Overdose awareness at orientation week

A new school year is fast approaching, and for many students, as well as their parents, drug safety on campus is a big concern.

At UBCO and Okanagan College in Kelowna, that's a big discussion during orientation week, and students can expect to see overdose awareness flyers all over school grounds.

In addition, several security guards, first aid responders, and residence advisors have been trained to respond to an overdose on campus, which may include using a naloxone kit.

When parties pop up at UBCO, Director of Health and Wellness Roger Wilson says a student outreach group called Red Frogs is on-hand to offer support and ensure safety.

“Red Frogs offers support, a safe place, water, and food at parties” says Wilson. “There are supports in place if there is a party that gets out of hand, but we really try to manage things so that people can reach out and we can identify anyone that’s at risk.”

Over at the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College, Communications Director Tyler Finley says they’ve taken a digital approach to student safety.

“We have launched a new app called OC Safe, which students and staff can use to tap into resources. They can use it quickly tap into resources like campus security and SAFE WALK, as well as our health and safety policies,” says Finley. “Our main concern is just ensuring that we are vigilant and that campus is a safe environment for students at all times.”

In addition to drug safety, other safety initiatives during orientation week at the two schools include sexual violence and mental health awareness.