Drug overdose event informs students

Photo by Cyrus Nuval.

Cyrus Nuval
Staff Writer

The VCU student organization, Just Say Know, met with students on Monday to teach them how to avoid, recognize and react to drug overdose situations.

The event, called “Just Say Know: Preventing, Recognizing and Responding to Overdose” presented some informational tips to students on how to avoid situations that could lead to someone overdosing, recognizing the symptoms of a drug overdose and how to react appropriately when a person is experiencing a drug overdose.

Informational tips included calling 911 immediately, noticing extreme changes in behavior and changes in lip and nail color from pink to blue and applying the recovery position to the individual experiencing the overdose. (how can an overdose happen?)

Over a hundred students attended Monday’s event.

Maya White-Laurie, one of the presenters of the seminar, said she was pleased with the large turnout the seminar received.

“I did not expect this many people to come,” said White-Laurie.

White-Laurie listed the symptoms of an overdose for the students to remember, including signs such as puking, slow pulse, numbness, and cold sweats.

“Out of everything we discussed here tonight, I hope the signs and symptoms are what the students who came here tonight don’t forget,” she said.

Kelly Gretch, a sophomore Spanish major, said she enjoyed the fact that the seminar was objective when discussing drugs.

“A lot of discussions and seminars that talk about drugs are usually biased and only simply say that drugs are bad and don’t even discuss what to do during drug overdose situations … they just simply say don’t do drugs period,” Gretch said.

The seminar also touched on medical amnesty, policies that legally protect individuals seeking medical attention as a result of illegal actions or activities. Although not present in Virginia, sophomore biology major Chris Banks said he was glad that the seminar discussed the concept of medical amnesty and its growing movement statewide.

“If we don’t have medical amnesty, we could get arrested for calling 911 and trying to save someone’s life,” Banks said. “I’m glad the presenters discussed that here … I’m also happy to know that there are movements here in Richmond and Virginia for medical amnesty.”

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