Naloxone kits available in Central Okanagan high schools
In responding to the opioid overdose crisis - Naloxone kits have been made available in the area's five secondary schools.
Central Okanagan District 23 Superintendant Kevin Kaardal says 12 staff members have been trained in administering the drug, which can reverse the effects of an overdose.
He says having Naloxone in schools is in no way saying to students that drug use is acceptable.
"The education programs in the schools, that have been ramped up with the support of Interior Health, our teachers, health teachers and counsellors, is really an anti-drug message that we want to be safe and there are better choices than recreational drugs," he says.
Kaardal says they've had no reports of local students overdosing, but have had students tell them they know people involved with hard drugs.
"Then, of course, our goal is to direct them to counselling and get them support from the community. We just recognize that this is a risk out there, and we want to make sure that if in the rare chance that it would appear at school, that we're prepared to save someone's life," he says.
Interior Heath says there have only been a few school-age children overdosing in BC, but none on school grounds.
Kelowna has recorded 50 deaths from illicit drug overdoses, so far this year, up from 47 in all of 2016 - and fentanyl is suspected in a majority of the cases.