Supplies like clean needles are available at the Overdose Prevention Society’s safe-injection site. (Photo for The Washington Post John Lehmann)

Okanagan College to develop wellness strategy for drug use

The Kelowna campus has 28 employees trained in the use of naloxone.

After a report of an overdose at Okanagan College in Kelowna, its director of public affairs wants to let students know the college has resources for those struggling with substance use.

“Information regarding opioids and where to turn for further information and help is distributed and available to students at orientation and in our student services building at the information desk in front of Athletics and Recreation,” Allan Coyle said.

In an emailed statement to Black Press Media, Coyle would not confirm or deny that an overdose occurred on the campus earlier this week.

READ MORE: Kelowna opioid addiction treatment clinic adds evening, weekend appointments

He did speak to the resources on campus, though, which includes 28 employees who are trained to use naloxone and the college is working on getting more help in place for struggling students.

“We are in the throes of developing a wellness strategy at OC,” Coyle said, adding that the draft is nearing completion but any timeline on the strategy remains unclear.

READ MORE: Health Canada tightens marketing requirements for opioid prescriptions

There were 55 overdose deaths in Kelowna in 2018, down from 74 the year prior.

Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus can house 143 students making it a smaller campus than most universities, and one that doesn’t see much substance use, Coyle said.

“Still, it is a matter that concerns us.”

WATCH: How to administer naloxone


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

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