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CADEC educates about perils of prescription drug abuse

Kristina Martinez

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Trisha Seastrom, left, facilitates a panel focused on personal stories of prescription drug abuse. Photo credit: Kristina Martinez

The Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center hosted its second annual Prescription Drug Awareness Week from Monday to Wednesday, putting on events such as film screenings and a panel.

Monday and Tuesday had a booth and a prescription drug overdose display on the Glenn Hall lawn. CADEC also had a booth in the gauntlet where staff members provided information and resources regarding prescription drug abuse and ways to approach a successful recovery.

On Wednesday, students and campus community members were honored at the Red Watch Band Ceremony for making their commitment to becoming certified and joining the Wildcat Reach Out & Respond (ROAR) team.

Students who go through the training learn how to detect and respond to alcohol poisoning. Those who were honored received red watches and certificates.

Later in the evening, CADEC hosted a screening of MTV’s “True Life: I’m Addicted to Pills,” and had a discussion panel facilitated by students who have experienced alcohol or drug abuse and professional staff who are experts in the field.

Trisha Seastrom, licensed advanced drug and alcohol counselor and professional staff at CADEC, was one of the panelists who talked to the audience about the importance of recognizing prescription drug abuse and answered questions asked by audience members.

“Drug overdoses are the leading cause in accidental deaths — that includes alcohol,” Seastrom said. “Fifty-five people in the United States die every day of a prescription drug overdose. That’s a lot of people, and a lot of those people are young people.”

Allison Chaney interns at CADEC and has her own story of substance abuse that she openly shared with students. Eighteen months sober on May 3, Chaney is now helping students at Chico State get through their own substance use.

“It raises awareness and lets the students know about our resources,” Chaney said. “I know of plenty of students in recovery that have used CADEC’s resources and are now sober and are doing so much better.”

After attending Alcoholics Anonymous, Chaney came back to school, saw the internship at CADEC and felt inspired to participate in the program in order to help her own recovery as well as others.

“When we share our stories and when we listen, that’s how we stay sober,” Chaney said. “That’s how we do it in AA.”

Some students might not be aware that they are abusing prescription drugs and how dangerous it can be, Chaney said.

“Be careful,” Chaney said. “Take them if you’re prescribed them and take the amount you’re supposed to take.”

CADEC offers a Students Seeking Recovery support group every Friday from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Services Center, room 490. This is a confidential forum for students to discuss topics relating to their own substance use or substance use of a loved one.

Kristina Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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CADEC educates about perils of prescription drug abuse