Drug use, alcohol abuse and addiction are a concern that hits close to home for many Wisconsin residents. In 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported that 512 Wisconsin residents died as a direct consequence of illicit drug use. Wisconsin’s number of substance-related deaths has exceeded 500 during four of the past five years.
Creating awareness about this important topic was a cause that Globe University-Appleton admissions representative Amber Germain and veterinary technology student Kelsi Johansen felt strongly about. During the week of Oct. 24, 2016, they joined forces to bring attention to this matter on campus.
For her Composition Applied Learning project, Kelsi created a poster about addiction awareness and wrote a personal narrative about her experiences. Amber organized a free small library filled with books about addiction. These resources were displayed in the commons, along with information about substance abuse. In addition, blank cards were scattered on tables so that campus members could write encouraging messages to those in the Appleton, Wisconsin Options Treatment Program. On Thursday, Oct. 27, Amber organized a pizza sale, with proceeds benefiting the Jackie Nitschke Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This center focuses on affordable and superior drug and alcohol treatment.
“I am an addict and will always be one; although, I am six months sober now. I have completed rehab and AODA aftercare. Never be afraid to ask for help! That is the hardest part of the recovery process,” Kelsi said.
“Drug and alcohol addiction is an issue very close to my heart. I have several family members fighting for sobriety. I want to arm our students with knowledge and resources if they ever need assistance in battling addiction,” Amber added.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing challenges with substance abuse and addiction, there are many resources available. You may contact your healthcare provider, your local Department of Health and Human Services, or visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for a comprehensive list of AODA programs.
Post written by Amy Loewen, service learning coordinator at Globe University-Appleton.