The "safer snorting kits," which included "straws and wallet-sized cards for cutting powder into snortable lines," were distributed last week to students in the Cowichan Valley school district in Victoria, BC, the outlet reports.
Students also allegedly received a booklet titled, "Staying Safe When You're Snorting" which gives tips on having safe sexual intercourse while high, sharing equipment, as well as the variety of different drugs that can be snorted through the device such as fentanyl, cocaine, crystal meth, and ketamine.
“You may be new to snorting drugs or have snorted drugs for many years. Either way, this resource has something for you,” the introduction of the booklet reads, according to Vancouver Sun.
"Have condoms and lube with you. You may want to have sex while high," one of the tips reads.
Another tip says, "Adding a personal touch to your snorting equipment will help you better recognize your own when using with others."
The incident came to light on Saturday when conservative activist Aaron Gunn posted images of the kits to Twitter.
"When I was in high school, we heard from powerful guest speakers on why doing hard drugs had very serious (and potentially deadly) consequences," Gunn wrote. "Today in British Columbia, (and, in this specific case, a high school in the Cowichan Valley) they are handing out "safer snorting" kits to children as young as 15."
The Cowichan Valley School District confirmed the authenticity of the images and said that the district is investigating the incident, the outlet reports. Officials said that the kits were not part of a district policy, blaming their distribution to minors on a "third-party."
"We were recently made aware of materials that were left at one of our school sites from a third-party harm reduction and drug addiction presentation that we do not consider school or age appropriate," the school district wrote in a statement on Sunday, adding that they have enacted a “full investigation."
According to Vancouver Sun, the Safer Snorting booklets are manufactured by government-funded groups such as the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health, and are distributed by the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE).
Drug use has taken hold of Canada in recent years as parliament, along with local governments, continues to introduce policies that fail to tackle the issue impacting nearly every large city in British Columbia.
Canadian public schools have banned the free distribution of drug paraphernalia on campus, but higher education offers it to students through Harm Reduction Centres, which provide students with free, no-limit, no-questions-asked packages of "safer snorting supplies," "safer injection supplies" and "safer smoking supplies," the Vancouver Sun reports.
According to a sign in the University of Victoria's Harm Reduction Center, the school will not request a student's identification when they come to pick up the materials.
"We won't ask you for ID when you order or pick up your supplies. Plus, supplies come in non-identifiable packaging," the sign reads, according to the outlet.
However, the distribution of free drug paraphernalia is not limited to the B.C. province. Last year, York University in Toronto, Ontario, handed out "safer snorting kits" to students, which went viral on the social media platform TikTok after students joked that the school gave the free "coke kits."
In the years since, very little has changed, and over 10,000 people have lost their lives to illicit substance use.Officials held a press conference in August of last year announcing that, "Six years ago nearly 1,000 people in the province died from illicit drug supply in a single year," adding that, "today, the same number of people have died in just half the time," peer clinical advisor and former addict Guy Felicella said.
According to preliminary data released by the BC Coroners Service last August, at least 1,095 people have died as a result of illicit substance use since January 2022, which Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said puts BC "on track for a record loss of life" yet again.Last May, the BC government announced that possession of small amounts of illicit substances would be decriminalized, in an attempt to remove the criminal element of drug use so as to shift to a healthcare-based approach.
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