Central Okanagan School District office on Hollywood Road in Kelowna. (File)

Central Okanagan school board approves drug-prevention program for 1,750 students

The program will take place across nine schools early next year

Central Okanagan school board members have approved a recommendation to let around 1,750 Grade 10 students participate in drug prevention activities in the district.

The two programs, known as the Canadian Under-age Substance Abuse Prevention (CUSP) trial and the Preventure Program Student Survey, were approved by school board members during a meeting on Wednesday night.

READ MORE: Central Okanagan students set to participate in drug prevention program

Central Okanagan school trustee Norah Bowman said there will be two components to the initiative, which will take place at nine different schools.

“Based on the survey that they complete, students will be identified into different categories and personality traits that are sometimes more characteristic of having behaviours that are more linked to drug addiction,” said Bowman.

Students associated with the higher drug-addiction traits will then be placed into a program to help prevent them from participating in substance-abuse activities moving forward.

During the discussion, school trustee Lee-Ann Tiede wanted clarification about how much anonymity was associated with the program.

Bowman said that it was only the student who would know if they’d be volunteering.

“If students fall into one of those four categories, then they’ll be invited voluntarily to participate in a support group that provides life coping skills for people specifically with those four personality traits,” she said.

“It’s done in a very discreet way and nobody has to know.”

Sensation seeking activities, anxiety sensitivity, negative thinking and impulsivity are four traits the program will be looking for in students.

The program is anticipated to start early next year.


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connor.trembley@kelownacapnews.com

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