Addiction Confessions Educates Students
November 16, 2006 8:31 PM
A panel of three recovering substance and alcohol abusers who attend SF State spoke to a crowd of students in Rigoberta Minchu Hall at an event called “Blurred Lines” on Monday.
Barbara, Hank and Collin, whose last names were not given, answered questions about addiction and gave students advice on how to help themselves and their friends through addiction.
“Unfortunately some of us have to fall really hard before we can get back up,” said Collin. “That’s part of the reason that I volunteered to do this, so people can maybe hear about the realities of this and hopefully they don’t have to fall as hard as I did.” Collin used and sold Ecstasy and said that he was busted by police before he decided to get help.
Students from the audience asked if there were ways to get their friends help before they hit rock bottom.
“There’s not much you can say until they are ready to deal with whatever,” answered Hank. He added that interventions couldn’t hurt because it lets the abuser know what is at stake if they don’t get help. Hank was confronted by co-workers when it became obvious to them that his drinking was out of hand. His drinking problem had him living from pay check to pay check with a $3 balance in his checking account.
“It was how I maintained,” he explained. “It was getting harder and harder to make it, like I wasn’t holding it together anymore.” After two-and-a-half years of staying clean, Hank describes himself as a totally different person and is fortunate to be studying at SF State.
The panel members agreed that their drug abuse had been holding them back from achieving their true potential.
“I’m starting school at 32 and finishing at 41, that’s my whole plan,” said Barbara, who began abusing alcohol when she was 12 years old. She used an Eskimo analogy to explain her rescue from addiction.
“Picture yourself on an ice float and there’s no one there to help you and it’s foggy wet, it’s wet, it’s freezing cold and there’s a hand that comes out and you know Eskimos they kind of hang out around that area,” Barbara said laughing. “It’s the hand that reaches out.”
The panelists described their social lives and gave students tips on what is appropriate if they have a friend who is recovering.
“You can’t not have the party because you think so and so is gonna drink,” said Hank. “You know the liquor is not going to come down my throat and force me to drink.” He suggested having other drinks besides liquor at a party like soda and coffee. Other alcohol-free activities suggested were 30-person twister, movie night, and an ice cream social.
Students appreciated the advice and contrast between the topics of alcoholism and drug abuse in the panel.
“When you think of blurred lines you do really think of alcohol, you don’t think of Ecstasy and I think that was really nice, we did have someone from a different stand point,” said Jacqueline Siebers, a zoology major and Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority Sister. Siebers planned to spread the message to her sisters about drug and alcohol awareness.
The event was put on by on the Counseling and Psychological Services Prevention Education Program, C.E.A.S.E., in conjunction with students from peer counseling classes and many other sponsors including Sushi Groove South, Segafredo, Yellow Cab Company, JE Model, Albertsons, Cafe Rosso, SFSU Bookstore, Hieros, and one3snapshot.com.
“It makes me really happy that people actually care about something like this,” said Megan Weber, a 20-year-old psychology major in her senior year, who helped put on the event. Weber, who has had previous experience with her own drug and alcohol problems, added that it is important for incoming freshman and even transferring juniors to be know their limits and be informed.
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