UR addresses heroin and other drugs on campus

Updated: 04/04/2014 11:28 PM
Created: 04/04/2014 4:39 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

There’s been a lot of talk about overdoses and heroin on college campuses. So that’s why the president of the University of Rochester decided to speak out after some close to the investigation say that University of Rochester freshman Juliette Richard died from a heroin overdose. She was found in her dorm room on campus last weekend. 

The president of the University of Rochester wants to make it clear that the medical examiner has not released a cause of death for 19-year-old Juliette Richard. Her father told News10NBC she died from an apparent drug overdose and sources close to the investigation say it was heroin.

At a news conference on Friday, President Joel Seligman said he received a number of emails and calls from people asking if heroin was involved. Again, Seligman says he doesn’t know, but he is concerned about overall drug use at the university. According to a recent study, undergraduates at the U of R admitted to doing heroin and other drugs. Seligman says the numbers were less than one percent, but for him, that is just too high.

Seligman says, "We are aware there are some dangerous substances used here."

We also reached out to other schools to get a grasp of the amount of hard drug use on other campuses. Only the College at Brockport got back to us. They say at least 1% of students have admitted to doing heroin at least once in their life. That works out to be about one hundred students.

Brockport student Sydney Grupp says, "I've never really seen anyone do heroin here."

Even though students may not see it. A national study says one in five students reported they believed heroin was being used on their campus. Which is why on-campus services to help with addiction are so important.

Grupp says, "A health center and it has counseling and stuff and it is very private."

Helping students is what the University of Rochester says they are focusing on.

Seligman says, "If you are aware of someone who is taking these drugs -- whatever the form -- with this potential lethality, please reach out to our counseling and other services. Which can intervene. We are not trying to take anyone's privacy away. We are just trying to protect and save lies."

Seligman says soon he will be going to a conference with other college leaders and they will be talking about how to combat drug use on campus.

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