British Columbia

New Westminster schools to have counsellors on hand after student dies of overdose

New Westminster schools in British Columbia will have extra staff and counsellors to help students cope with the news that one student died and another is in hospital.

A second student remains in hospital, overdose prompts warning from police

Police say the drugs were purchased in pill form, from the same dealer. (Liz McArthur CBC)

The New Westminster School District in British Columbia says it will have extra staff and counsellors at schools to help students cope with news that a student died of an overdose and another is in hospital.

The tragedy occurred after police said two people bought pills from the same street level drug dealer.

On Friday, the New Westminster Police Department issued an urgent warning for what it calls a "lethal" strain of drugs in the city.

The name of the deceased student has not been released.

Police said it's not clear what the drug is.

Meanwhile, the school district calls the death "a terrible tragedy."

"Our heartfelt condolences goes to the family and all who have known this student," the school district said in a release on Sunday.

Critical response plan

The New Westminster school district says it has put in place a critical incident response plan, which includes having extra counsellors and additional staff to help students cope with the news of the death.

"We have been concerned, as are many school districts, about the current overdose crisis," said the release.

In May, the district held a community discussion to heighten awareness about the opioid crisis

"The tragedy we face underscores the importance that we must continue to work together to provide support in all areas, from prevention and early intervention to harm reduction and treatment options," read the release from the district.

New Westminster police says the case remains under investigation and police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 604-525-5411.

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