The class trip on Feb. 5 to Prevention Point made me see substance use and addiction in a new way, and was an experience that humbled me. I had never visited Kensington, so getting to visit the place that I would only ever hear about was really eye-opening. While the trip to Prevention Point was for Narcan training, I left Kensington with much more. Learning how to use Narcan was crucial to the training, but the rest of the presentation Elvis Rosado gave was equally as thorough and enlightening. Throughout our time with him, Elvis balanced the discussion of substance use disorders between many interesting facts with real-world stories. While the former can sometimes be easier to look at (albeit surprising), the latter can be more difficult to listen to. Of all the things taught throughout this trip, one big idea was adding humanity to a subject that far too many people look at as cold statistics. Prevention Point was able to put everything into context.
Elvis taught our class so much in the area of substance use that I found myself constantly scrambling to find spaces on the backs of handouts to write more information. He taught about substance use in the United States, different kinds of substances and their impacts, the science behind addiction, political and social issues around substance use, recovery, and, of course, Narcan. Should I ever need to, I feel equipped to use Narcan and rescue-breathing tactics. I also feel that this presentation gave me a better understanding and look into substance use disorders. Overall, I’m extremely grateful for this trip and to Elvis, who passionately and openly shared his knowledge and experience with us, in order to improve both our journalism and our understanding of substance use.