The UA Little Rock SGA will be hosting Substance Abuse Awareness Week in solidarity with universities across Arkansas.
The week’s events will be made possible through a free partnership with RiverStone Wellness Center, an outpatient therapy clinic.
“We understand that a lot of times at college parties, some students don’t realize that limit. Some students don’t understand what is too much, and they accidentally overdose on a drug,” said Sen. Quinshell Smith, one of the week’s key event organizers. “If your friend does overdose on a drug, you can take them to the hospital and not worry about getting in trouble for doing illegal activities.”
The week-long event kicked off Monday at the Association of Arkansas Counties office, where student governments from around the state converged to champion the cause of substance abuse awareness.
On Tuesday from 12:15 p.m. to 12:55 p.m., there was a memorial in the DSC foyer for those who have died from substance abuse. From 1 to 2, a RiverStone therapist hosted a painting session and mindfulness talk in the Ledbetter rooms. Students received free t-shirts and slushes from Sonic.
“This is midterms week and we realized that. So that’s why we asked a RiverStone therapist to come this week as well,” Smith said. “We’re also alleviating stress for midterm season.”
Wednesday will be packed, with a 30 minute talk on opioid use and needle dispensaries by the Arkansas Department of Health’s chief epidemiologist, Michael Cima. This will take place either in the student services center auditorium. The Department’s substance misuse program manager, Tafarra Haney, will speak on the danger of opioids from 12:35 to 1:05 in the same location. From 1:15 to 4, a massage therapist from RiverStone will give massages in the leadership lounge, and students will have access to massage chairs as well.
The week’s events close on Thursday with an Opioid Awareness Fair from noon to 5 p.m. in the gym. Students can expect popcorn, bouncy houses, and potentially food trucks as well. The SGA encourages students to bring family and friends.
“SGA is here, and we do care,” said Smith. “This is just the beginning of what SGA is planning on doing.”