Concord University, Wednesday, August 30th. When first hearing of the Harm Reduction Event, I was curious as to what exactly the meaning of the title was. I was confused on what could be considered, “harm reduction.” The event was held on Wednesday, 30th from 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Student Center, and was hosted/arranged by the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network. I got a chance to attend the event on Wednesday, and even got to speak to Collegiate Recovery Coach, Brandon Whitehouse.
During the Harm Reduction event, a table was set up in the Ground Floor lobby of the Student Center. When visiting, what first drew my attention was the abundance of information available. There were flyers, pamphlets, and cards containing statistics and contact information for help centers. As well as this, there were keepsake items, such as stickers, bags, pens, etc. Those there at the event were helpful in explaining to me what was presented at the table, and even had things such as Naxolone/Narcan, and Deterra Drug Deactivation Kits there. Suffice it to say, there was a plethora of resources at the disposal of anyone who decided to attend the event. I myself collected a few things I thought would be good to have, including an “I Carry Naxolone” Mothman sticker.
Another great opportunity I had was to talk to Brandon Whitehouse, who is the Collegiate Recovery Coach at Concord. I sat with him on Friday the 1st in The Grant House conference room, still wondering a few things about the event and the Collegiate Recovery Group. As I am a transfer student, and new to the events at Concord, I wasn’t very familiar with the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Network and their prior events. I was told by Mr. Whitehouse that those in The Collegiate Recovery Network set it up by themselves, and that there had been many events of the same nature before. I also asked him what the exact meaning of “harm reduction” is. He gave me some insight I hadn’t thought about before.
Along with this, he was also accommodating enough to send me a schedule of future events that he and the WVRCN would be hosting, as well as printing out some flyers for me. Those reading this article can have access to the Events Schedule, as well as information about WVCRN on either their Facebook page, or their website at wvcollegiaterecovery.com.
To sum it all up, the experience I had with the event and those who made it possible was quite pleasant, and the information granted at the event genuinely intrigued me. I had never actually heard of the West Virginia Collegiate Recovery Program before attending the event, and I’m glad I learned about them. Their cause, as well as their members from what I’ve seen so far, I greatly look up to. Even events like this, which could be considered “small” were an integral part in getting me to think about the importance of such programs as the WVCRN and what they do. I recommend that everyone who has the time just stop by one of these events, as I did pretty casually and still acquired a lot from it. Who knows what you could potentially learn or begin to aspire once you actually talk to the people who partake in these things.
by Nate Jones