Inaugural Speak Up-Speak Out Workshop

The Arkansas State University campus in Jonesboro, Arkansas was host to The William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation’s inaugural Speak Up-Speak Out workshop on the life-threatening dangers of illicit prescription drug use and illegal substance abuse on high school and college campuses.  The William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation partners with the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Matthew Barden, Assistant Special Agent and Charge of the DEA in Arkansas and Amber Long of Arkansas State University Counseling Center were featured speakers. They were supported by John Kirtley, Executive Director of the Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and Chief, Kirk Lane of the Benton, Arkansas Police Department. 

Speaking to students of Arkansas State University, Barden told the group “ You came to this university to make a difference, I challenge you not to do drugs and if you see someonewho is, Speak Up-Speak Out.” Amber Martin Long told the group of students about drugs, “ as much as we don’t want to believe it is here, it is”.  

Talyor Brown, a Freshman student said he did not know how bad prescription drug abuse was until the workshop and how addiction not only affects the person, but the family. He added, “it’s beneficial to know state law protects those who in good faith seek medical treatment for themselves or another person suffering from a drug overdose.  Brown was refereeing to the Joshua Ashley-Pauley Act of Arkansas which was passed to protect those who seek emergent help in an overdose situation.  Nicholas Bearce, A Junior from Jonesboro said “ All of us know someone affected by drugs” and it’s definitely taught them to speak up when they notice a peer using.

Excerpts taken from Jonesboro Sun Staff Writer-Sarah Morris