Groups Call for Life Saving Good Samaritan Policy
SAN DIEGO, CA; SDSU students and a group of concerned parents will hold a mock graduation ceremony with 77 “missing” students today in protest of Tuesday’s announcement of a massive drug sting orchestrated by the DEA with the help of SDSU officials. Officials have described the five-month sting as a response to two recent fatal drug overdoses on campus, but those gathered today are criticizing the DEA’s show of force as counterproductive and are calling on the university to enact a life-saving Good Samaritan Policy that encourages students to call for help during a drug overdose emergency.
Todays demonstration, organized by Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing), and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), will display 77 empty chairs and diplomas, symbolizing the 75 students arrested in the sting, as well as the two students who died recently of preventable drug overdoses. Large banners will be hoisted that read: 77 students are gone, but drug abuse isn’t and Save lives. Enact a Good Samaritan Policy.
WHO: Dozens of concerned students and parents
WHAT: Demonstration and press conference supporting Good Samaritan
Policies and criticizing DEA sting at SDSU
WHEN: 11am, Wednesday May 7th, 2008
WHERE: SDSU, Hepner Hall/Communication Building
“Sensational drug stings will do nothing to reduce the demand for drugs on campus, nor will they decrease the supply for these drugs for more than a few days,” said Randy Hencken, president of SSDP at SDSU. “So long as students have the desire to use illegal drugs, and so long as the prohibition of drugs sustains a lucrative black market, drug stings will do little more than create openings for others to step in and supply drugs to SDSU students. This is a complicated problem that requires complex solutions but the discussion needs to start here.”
Gretchen Bergman, director of San Diego-based A New PATH said, “SDSU’s cooperation with the DEA will make students fearful of calling for help during overdose emergencies. The best way to protect our children and prevent drug overdoses is to enact a life-saving Good Samaritan Policy.” Mrs. Bergman is the mother of a graduating SDSU student who is in long-term recovery from heroin addiction.
Good Samaritan Policies protect students who call for help during overdose emergencies, and colleges across the country are enacting them in increasing numbers. Researchers found Cornell University’s Good Samaritan Policy to have dramatically increased the amount of 911 calls related to overdoses, while drug use at the school remained relatively constant. Close to 100 colleges nationwide and the entire state of New Mexico have enacted Good Samaritan Policies, and similar legislation has been introduced in Illinois , Maryland , Rhode Island , and Washington .
More information about Good Samaritan Policies can be found at
CONTACT: Randy Hencken,SSDP at SDSU(619) 865-3000