By: Luis “Luigi” Finston
Drugs Awareness has been stressed for many years across college campuses. Students seem to hear this sentiment again and again.
Students have the opportunity to learn about drug awareness and substance abuse now by participating and becoming a member of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) student organization. The organization brings students together who are concerned about the impact that drug abuse has in the community.
Patrick Alcala is the President of SSDP. He said that while drugs awareness and related topics may not be popular to converse about it, it should be taken as serious as it sounds.
“It’s one of those things that kind of a foreign and taboo subject, and a lot of people don’t like to talk about it. But it’s a real world issue”, he said.
Alcala said that the state of New Mexico itself has a huge problem with alcohol which is considered a drug as well. New Mexico houses one of the highest rated Heroin usage communities in the U.S., with that being the northern city of Española. He stressed that while NMSU may not have a drug problem with serious substances, alcohol is very much an issue still.
“Our biggest mission is harm reduction and making the campus safer for individuals who chose to partake in whatever they please”, Alcala said.
“The big thing the SSDP is based off of is education and harm reduction. We strive to teach people the rights and wrongs of certain drugs and creating Freshman awareness to a safe college environment” he adds.
Alcala believes that it is not necessarily a community that convinces people to do drugs. The hope is that through drug awareness, a person will obtain the skills to help others quit or be ready to aide someone in their respective situation. They will know how to evaluate the situation and won’t be intimidated to call 911.
“All students who pass through NMSU can be made more aware of the drug problems that surround the community, the state of New Mexico, and the World”, Alcala said.
“Even if they are from these areas, or another area that might be exposed to high drug use, they can go back and teach their friends, relatives, or colleagues the precautions and safeties if something goes wrong” he said.
Since the organization is new and recently approved, many students haven’t heard about SSDP. Alcala said there’s a small group of core members but the student organization has been making efforts to reach out to new potential members.
“I would hope that the organization can go to new heights in the future”, Alcala said.
“Since I graduate in December, I’m looking for strong leaders to take over the organization that I can trust and who will keep it
For more Information regarding the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) Please contact:
Patrick Alcala – email@example.com (505)238-6870 – President
Mark Walker – firstname.lastname@example.org (505)405-2804 – Advisor