Make Graduation Memories Last a Lifetime

VANCOUVER ISLAND – With graduation season underway, Island Health is encouraging young people to make safe and sober choices during their celebrations.

The current illegal drug supply on B.C.’s streets – regardless of the source and any relationship with the supplier – is poisoned with fentanyl. Having courageous conversations with peers, teachers and parents before the celebrations begin can help young people to better understand the risks of both drug and alcohol consumption.

To ensure this is a milestone that you will want to remember, avoid using drugs and excessive alcohol consumption, which can both lead to serious complications such as overdose, injuries, accidents, and loss of life.

It is important for parents and guardians to talk openly with their kids about the risks associated with using drugs and alcohol and to help establish a pre-planned graduation safety plan.

A safety plan should include:
• Making sure your cell phone is charged in case of an emergency.
• Planning a safe ride home – never get in to a vehicle with someone who has used drugs or alcohol, and watching out for friends and getting help if someone is over-consuming.
• Watching out for friends and getting help if someone is over-consuming.

“Young people are too smart these days to buy into those Hollywood movies where graduation parties, fuelled with alcohol and drugs, are portrayed as glamourous and the only way to mark this wonderful accomplishment,” said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health Chief Medical Health Officer. “As a pediatrician, I can tell you the reality can be anything but glamorous, alcohol poisoning is extremely dangerous. And spending the night in the Emergency Department, throwing up on your date and ruining her prom dress or losing the deposit on a tuxedo rental is not how you want to conclude this special occasion.”

For more information about youth and substance use, and what resources are available, please visit:

Central/North Island media inquiries:
Cheryl Bloxham

South Island media inquiries:
Meribeth Burton