Following “instances of students having serious reactions and/or overdosing (non-fatal) on counterfeit Xanax,” staff at NDSS and the Napanee OPP issued a warning to parents and students.
In a news release published on the secondary school’s website last week, the Limestone District School Board said they are working closely with police, KFL&A Public Health and Addictions and Mental Health Services KFL&A to raise awareness about the dangers of taking non-prescription drugs.
The release stated the school had dealt with instances of students over the last two weeks who had overdosed on Xanax, with school staff and emergency services able to intervene and provide care for all those affected.
The release also confirmed that all secondary schools in the area are equipped with Naloxone kits, which block or reverse the effects of opioid medications.
To raise awareness about the issue, staff visited classrooms last week to speak to students about the potentially life threatening reactions that can happen when taking illicit pills.
As counterfeit drugs continue to be a problem in the community, the OPP is encouraging guardians to speak to students about the dangers associated with taking non-prescription drugs.
“We’re just urging parents, grandparents, guardians to talk to their kids,” said Napanee OPP Const. Jackie Perry. “If people have information (about the sale or use of illicit drugs) we encourage them to contact us. They can still remain anonymous. We need to know.”
Perry says students shouldn’t be afraid to speak up as it could literally mean the difference between life or death.
“If they’re hearing about these kinds of things, it’s important they share it with us as well,” said Perry. “It’s happening at parties throughout Canada. Teens are going and taking stuff or ingesting things, they don’t know what’s actually in the pills or drugs that they’re taking, including marijuana for that matter.”
Students still in possession of illicit drugs are encouraged to dispose of the drugs at a “safe drop-off zone,” located at Wallace’s PharmaChoice Drug Store in Napanee. The drugs can be dropped off anonymously, with no repercussions. Adults with outdated prescription drugs are also encouraged to return the leftover pills to a pharmacy to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands.
Anyone with information that may be useful to police can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipssubmit.com.