Abbotsford agencies set up substance abuse review task force

In the wake of several ecstasy deaths, the school district and other agencies have set up a substance abuse review task force.

In the wake of several ecstasy deaths across the province, the Abbotsford school district and other agencies have set up a substance abuse review task force.

District superintendent Kevin Godden said at Monday’s board of education meeting that the role of the task force is to look at the agencies’ “collective response” to youth drug issues and come up with recommendations.

“We felt it was important to do something now,” Godden said, referring to the ecstasy-related deaths of two Abbotsford young people late last year.

The committee will include representatives from local schools, the District Parents’ Advisory Council, the Abbotsford Police Department (APD), community agencies and students.

Among the issues it will consider are:

  • the quality and quantity of accurate data about substance use among students in Abbotsford;
  • the range of prevention programs offered at local schools;
  • the effectiveness of current intervention programs for high-risk students; and
  • the extent to which community resources are working with the district in responding to the problem.

The task force has been asked to provide a report by June 15 to the board of education.

Meanwhile, the district is working with the APD on an information campaign – called Operation X – to warn students and parents about the dangers of ecstasy and other street drugs.

The APD announced the initiative on Monday. More information is available at abbypd.ca.

Go to abbynews.com to see Ecstasy: Duelling with death, a special multi-story News feature that appeared in print in the Thursday, Feb. 23 edition.