Students’ Association of Red Deer College recognizes post-secondary can be a stressful time for students and they may resort to coping mechanisms like alcohol or — keeping with the times — fentanyl.
“With the recent fentanyl epidemic, we recognize there’s an added danger to that sort of behaviour now,” said Chaise Combs, vice president student life.
Red Deer College wants to nip the fentanyl issue in the bud, even before it arises on campus by raising awareness and education.
“Of course it’s an important topic and our demographic at the college is going to be right in the thick of it.” said Steven Lane, associate vice president academic.
Although, the fentanyl issue hasn’t impacted the college directly, the student association and staff want to be pro-active, given the fentanyl addiction is a big issue in the province and the country.
Currently there are two naloxone kits on campus and the association wants to look at stocking more kits.
Combs wants to train those who are interested — both students and staff to use the kits and educate the college community on what to do in case of an overdose.
The student association is looking to partner with Alberta Health Services and local agencies like Turning Point to raise awareness about drug overdose and how to recognize someone who has been overdosed.
A plan in it’s early stages includes hosting a drug awareness campaign in November on campus, Combs said.
William Baliko, president at the Students’ Association of Red Deer College said the association strives to stay up-to-date on needs of students.
“This is something that’s come on to our radar recently,” said Baliko.
Baliko encourages students to seek help on campus with the resources available including the Counselling and Career Centre and Health, Safety and Wellness Centre.