GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Students taking a new class at Stockton University focusing on the heroin epidemic have created a temporary “opioid museum” on campus as their final project.
The class of 25 students looks at the opioid epidemic through a variety of academic disciplines, including health sciences, social sciences and the law. The students in the class also spend time considering the people it affects.
“I took the class because I see it happening,” said student Cordell Irving, of Woodbridge.
Irving said his friend Zach died of a drug overdose.
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The museum exhibit is located in the C-D wing atrium on the main campus in Galloway and includes posters and artifacts on key aspects of the epidemic. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
As part of the exhibit, Irving had a T-shirt made in memory of his friend, who he said used drugs socially before his overdose.
“You don’t have to be an addict to overdose. It just takes one time,” Irving said.
Irving and his classmate Maxwell Young, of Moorestown, are also working on a poster that outlines the stages of addiction, from receiving a prescription for an opioid to becoming addicted to heroin. Young said he works as an emergency medical technician and firefighter and has responded to drug overdoses “on more runs than I’d like to admit.”
“I see it at work, and now I am learning about the academic view in the classroom,” Young said.
The epidemic class is taught by Assistant Professor of Law Kerrin Wolf and Assistant Professor of Health Science Michele Previti.
“We have been teaching about this in our own classes and realized there was enough content for a course of its own and it was a topic students are interested in,” Wolf said.
— Claire Lowe