Salisbury University Brings New Resource to Campus for Wicomico - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Salisbury University Brings New Resource to Campus for Wicomico Goes Purple

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SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury University joined Wicomico County this month in going purple to raise awareness of the opioid epidemic. Staff members welcomed a new resource to campus this week that gave students and faculty a more hands-on experience. 
 
On Wednesday, the college's School of Social Work hosted an opioid awareness event and invited Wicomico County's Opioid Intervention team.
 
"It could be someone personally or a family member or a friend, especially on a college campus. Addiction is something that's really a real risk," Dr. Amanda Hill with the School of Social Work said. "Off-campus, they definitely have access and exposure to different forms of addiction and especially because of the crisis that Maryland is dealing with regarding opioids, this is something that really we needed to put on the forefront."
 
Organizers say they wanted to educate students about the dangers of and resources for addiction. But, they also say it's about educating faculty members, who connect with students in and out of the classroom.
 
"They know how to begin a conversation, and say hey I'm worried about you, and we care about you, and we want to figure out how to get you the help possible," Dr. Hill said.
 
The Opioid Intervention Team brought with them their new trailer. Inside is a replica of an adolescent's bedroom, which shows people where loved ones might be hiding drugs or what items they're using around the house that show signs of addiction.
 
"One of the things that we hide is a spoon. So if spoons start going missing from your kitchen, clearly that would be a good indicator that maybe your loved one is using," Christina Bowie-Simpson, the opioid coordinator for the county health department, said.
 
WBOC wasn't allowed to take pictures of the inside of the trailer because the team wants people to be able to come out and experience it for themselves. They say it's a place where people can learn hands on on how addiction can hide in plain sight.
 
"It was a very transformational experience," Dr. Wallace Southerland, associate vice president of student affairs for SU, said. "I learned a great deal about the many places that individuals can hide drugs. So as a parent, I am now more sensitive to all the kinds of places people can put their stashes. So, the trailer really opens your eyes."
 
Those at SU say they want to continue the conversation about opioid awareness all year long. 
 
"This is everybody's business. This is a community issue," Dr. Southerland said. "So we all need to be concerned about how do we educate ourselves and how do we save lives. Period."
 
The opioid intervention team resource trailer will be making more stops at schools and events around the county. You can also request to have the trailer at one of your own events by visiting their site here:  https://wicomicogoespurple.com/resources-info/
 
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