North Island medical health officer Dr. Charmaine Enns is encouraged by an upcoming substance use awareness night aimed at the community.
The Parent Advisory Council of Mark R. Isfeld Secondary is hosting an info night April 18 at 7 p.m., and will cover a range of topics around substance abuse.
“The overdose crisis is not behind us,” explained Enns, who said there have been “fewer than five” fentanyl-related deaths in the Comox Valley in 2018. “The reality is citizens from the Comox Valley are impacted due to the fact that we have fatalities.”
The evening will touch on early warning signs, facts behind addiction, how substance use affects teenage brain development, fentanyl and the opioid crisis, legalization of marijuana and rehabilitation support.
Enns, along with other health care professionals, members of the John Howard Society, and parents John and Jennifer Hedican – who lost their son Ryan, an Isfeld student, to fentanyl poisoning – will be some of the speakers during the evening.
The info night will conclude with a question and answer period between the audience and the speakers.
“(Substance abuse) is not an easy topic,” noted Enns. “We’re opening up the conversation beyond overdose of illicit substances, including alcohol – the substance of greatest use among high school students.”
She added tobacco is also an important topic she will discuss during her presentation.
The presentation is set for 7 p.m. at the gym at Isfeld school (1551 Lerwick Rd. Courtenay). For more information, contact Dr. Ed Howard at 250-339-9868.