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At Portland, there’s a close-knit peer recovery community, yoga-based recovery classes, coaches and weekly meetings.
For the first half of this year, there were two, not including Molander.Bauer-Reese, 34, who said she drank excessively as a Temple student, went into recovery five years ago.She tells students the first day of class and notes it on her syllabus so students know they can reach out — and they have.Four students are in treatment for opioid addiction this semester, compared with 10 to 12 in prior years.Temple, Ives said, is always looking to improve, particularly in helping to train students to intervene when peers are in trouble.Bauer-Reese’s concerns have been echoed this month by other Temple faculty and students as the North Philadelphia campus reels from two student overdose deaths within a week, one of them succumbing in the heart of campus. 20, of Reading, died of an overdose in his off-campus apartment.
Michael Paytas, 24, a senior marketing major from Ridley Township, was found unconscious in a restroom at the Paley library on Nov. “No one is safe,” senior Andrew Castle, 21, of Long Island wrote on a Temple Facebook page, drawing hundreds of “likes” and comments.Castle, a sociology major, said Temple must publicly recognize its position in a city with such a major drug problem.The loss of a student in the library, surrounded by peers, underscored that need.“When your campus is in the heart of North Philadelphia, drugs are very easy to get, so recovery needs to be easy to get.” Members of Temple’s student government, as a result of Paytas’ and Orlando’s deaths, called for students to be instructed in the use of Narcan, a drug that can save someone overdosing on heroin. “It should be as ubiquitous as a first aid kit,” said Jerry Stahler, a Temple professor who teaches a course called “Drugs in Urban Society” and who served on the mayor’s task force on opioids.Temple officials say they are considering the suggestions but that they are not experiencing an uptick in students being hospitalized for drug treatment, seeking help for it at the counseling center or being cited for possession.Temple, Reaves noted, has several addiction specialists on staff. Temple is also one of the few colleges with a psychiatrist who prescribes suboxone, a drug for opioid addiction.