Tackling Toxic Drugs

Mar 10, 2022 | Harm Reduction, Health News, Mental Wellbeing, Substance Use

A STUDENT NERVOUSLY KNOCKS ON THE DOOR BEFORE ENTERING. She is soon greeted and ushered into the room by second-year nursing student Adrian Van De Mosselaer.

“I’m here to get my drugs checked,” the student says quietly as she pulls a small package out of her pocket. She hands it to Van De Mosselaer, who—as a student himself—understands all too well the complex feelings students experience when deciding to get their drugs checked.

“A lot of people are nervous coming in. They may be excelling in school and are afraid of the academic repercussions of taking drugs, or they may be going through a difficult time in life and want to ensure they’re using drugs in a lower-risk manner,” he explains.

“Our ultimate goal is to get the word out that it’s ok to get your drugs checked. We really want to facilitate opportunities to sit down with students and have an open dialogue about drugs, so we can reduce the stigma as much as possible. We want to be known as a place where students can safely get their drugs checked and then go from there.”

It’s all part of a program run by HaRT (Harm Reduction Team), which is supported through collaborations with UBCO, Interior Health, the BC Centre on Substance Use and the local community. HaRT enables students to access free harm reduction services on campus and in the community, including drug checking with a spectrometer and test strips, single-use injection and inhalation supplies, workshops, overdose awareness training and general substance use education.

Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News