Officials at Eastern Kentucky University are working to raise awareness of an alcohol and drug medical amnesty policy.The medical amnesty policy is designed for the safety of students."
EKU Student Conduct and Community Standards Director Bob Brown says, medical amnesty allows students to call EKU’s police department or other assisting officials such as housing staff, and get medical assistance for alcohol or drug emergencies.
“If they do that. If they call, they stay, they cooperate with the officials then they won’t have a student conduct record with our office for alcohol, drug or intoxication. So that they can get the students the help they need."
Brown says students granted amnesty will be required to participate in an educational follow up process with university officials .
“We still meet with the students who are involved so that they can learn from the situation. So they can get the support that they need. We don’t dismiss everything and not address the issue. We have the conversations with them so they we can get them the support necessary so they can make better decisions next time around.”
Critics argue alcohol amnesty programs in college encourage alcohol and other drug abuse.
Out of 15 students polled on this day at EKU, only one was aware of the policy. Senior Megan Cunigan believes the good outweighs the bad with medical amnesty. She says,”if we can save just one person who really needs help, it’s worth it.”
Megan says she's never used the policy but maybe should have once or twice.
"I think rehabilitation is more important than punishment.'
University personnel are passing out post cards with the words, "You won't be punished for helping a friend. If someone needs medical attention because of drugs or alcohol, they and you are protected by medical amnesty.