Within one week, at least two students died due to accidental drug overdoses last semester. Bob Lamb, president of the Temple University Collegiate Recovery Program, said he saw an immediate increase in attendance to the recovery program’s weekly support group.
Both Michael Paytas, a senior marketing major, and James Orlando, a junior Fox School of Business student, died from accidental overdoses last semester.
This uptick in attendance is a positive step for the Temple community, despite it being the result of tragedies. It shows that Temple students, staff and faculty members are reaching out for the support they need.
The Temple News is glad that — in the face of a national substance use epidemic — students are coming together to support one another and encourage recovery, especially at a university where students have faced challenges accessing support.
Despite Tuttleman Counseling Services shortening wait times for in-take appointments last semester, students still have to wait about three weeks for services, and more than 60 students were turned away and asked to return another day last semester.
It is refreshing to see some students take it into their own hands to provide support and help each other recover.
But recovery is no simple task for students to undertake on their own — different people need different forms of outreach, like medication-assisted treatment, 12-step groups or sober housing, to name a few. We hope Temple will work to provide more for people with addiction at the university.
Considering the events of last semester alone, it is clear how dire this problem is. Now more than ever, Temple has a responsibility to respond.