Wellness center prepares students for 4/20 with t-break series

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In April, there’s a certain national day that happens on the 20th every year where, not just students, but anyone who partakes in cannabis celebrates their love for marijuana. This so-called holiday is known as 4/20, or Marijuana Day. While this isn’t illegal in New Jersey, there is still the problem of students or anyone for that matter, not using cannabis properly or overusing it to the point where they get “too high” and have to sometimes be hospitalized. Drug and alcohol counselor, Bob Logan, decided he wanted to create a space on campus for any student to turn to before the holiday blows by to have confidential talks about students’ use and how to know if they are addicted.

Logan didn’t just come up with this idea out of thin air though. The counselor got it from a man named Tom Fontana at the University of Vermont. He is the founder of the T-break guide. He then recommended it to universities all around the country. The full guide is a 21-day pamphlet where each week has a different theme; week one is physical, week two is emotional, and week three is spiritual or existential. Logan used the guide but modified it to include three confidential group sessions where any student can attend and talk about their cannabis use. That was how it was supposed to go, but no one happened to show up to the meetings.

“We had those three Fridays planned, but nobody signed up,” Logan said. “I went to look on ProfLink for it, and it was buried under 400 other events. It took me like 15 minutes to find it.”

With cannabis being popular in New Jersey with its legalization, it became a surprise that no one would show up to the meetings. Another problem he kept running into was that since he was a drug and alcohol counselor, students automatically associated him with local law enforcement.

“Our role at the wellness center isn’t to be prohibitionists. We’re not anti-drug,” Logan said. “We promote responsible use… The drug we see the most that people are struggling with is cannabis.”

Logan said that there are two types of cannabis users; one who knows how to use it correctly and is not addicted and another who really struggles with regulating their use and would need assistance practicing safely.

The main objective of the event is to get students to really understand what is being put into their bodies and what it is doing to them.

“It’s really important to know the substance that you’re taking,” Logan said. “It’s an educational piece and it’s a self-assessment. We evaluate their use, but they have to be honest.”

Logan has students answer questions that help show if a student is a user, abuser, or dependent on the drug. The assessment is 100% confidential and stays within the walls of the group. 

“We just want them to know it’s a safe and confidential place to discuss things that they may not be able to talk about elsewhere,” Logan said.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to the Wellness Center about cannabis, or simply would like to learn more contact the Wellness Center at 856-256-4333.

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