Instead of storming Area 51, students gathered on the patio outside the NEW Center recently to sample out-of-this-world mocktails (non-alcoholic beverages) in honor of recovery month, being observed nationally.
The event, sponsored by the Center for Student Wellness and Counseling Services and the NEOMED Police Department, garnered campus-wide participation, from Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy and Sequoia Wellness to the Department of Psychiatry and NEOMED’s Latino Medical Student Association
“We wanted to highlight recovery from substance use during the month of September because SAMHSA sponsors a national campaign to bring awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate the people who are in recovery. For those involved in substance use treatment, there is much emphasis on stopping destructive behaviors or maintaining abstinence when recovering, but we often do not highlight the healthy and fun alternatives to substance use. Having a sense of community and establishing social connectedness is not only an important aspect for someone in substance use recovery, but it is an important component to the maintenance of everyone’s well-being,” says Jennifer Dougall, Ph.D., director of counseling services.
The winners of the event include the NEOMED Police Department, for its Alien Autopsy drink (strawberry syrup, vanilla ice cream, pop rocks, fruit bursts and cotton candy) and Mindfulness in Medicine for its Cosmic Rush drink (Welch’s cocktail dragon fruit juice, 7UP, frozen blueberries and edible sparkles).
“We decided a mocktail event would give us a chance to gather our entire campus community together for such a fun event. We wanted to co-host this event with the NEOMED Police Department because of their desire to maintain a safe campus community and to identify a safe alternative to substance use,” says Dr. Dougall.
NEOMED Police Department Sergeant Shawn Parker adds, “We just finished the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This event was a great reminder that you can host a great celebration without having the health or driving risks associated with alcohol consumption.”
Check out more photos from the event on NEOMED’s Facebook.