Rochester, NY -- University of Rochester President Joel Seligman (pictured) has sent a personal plea in an email to students and staff about the dangers of heroin.
He asks in the email that they help their friends using dangerous drugs to get help, and that they speak up to save the lives of drug users.
Seligman says heroin has killed, though he says it's too soon to say whether heroin was behind the death of freshman Juliette Richard last weekend. He says the medical examiner hasn't finished the investigation.
Here's the text of his email:
President's Message to the Community Regarding Heroin and Other Dangerous Drugs on Campus
The cause of the tragic death of Juliette Richard a few days ago is not known at this time. While there are rumors about heroin use, the Medical Examiner has not completed her examination and until the Examiner does so, I strongly believe it would be inappropriate to reach any conclusion about the cause of Juliette’s death.
What we do know is a wonderful young woman is no longer with us. We know what a terrible tragedy this is for her, her family and friends. Our hearts go out to them. To preserve loving memories of Juliette is what we all should strive to do.
We also know for independent reasons that there is a national heroin epidemic. I am aware of a small, but increasing, number of heroin related deaths on college campuses.
A recent University Health Service survey indicates a small number of our undergraduates have used heroin or other dangerous drugs. I am concerned about any level of drug abuse.
Drug and alcohol abuse can destroy lives, not only of the victim but of those around her or him.
I want to make a special plea to the students, faculty, staff and others in our community with regard to heroin. Heroin has killed. In too many cases, heroin has been adulterated in unpredictable ways whose baneful effects the user cannot anticipate. Please get help.
I also make my special plea to those with awareness of heroin or other dangerous drug use. These drugs are dangerous and tragically sometimes are fatal. Please help your friends get help.
Sometimes those who are aware of heroin users rationalize their inaction with phrases like he or she is just dabbling with heroin. Sometimes those who are aware of heroin users don’t want to be snitches. I encourage all to speak up and save lives. You can do this confidentially through the CARE network, University Health Service, University Counseling Center, or Employee Assistance Program.
University Health Service
River Campus/Medical Campus and Eastman School of Music: 585-275-2662 <tel:585-275-2662>
University Counseling Center
Employee Assistance Program
585-475-0432 <tel:585-475-0432> (during and after hours)
- President Joel Seligman