Maple Ridge trustee wants life-saving Narcan kits in B.C. high schools

Susan Carr plans to raise issue at Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board meeting Oct. 19.

Westview secondary gym was packed Wednesday for forum on deadly fentanyl. Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Dave Fleugel addresses crowd.

Westview secondary gym was packed Wednesday for forum on deadly fentanyl. Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Dave Fleugel addresses crowd.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school trustee Susan Carr wants to cover all the bases when it comes to the life-and-death fight against fentanyl.

Carr told the community fentanyl forum Wednesday at Westview secondary that she wants the province to provide Narcan or naloxone kits in high schools across B.C. and will be raising the issue at the school board’s Oct. 19 meeting.

“We hope we never have to use it,” she said Thursday. “What if a kid goes down and we don’t have it?”

Schools can develop fentanyl overdose responses the same way they do for students who are in diabetic shock, or practise earthquake response or emergency lock-downs, she explained.

Naloxone is a safe antidote that can be used for any opioid overdoses. Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows firefighters are now all equipped with such kits, while RCMP are in the process of training and equipping their officers with similar measures.

Carr said the training required to administer naloxone isn’t “rocket science” and takes a few hours.

“It’s probably as easy as administering an EpiPen,” for allergic reactions.

But time is of the essence.

“We’re really behind the eight-ball on this. We don’t need to form a committee and talk about this for six months.”

She added, she doesn’t want the cost for such training to be downloaded on to school boards.

At the forum, Ridge Meadows RCMP Supt. Dave Fluegel said police haven’t seen many cases of marijuana being laced with fentanyl. It’s rare, he said, saying there was a such a case in Metro Vancouver.

“We’re not seeing huge trends in cannabis.”

But Carr said other agencies say pot is being contaminated with fentanyl.

Fentanyl is being mixed with cocaine.

“And we know that kids use cocaine.”

Carr said the forum drew about 500 people.

“It was a complete success. We’ve had great press.”

Vancouver media covered the event, even CBC French, she added.

Mark Goheen, an addictions specialist with Fraser Health, said one of the keys to preventing addiction in kids is for them to feel a sense of belonging, in their family and community.

“We didn’t come here out of anger. We came here out of fear. We want to make sure that the people we love are safe and stay safe,” Goheen said.

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read said “there are no safe recreational drugs,” citing the record number of overdoses.

“It’s not our street entrenched drug addicted that are dying. It’s people in their homes, people who use recreational drugs.”