CSU, Chico News

Students Get Certified in Bystander Intervention for Prescription Drug Awareness Week

Date: 04-17-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Trisha Seastrom, Director
Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center

More than 300 student volunteers at California State University, Chico will participate in the Red Watch Band Ceremony on Thursday, April 24, certifying them to respond to an alcohol- or drug-related emergency. The event is one in a series planned by the Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center (CADEC) for Prescription Drug Awareness Week, April 22-26.

A national program, the Red Watch Band Training aims to empower and equip bystanders to intervene in potentially toxic drinking and drug-abuse situations. Led by peer educators, the two-hour trainings educate students and others on the signs and symptoms of substance overdose and how to overcome barriers to respond appropriately. Participants receive red watch bands to signalize their training and their stance as empowered bystanders.

Since its start on campus in spring 2013, the program has certified more than 1,000 students and community members. Between 10 and 20 trainings are conducted through CADEC each semester, with students, community members, parents and high school students participating.

“Our student educators create a safe space for students to talk about these issues, empowering them to not be afraid to call for help,” said Trisha Seastrom, program manager for CADEC. “Some students come to the training because they’ve already found themselves in these situations. They want to have the knowledge they need to keep their friends safe.”

The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. April 24 in the UHUB.

Other events throughout the week are aimed at raising awareness, including a screening of MTV’s “True Life: I’m Addicted to Pills” and a panel discussion on April 23 at 6 p.m. in the Bell Memorial Union (BMU) basement. The week concludes with a prescription drug take-back event at Enloe Medical Center on Saturday, April 26, as part of National Drug Take-Back Day.

All campus activities are planned by student volunteers. A complete list of events follows:

Tuesday, April 22
Prescription Drug Overdose exhibit on the Rose Garden Lawn

Wednesday, April 23
6 p.m., BMU basement
“Reel Life: Let’s Talk About Pills.”
A screening of MTV’s “True Life: I’m Addicted to Pills” and panel discussion with experts and students who have experienced alcohol/drug abuse

Thursday, April 24
5 p.m., UHUB
Red Watch Band Ceremony
More than 300 students and campus community members will be honored for making the commitment to a safer Chico by joining the Red Watch Band Team and becoming Red Watch Band certified.

7:30 p.m., UHUB
“The Wildcat Word” Open Mic Night and Dance
An evening of Wildcat talent and free pizza to raise awareness of prescription drug use and its dangers

Saturday, April 26
10 a.m.-2 p.m., Enloe Medical Center
No-Questions-Asked Drive-Through
A place to return unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications as part of National Drug Take-Back Day

The Campus Alcohol and Drug Education Center provides educational programs and social events that raise campus awareness about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. CADEC strives to encourage and enable students to make responsible and healthy choices, especially in areas where substance abuse is a concern. For more information, please visit www.csuchico.edu/cadec or call 530-898-6450.