The Man' in them, and they don't
want to say anything. People don't understand that throwing them in
jail is just adding to the number of (people) that aren't getting
help, aren't getting rehab, and it's basically becoming a mounting
financial problem for our country."
Pubdate: Wed, 7 May 2008
Source: Daily Aztec, The (San Diego State, CA Edu)
Copyright: 2008 The Daily Aztec
Author: Justin Lafferty
Cited: SSDP http://www.ssdp.org
Cited: A New PATH http://www.anewpathsite.org/
Cited: Drug Policy Alliance http://www.drugpolicy.org/news/050808sdsu.cfm