Dr. Marvin Krank presenting during the committee meeting on Wednesday night (Connor Trembley-Capital News)

Central Okanagan students set to participate in drug prevention program

Approximately 1750 Central Okanagan students are expected to participate early next year

A new project soon to be implemented in the Okanagan will aim to help get harmful drugs out of students’ hands.

Starting early next year, approximately 1,750 grade 10 Central Okanagan students are set to be part of a national Canadian Under-age Substance Abuse Prevention (CUSP) trial which will help researchers better understand how to delay the onset of drug and alcohol in adolescence.

READ MORE: Overdose prevention needed now, say frontline workers

Approximately nine schools in B.C.’s interior will be part of the study, which will include an 18-page survey and local workshops.

Four target areas the survey will gather statistics from include sensation seeking activities, anxiety sensitivity, negative thinking, and impulsivity.

Marvin Krank, a psychology professor at University of British Columbia, said during Wednesday’s Central Okanagan education committee meeting that the four characteristics are often linked to more substance usage.

“These are four traits that have been linked through many research models to people getting involved in many risk-taking activities”, he said.

Other goals from the program are to help students understand how their own personality traits are correlated with behavioural actions and to help give students more strategies on how to cope with substance abuse and prevention.

The program was originally developed in Montreal by Dr. Patricia Conrod and it has now been implemented in various schools across the country.


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