Hello – we would like to thank you again for your contributions to this campaign, which gave us the strength to create ATCHAA, the Alliance to Change Actions and Attitudes, in his honor. We continue to work to try to minimize the deadly consequences of the misuse of prescription drugs. For those of you who may not have seen this, part of that effort culminated in an investigative report by the NBC Bay Area TV news team: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Prescription-Drug-Abuse-Rising-California-Fights-Back-227732551.html
Also, I continue to work with UCSB, as the surrounding community of Isla
Vista continues to be a very dangerous place (just Google UCSB Student deaths). As a result of these ongoing efforts, we were able to change some processes and procedures for Freshman Orientation, as well as get the full support of the UCSB Drug and Alcohol Program and UCSB Rec Center for the first Annual Alec Torchon Memorial Dodge Ball Tournament tentatively scheduled for the Feb 21 or 22, 2014.
Here is a nice acknowledgement from Debbie Fleming, Sr. Assoc. Dean of the
Office of Student Affairs, which I will repost on the Alec Torchon Memorial
“Working with Ric Torchon and the newly formed Alliance to Change Actions and Attitudes (ATCHAA) Foundation has resulted in a strong ongoing
collaboration and support for increasing awareness of the UC Santa Barbara’s
alcohol and drug prevention programs, counseling services, and other support
Following the tragic death last fall of Ric’s son, A.J., and ensuing
conversations with Mr. Torchon, the University expanded existing orientation
efforts to make it possible for all parents of incoming students, regardless of
whether or not they are able to attend the orientation programs, to receive
information about resources available on the UCSB campus for both students and parents.
The highest priority for UC Santa Barbara’s Division of Student Affairs
is the safety and well-being of students. UCSB’s alcohol and drug prevention,
education, and intervention efforts are among the most comprehensive in the
country and include individual and group counseling. Additionally, all new
undergraduate students are required to participate in an interactive online
education program and a peer-facilitated 90-minute small group workshop that
addresses safety concerns and highlights available support services and resources.”
Debbie Fleming, Senior Associate Dean, Student Life
University of California , Santa Barbara
Stay tuned for a special announcement of something incredible that is going to take place later this year in honor of AJ, and is possible because of the incredible outpouring of compassion and support you have shown. Your contributions have allowed us to create the Alliance to Change Actions and Attitudes, a 501©3 non-profit organization. We are already effecting change at the local, regional level, and soon, hopefully, the national level. And we are not alone. Unfortunately there are countless organizations that have been created out of parent’s grief over the loss of their children due to accidental prescription pill overdose.
AJ died from an accidental overdose of Opana, the brand name pill for Oxymorphone. Opana is far deadlier than Oxycontin and is a pain killer prescribed to cancer and hospice patients. We don’t know how he got it. Somebody does. He was not out drinking at some party, but was “relaxing” in his apartment after working a student event at the Rec Center Friday night, and Saturday morning as well. AJ took an unnecessary risk by taking a pill that he probably thought was just a prescription pain pill – but he had no idea of its deadly potency.
With your help, we are going to make a difference. The specific purpose of the Alliance to Change Actions and Attitudes is to: 1) Promote health and safety by educating adolescents and young adults on the risks of alcohol and drug use; 2) Ensure that college students have access to the proper level of counseling, guidance and support at their enrolled colleges and universities; 3) Affect policy change at the Local, State, Federal Government and Higher Education level so that Parents and Legal Guardians of college students have increased transparency to the actions that Higher Education institutions take upon their children that may affect their mental and physical well being; 4) Affect the attitudes of our communities on efforts to prevent drug and alcohol abuse.
So please stay tuned for an announcement of an event that is going to honor the impact AJ had on his community and help raise awareness of the prescription pill epidemic that is sweeping this nation’s high schools and colleges. We just got the approval from officials at UCSB to begin the planning and scheduling of this campus wide event. UCSB has been incredibly supportive and moved by AJ’s death and the impact he continues to have on the University. Thank You!