Sudbury high school students are getting a first hand look at the battle on opioids

High school students in Sudbury are hearing stories about opioids and the dangers involved from police, the health unit and other front line workers.

It's part of a travelling event put on by Health Canada called the Know More awareness tour

The Know More Awareness tour visited College Boreal on December 3 and 4. (Casey Stranges/CBC)

High school students in Sudbury are hearing stories about opioids and the dangers involved from police, the health unit and other front line workers.

Students are also getting an interactive look at the battle against dangerous drugs in what is called the Know More awareness campaign. 

Constable Stefany Mussen is with Sudbury Police. She says she is sometimes shocked at how little students know about the crisis.

"It's a little discouraging because the crisis keep on going. But I'm happy that all the partners here today as well as the school boards are taking a step to educate the kids. And hopefully we can help prevent these incidents from happening in the future."

The students also get a chance to ask some hard questions. Especially what to do when a person overdoses.

"We were covering aspects of the Good Samaritan Act. So teens know that there is some legal protection if they are in the circumstance when they call 911 if they witness an overdose", says Mussen. "The act is to protect them against being charged with possession. The most important thing is that medical assistance is brought to that person immediately."

The Know More Awareness tour, started by Health Canada, uses interactive methods to help kids understand some of the dangers posed by opioids in the community. (Casey Stranges/CBC)

The Sudbury and District Health Unit says there were seventeen opioid-related deaths in 2016. Ten percent of high school students reported using opioids for non-medical reasons.

"It's alarming news, right? So I'm glad that it caught them off guard because hopefully the message sticks with them. Unfortunately it's a crisis that's affecting everyone, and so it's important for me to come here and make sure that the kids know how to be safe."

The tour is a partnership with Health Canada, the Local Health Integration Network, the Sudbury Health Unit and Sudbury police.