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September 6, 2017

Alberta students should be equipped with information on opioid crisis: UCP

As kids head back to school, it is crucial that age appropriate information be taught about the opioid overdose crisis in the Alberta curriculum, the United Conservative Party Official Opposition said today.

A recent story from British Columbia examined what resources are available within schools to teach students about the fentanyl crisis. The story provided no information on Alberta, reiterating the need to have a comprehensive strategy to teach students the dangers of opioids at an age appropriate level. The UCP’s Education critics Leela Aheer and Dave Rodney, Mental Health critic Mark Smith, and Justice critics Angela Pitt and Mike Ellis are 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 proposes 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.”