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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Danny Trejo, Zac Clark headline Aggies For Recovery Speaker Jam

UC Davis students can attend the event on Zoom without cost

Aggies for Recovery holds confidential meetings on Zoom every Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Its meetings are open exclusively to undergraduate and graduate students and the Zoom meeting ID is 980 3013 1552. 

Students can contact Each Aggie Matters by texting “RELATE” to 741741 or by calling 800-273-8255. Students can schedule individual counseling from the SHCS by calling them at 1(530)752-0871. The number for the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1(800)273-8255; the number for the 24/7 Crisis Text Line is 741741; the number to speak with a trained counselor through The Trevor Project, available 24/7, is 1(866)488-7386 and the number for Yolo County’s 24-hour crisis line is 1(530)756-5000 for Davis callers.

The student groups Aggies for Recovery and Stop the Addiction Fatality Epidemic (SAFE) will be hosting a speaker jam this Friday featuring Danny Trejo—famous for his role as Machete in the “Spy Kids” and the “Machete” film franchises—and Zac Clark—winner of the 2020 season of “The Bachelorette.” Both celebrities will be sharing their unique stories of recovery, followed by a Q&A session for students to ask Clark and Trejo questions about their lives and experiences in the recovery process.

The event was made possible through grants from the Club Finance Council and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Like so many other student activities, Aggies for Recovery had to host the event on Zoom instead of in-person, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing according to Joe Martinez, the campus activities coordinator at the Center for Student Involvement.  

“This has really opened the door for [Aggies for Recovery] to be able to bring in folks that they‘ve never had access to before, because they don’t have to pay for travel fees and those types of things,” Martinez said.

Melanie Tuyub, a UCD alumna and member of Aggies for Recovery, said she is curious to hear about the speakers’ recovery process.

“I’m really curious to know what drove them to their path to recovery, because every path to recovery is different,” Tuyub said. “I’m just really interested to see how two people with very different backgrounds can go through similar things in very different ways.”

Alcohol and drug abuse continue to be prevalent on college campuses across the country. The Department of Health and Human Services conducted a survey in 2019 that found 2.8 million people aged 18 to 25 (8.4%) engaged in binge drinking five or more times in the last 30 days, and 17.2% of people in the same age group had used illicit drugs other than marijuana in the last year. Another study from the University of Michigan found in 2018 that about one in every 13 people aged 19 to 28 use marijuana on a daily basis. 

Stephanie Lake has been in Davis for 20 years and is UCD’s alcohol, tobacco and other drug intervention services coordinator, as well as the advisor for Aggies for Recovery. 

“One of the passions of my job is to let people know that there’s a place for them to go,” Lake said. “This is where you can come and find a place to see other people going through what you’re going through so you’re not alone.” 

Over the last year, attendance at Aggies for Recovery meetings has increased from three or four to 10-15 students. 

“Right now, I would say marijuana is the No. 1 drug of choice, which I think surprises some people,” Lake said. “There are some people that don’t think marijuana is addictive, but it’s extremely addictive because the THC levels are so high.”

The event will start at 5:00 p.m. with a brief introduction by Dr. Ann Cheney from the Center for Healthy Communities at UC Riverside and student leaders Rebecca Gardner and Zoe Kanavas, followed by speeches from Clark and Trejo. Each speaker will have 30 minutes to tell their stories of recovery, followed by a 20 minute Q&A session to close out the event by 6:30 p.m.

You can register for the event for free at the speaker jam’s eventbrite page.

Written by: Wm. Schroedter Kinman — campus@theaggie.org


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