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Cowichan Valley School District launches investigation following drug awareness presentation

An inappropriate safer snorting kit left behind following a school presentation spurs investigation
The Cowichan Valley School District is launching an investigation after a kit inappropriate for school aged students was left behind after a recent presentation on drug addiction and harm reduction. (Citizen file)

The Cowichan Valley School District is launching an investigation after being made aware on May 21 that a safer snorting kit was left behind at one of it’s schools by a third-party presenter, whose name was not disclosed. The presenter was there to speak with students about harm reduction and substance addiction.

“We were recently made aware of materials that were left at one of our schools from a third-party harm reduction and drug addiction presentation that we do not consider school or age appropriate,” said district spokesperson Mike Russell. “While the Cowichan Valley School District does support harm reduction as a well-researched and effective method of addressing the ongoing opioid crisis and conversations around drugs and drug addiction, we aim to ensure that the teachings related to it are appropriate for our students.

“The materials left by this third party did not meet this threshold, and for that we apologize to our community,” said Russell. “As a result of this incident, we are undertaking a full investigation as well as a review of applicable policies and administrative procedures regarding third-party presentations and materials.”

READ MORE: Trio wants to bring award-winning harm reduction program to all Island high schools

While the contents of the kit could not be confirmed, it did include a booklet by the Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE), which according to information found on the website of the publisher explained the basics of safer drug snorting, nose care, and prevention of hepatitis C infections.

When starting the hard conversation of substance use with children and youth — Island Health offers a guide of tips on how to best do so here.

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