Drug Awareness and Education Program for the WHL

 

 

In 2004, The Odd Squad, a non-profit society created by a group of Vancouver police officers, teamed up with the Vancouver Giants and created a project called ‘Stay on Side’ as part of a drug awareness and education program for Junior League hockey players.  There are several teams within the WHL that have teamed with their respective police departments in similar projects.

The goal of ‘Stay on Side’is to bring the young hockey players into the Downtown Eastside so they can witness first hand the reality of chronic substance abuse.  Then, after receiving education on the drug culture and the short/long term effects of drugs, the hockey players go to the schools and give presentations on what they have seen and learned – all in an attempt to prevent future drug abuse/addiction by our kids.

I’ve met the hockey players as they’ve toured the Downtown Eastside, and I’ve had one come out with me for a shift on a ride along.  That young man was the billet of a friend of mine, so I know what the hockey players see leaves a lasting impression.

Last week, CBC’s The National did a story on project ‘Stay on Side’ and I’ve included a link to the broadcast.  At approx 11 minutes in length, it will give you a glimpse of what the Vancouver Giants do and see as they learn about the drug culture in the Downtown Eastside. 

Kudos to The Odd Squad, the Vancouver Giants, and to Sgt. Mark Steinkampf and Det. Chris Graham for bringing this program to Vancouver.

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