By Igor Stepczynski | Broadcast Reporter
The vape-related illness epidemic rate is rising in a shocking pace according to an update from The Center of Disease Control and Prevention. In just the past week, lung injury cases have climbed from 805 to 1080, along the death toll increasing from 12 to 18 deaths.
Many state governments remain in a state of panic. Montana has joined Michigan in banning all flavored electronic cigarette devices. Five more states, including Washington, Oregon, Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts have taken similar actions.
With these alarming updates, many students using nicotine or THC vaping devices are having trouble deciding where to turn for recovery. Little do they know, the Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center provides a service to those seeking help.
Lilly Ettinger, the Assistant Director of Wellness and Recovery Services says these students are using this substances to fulfill need they are searching for.
“We have a large influx of students who have been using vape pens, particularly if they have been using them for both nicotine and THC,” Ettinger said. “We wanted to provide the support for that here, and our SMART meetings are actually really great for students because it works on building motivation and finding healthy lifestyle choices to fill that time.”
These self-management and recovery tool meetings take place on a weekly basis on Monday and Thursday at 6 p.m. at the BARC. These meetings are not traditional to most recovery meetings as it is peer driven to encourage community through recovery.
Help is available through many other places on campus as well, such as the Wellness department and the Baylor Counseling Center. Nicotine patches and other smoking cessation medication may be available for students who qualify for a prescription. Ettinger says no matter what process a student may be undertaking to their road of own self-recovery, services are available to help them at their disposal.
“We all have places for those students to be and places to support those students,” Ettinger said.
The BARC is hosting a sober-friendly tailgate at noon on Saturday before the homecoming game. For more information regarding the BARC, visit their website.