Campaign educates students about drug toxicity and safety


As post-secondary students return to campus and toxic drugs continue to circulate in all parts of British Columbia, it is critical that students have the resources they need to make informed decisions and stay healthy. security.

To ensure that students attending universities and colleges are educated on the seriousness of the drug poisoning crisis affecting communities in British Columbia and the steps they can take to stay safe, the province has extended its campaign to raise awareness of the toxic drugs in circulation. This campaign offers harm reduction resources, including how to recognize the signs of an overdose, respond to naloxone, download the Lifeguard app, and access emergency contacts.

“The Toxic Drugs are Circulating campaign meets students where they are and gives them tools to help them stay safe,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Higher Education and Vocational Training. “As students return to campus and participate in social activities, we want to make sure they are safe, informed, and have access to the information and support they need. It is important for us to do all we can to turn the tide on the poisonous drug crisis affecting British Columbians.

The Toxic Drugs Are Going campaign ran across the province in August and was extended to specifically reach post-secondary students in the fall. This is just one of many steps taken to support young people in British Columbia and help keep them safe.

These measures include:

  • expand access to naloxone;
  • the launch of Here2Talk, a free and confidential 24/7 mental health counseling and referral service for all post-secondary students in British Columbia; and
  • expand Foundry and Foundry Virtual centers to help young people up to the age of 24 access supports such as counseling, peer support, primary care and family support.

“With the students reuniting after a long and difficult separation, many are delighted to socialize and celebrate. If it involves drugs, make sure you have naloxone with you at all times, know the risks and know how to stay safe, ”said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With more than five people dying every day in British Columbia from poisonous drugs, it is crucial that people understand that toxic drugs are circulating and that people need to take every precaution when using them. “

To ensure the campaign reaches post-secondary students, the province is working with colleges, universities, health care providers and other key stakeholders to spread campaign messages on campus, social media and in popular social spaces where students meet.

The campaign runs alongside other student-run harm reduction projects, echoing student voices, including the harm reduction campaign run by the Alma Mater Student Society (AMS) of the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver.

“It’s time to move beyond yesterday’s ‘Just say no’ message as we know some students will decide to use drugs at some point,” said James Cabangon, Associate Vice President, AMS Student Society of UBC Vancouver. “Our harm reduction project educates students about naloxone kits and distributes as many as possible around campus. The more kits we distribute, the more lives we can save. Having said that, we are happy to see our projects benefit each other and hopefully in fact.

The awareness campaign will run on targeted social media as well as on campuses throughout the fall.

Learn more:

To view some of the campaign materials:

For more information on overdose prevention:

To access low-cost, free virtual mental health and addiction services:

For more information on how to request an institutional overdose response box:

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