[MENA, Ark. | March 11, 2019] Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson accompanied UA Rich Mountain’s SGA leadership: President Breanna Lewis; Skylar Beck, Public Relations; and member Raychel Woody to the State Capitol in Little Rock Monday for the kick off of Drug Prevention Week (March 11-15,2019). UA Rich Mountain has joined 18 other colleges and universities in a “Save AR Students” initiative. The students heard several speakers encouraging these student leaders to #SaveARStudents by ending substance abuse. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Chad Fielding along with SGA Advisors Wendy McDaniel and Jason Wood also attended.
This joint effort among the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas State University, Arkansas Tech University, University of Central Arkansas, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Arkansas at Monticello, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, ASU Mountain Home, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, East Arkansas Community College, Northwest Arkansas Community College, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, University of Arkansas Community College at Hope, University of Arkansas at Rich Mountain, and University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College is the first of its kind in such an effort and all hopeful that by joining forces to combat substance abuse across the state of Arkansas, a big impact can be made.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2017 Arkansas has the 2nd highest opioid prescription rate in the country at a rate of 105.4 percent per 100 persons, and based on information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, youth ages 18-25 are at the highest rate for illicit drug use at 22.7 percent. Additionally 9.9% of College students are abusing Adderall compared to 6.2% of Non College adults according to drugabuse.org. Adderall is a stimulant effect on the central nervous system that can be both physically and psychologically addictive when overused.
“It’s no secret that substance use is drastically affecting the state of Arkansas. It’s concerning that statistics have us towards the top for opioid prescriptions here in our state. It is very concerning seeing this issue affect our college campuses,” said Trevor Villines.
U of A Rich Mountain will also host a ‘Dose of Reality’ presentation at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 14 in the Ingles Lecture Hall located on the Mena Campus inside the Spencer Building. DOR is a statewide campaign which educates our youth and young adults about the dangers of prescription opioids. ADH has educational material and a DOR educational course available. The course is being taught throughout the communities and schools. ADH has nurses and health educators that provide the training. The training consists of a presentation with a pre and post survey and evaluation. The course length is between 30-45 minutes.
Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson stated, “We are grateful to be joining this state-wide initiative to bring additional awareness to this overwhelming issue. It is not discriminatory in who it affects and the ripple effects of it are far reaching. We can accomplish much when we come together as one. I’m incredibly grateful of our SGA’s leadership in this campaign.”
Throughout the week participating institutions will be distributing informational flyers on prescription opioids, fentanyl, heroin, amphetamines, and the Joshua-Ashley Pauley Act.
“Substance abuse has no borders. It affects people of different gender, race, and religion. If we’re going to do something about it, the time is now. We’ve got to roll up our sleeves, put politics aside, and come together as one. It’s up to us to Save AR State, Save AR Future, but more importantly Save AR Students,” said Trevor Villines.