UCP calls for equipping students with info on opioid crisis

by Morinville News Staff

Age appropriate information being taught about the opioid overdose crisis in the Alberta curriculum, is something the United Conservative Party Official Opposition is hoping to see as students return to school throughout Alberta.

Citing a recent story from British Columbia that examined what resources are available within schools to teach students about the fentanyl crisis, the UCP said no info was available for Alberta, something the party says reiterates the need to have a comprehensive strategy to teach students the dangers of opioids at an age appropriate level.

UCP Education Critics Leela Aheer and Dave Rodney, their Mental Health critic Mark Smith, and Justice Critics Angela Pitt and Mike Ellis were unanimous in their support for immediately implementing curriculum on the drug crisis.

“Our school system is a safe space for students to learn about the dangers of the opioid crisis that our province continues to grapple with,” Aheer said. “If providing information within the school setting on the dangers of fentanyl can save even one life, it’s worth it.”

The UCP caucus is proposing that the Alberta government collaborate with health, education and law enforcement professionals along with other provinces to develop modules on the opioid epidemic while ensuring harm-reduction, prevention and awareness initiatives are taught.

“Alberta students need to understand the dangers of the opioid epidemic where the equivalent of a grain of sand can be deadly, and how to recognize the signs of overdose,” Ellis said. “The more information students are equipped with, the more likely they are to understand the lethal nature of fentanyl and other opioids.”

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