FSU Office of Student Affairs Announces Opioid Education Programs

In an email distributed to Frostburg State University (FSU) students on Monday, October 2, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Jeff Graham laid out a series of initiatives taken by the university to address the opioid crisis currently facing western Maryland.  These steps and programs launched by the institution are a result of legislation passed in the state’s spring 2017 legislative session, the Start Talking Maryland Act of 2017.

As part of the procedures taken to become compliant with this new law, Frostburg State University has been mandated to provide education to incoming students about the dangers of opioid abuse and addiction.  For students who entered the school for the first time this semester, this  particular substance abuse education was presented in the form of a program called Rx Drugs. Administered in a similar fashion to other substance abuse modules such as AlcoholEduRx Drugs is an online education program that takes a student approximately 45 minutes to complete.

By completing Rx Drugs, students are exposed to educational information regarding the signs of drug abuse, how to find treatment resources, the connection between prescription drug abuse and illegal opioid addiction, and how to assist others in need of help.  The goal of this widespread education is to raise awareness and knowledge among university students about the dangers of opioids and appropriate responses to abuse.

In addition to efforts by the institution to educate incoming students about the dangers of opioid abuse, the Start Talking Maryland Act of 2017 also led to actions that addressed the current drug crisis with university personnel. Specifically, University Police and staff at the FSU Brady Health Center have developed policies and received training regarding the administration of the drug naloxone, or Narcan, which is used to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose.

In addition to notifying students about the recent steps taken by the university to educate students and staff, the email distributed by the Office of Student Affairs also informed students about on and off campus resources for gathering more information on opioid abuse or seeking help for an addiction.  Nationally, the email noted the National Institute on Drug Abuse as a valuable resource for obtaining more information about the dangers of opioid abuse.

As for on campus resources for members of the campus community seeking education or treatment relating to substance abuse, the email directed students to a number of campus offices, organizations, and community partners. Specifically, it referenced the FSU Substance Abuse Facts and Education (SAFE) office, FSU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), BURG peer education network, and the Frostburg Community Coalition (FCC).

Dr. Graham concluded his email to students by asking them to reach out to him if they or someone they care about is suffering from addiction, and offered his assistance in connecting students with help if necessary. The FSU Office of Student Affairs is located on the first floor of the Hitchins Administration Building, and Dr. Graham can be reached by visiting his office in Hitchins Room 116, calling his office at 301-687-7969, or by emailing him at jlgraham@frostburg.edu.

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