UPEI joins national alcohol harms organization
University plans to educate students about drugs, alcohol
UPEI wants to ensure that students have all the information they need about alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.
The university recently joined the Post-Secondary Education Alcohol Harms (PEPAH) organization, a group of universities partnered with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction.
Director of student affairs Treena Smith said it's a discussion all post-secondary institutions should have.
"That's an important topic at any university campus, so we wanted to be part of [PEPAH]."
Upcoming initiatives to educate students about drugs will coincide with the legalization of cannabis in October.
"With the new cannabis law coming into effect, I think it's a prime opportunity to help our students get more education about alcohol and cannabis and start talking about harm reduction on campuses,' said Smith, who has worked in harm reduction for years.
Exactly what the university does will be determined through consultation with students when they return in the fall, she said.
'Knowledge is power'
"The things we've been tossing around to start with would be data collection on our campus and also working with the province, primarily through the chief medical officer's office," Smith said.
"I think knowledge is power, so through educating our students with the help of different organizations, we can talk about harm reduction in multiple ways."
Governments and organizations across the country are waiting to see what will happen with cannabis, and UPEI is no different, Smith said.
"The police forces don't know what to do with it, right? It's certainly top of mind and we're working on it. It's a moving target and we're continuing to get information about it."
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With files from Isabella Zavarise