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Vancouver to host fentanyl youth forum next week

FILE - A reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly after a news conference at DEA Headquarters in Arlington Va., June 6, 2017.
FILE - A reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly after a news conference at DEA Headquarters in Arlington Va., June 6, 2017. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) and Vancouver School Board (VSB) are combining forces in a bid to fight the opioid crisis.

The pair are sponsoring a fentanyl forum at Britannia Secondary School in East Vancouver next week, with hopes of encouraging parents and students to talk openly about the dangers of substance abuse and the use of Naloxone.

It’s the latest in a string of such forums, and the city will host several more in the coming months.

A spokesperson from VPD said the series is increasingly important, with the opioid crisis showing no signs of slowing down.

Earlier this year, VPD chief Adam Palmer sent a letter to parents saying there was concern over an increase in fentanyl use and overdoses among youth.

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The latest statistics from the BC Coroners Service show 12 youth in the 10 to 18-year-old age group have died of suspected drug overdoses in the first nine months of 2017.

That’s compared to 12 youth deaths in all of 2016, and just two in 2015.

The forum begins at 6:30 p.m., next Tuesday, Nov. 28 at Britannia Secondary School at 1001 Cotton Drive in East Vancouver.