Substance abuse disorders occur in 39 percent of people between the ages of 18-25, according to the National Center for Drug Abuse. In recent CDC reports, it was recorded that from May 2020 to April 2021, 75,673 people died from drug related deaths.
Places like the Cove, UC Santa Cruz’s substance recovery center, offer a dedicated space for students who struggle with addiction and for those in recovery to help those numbers decrease. The Cove provides free Narcan –– a drug that is used in emergencies to counteract opioid overdose –– and information for rehabilitation centers, and other crucial resources in aiding recovery.
But ever since being relocated to a trailer below Cowell College in 2015, this crucial student support service faces the frightening possibility of losing their space.
This fear stems from the fact that the Cove’s temporary trailer is just that.
At any given moment, the university has the power to deem the mobile modular building unsafe and remove it from campus, leaving the Cove to fend for itself. While this may seem like an out-of-the-ordinary move, UC Riverside’s recovery center for students was closed in a similar fashion.
Measure 72, a measure proposing a mandatory quarterly fee of $23.90, was put forth in 2019 in order to secure a permanent spot for CAPS and the Cove within the Kresge College Renewal. In the same vein, Measure 75 was proposed in 2020 asking for a similar fee. Neither measure got the required two-thirds of votes to pass, regardless of turnout.
In 2016, UC Riverside’s collegiate recovery center, The Loft, was closed due to insufficient funding.
Currently, the university is looking to find a permanent space for the Cove. This is something that should have happened years ago.
The Cove’s lack of a permanent space does not fall to the fault of money issues, as the university continues to pursue other large scale construction projects like the Rachel Carson/ Oakes Dining Hall. It appears that this vital resource has slipped through the cracks, as too many often do.
The Cove is an essential service that has provided a safe space for students who struggle with addiction, ultimately saving lives by providing resources, support, and education to the larger UCSC community. Despite what the trailer and its location suggests, the Cove is not by any means a temporary resource.