From April 20 to 24, Wells College and the Office of Student Life will host “100 Die a Day,” a project of the Cayuga County Coalition for a Drug Free Community. The event will include a dramatic display of wooden tombstones on the lawn of Wells’ Sommer Center as well as an information table in the Express Café. Campus community members can pick up information about preventing drug use or dealing with addiction as well as engage in dialogue with professionals and volunteers, including N.Y. State Certified Drug and Alcohol Councilors.
The “100 Die a Day” project was started by the Cayuga Coalition for a Drug Free Community in collaboration with the family of Jessica Nicole Gentile, an alumna of CCCC and Cortland University who died of a heroin overdose in 2013. This project is designed to educate people of the realities of heroin use, to prevent people from starting, and to impact people already using heroin to encourage them to stop. The display is meant to leave a lasting emotional impression and to aid family members of those suffering from addiction.
“It is our contention that the possibility of death is not a reality in the mind of a heroin user,” the organization states. “There will be 100 different epitaphs, each designed to make ‘pre-users’ think in a different way about heroin use.”
The event at Wells is supported by agencies including CHAD (Confidential Help for Alcohol and Drugs), the Sheriff’s Department, and the Poison Control Center.