Sir (don’t) mix-a-lot

José A. Pacheco

Photo By David Robert

José A. Pacheco, 34, works with the Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies and the Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies, U.S.-Mexico Border Alliance. But there’s more to him than just a big title; he also works with the Student Organization for Providers of Addiction Services, which will be holding a “Fake Pharm Party,” where students at the University of Nevada, Reno will be shown the dangers of combining different type of depressants, stimulants, alcohol and pain killers at 11 a.m. on April 27 at the entrance to the Getchell Library on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The group will also have a “Smashed Sports Competition,” in which participants will be able to experience the feeling of playing sports while intoxicated.

So you guys are going to have an event on Wednesday and Thursday—sorry, the paper doesn’t come out until Thursday. What’s the event about?

It’s basically to show students the dangers of combining different types of depressants, stimulants and painkillers, as well as mixing them with alcohol.

Why do you feel students need to hear this kind of information?

Well, we’re nearing the end of the semester, and everyone is going home for the summer, and who knows what type of dangers they’re going to run into. We’ve heard stories about problems with drug abuse, not necessarily on campus, but basically, all over the community. So we are trying to educate them of the dangers of these “pharm parties,” they’re called … Where they mix pills and alcohol.

Wow. That’s a real thing—pharm parties?

Pharm parties.

And is that a new trend?

That’s what they’re called. We’re seeing stories nationwide about these problems occurring with younger people. So we’re basically trying to educate the students at UNR of those dangers in case they find themselves in that situation.

So how do you simulate the effects of combining different drugs and alcohol?

We’re going to have information there, what not to mix, what not to do, basically. The simulation is going to be with candy, instead of real pills. We’ll also have the “smashed sports” competition, where we’ll have goggles and different things to simulate the effects of alcohol, Ecstacy and other drugs while doing sports.

Tell me a little about yourself. How long have you been doing this?

A little over a year now.

And where did you come from?

I came from Miami, Florida.

And what brought you to Reno? The job?

The job, yes, and the university.

What else should we cover as far as SOPAS is concerned?

We’re basically a group of students that are going to eventually become providers of addiction services in different fields, like social work. Others are related to substance abuse prevention. So that’s what we’re trying to promote.

So what is the one thing you could tell people who can’t make it to the university on Thursday?

People need to be aware, if they go to a party or something, of who’s there, who they’re with and the dangers surrounding them.