Press Release

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For Immediate Release


A PRESENTATION EVENING WITH
ODD SQUAD PRODUCTIONS SOCIETY AND JOHN VOLKEN ACADEMY

Drug Education, Current Trends, & Protecting Kids

 

VANCOUVER, BC –  Friday, July 8, 2016 – Odd Squad Productions Society will host an evening presentation open to community leaders as well as the general public to discuss current drug trends and public health issues affecting Vancouver. The presentation will aim to inform and educate community members on how to encourage positive decision making in today’s youth.

WHEN:   Monday July 11th, 2016

5:30 PM: Pre-presentation exclusively for government officials, members of the health community, law enforcement, corporate sponsors and media.

6:30 PM: General public presentation followed by questions.

WHERE:   The Imperial – 319 Main Street, Vancouver


Odd Squad Productions Society is a registered charitable organization comprised of serving police officers, retired police officers, and volunteers.  For almost 20 years, Odd Squad Productions Society has been recognized as a leader in the field of drug and gang education for youth. Odd Squad ascribes to the notion that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ and that drug prevention programs are a more cost-effective and healthier investment for youth than treatment. This presentation provides an opportunity to educate community members on drug prevention. John Volken Academy provides effective and affordable residential addiction recovery treatment by cultivating, teaching, advancing and instilling the desire to strive to be their best.

Please RSVP to info@oddsquad.com to confirm your attendance.

 

For more information please contact:

Eva Malenka – Office Manager
Odd Squad Productions Society
604-408-9945 or eva@oddsquad.com

 

Click here to download this press release as PDF. 

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Fentanyl crisis on the news

Fentanyl overdose calls plague fire crews in record-busy May

Nearly 1,000 emergency calls were handled by a single fire hall last month, and officials say fentanyl is partially to blame.

Vancouver Fire Hall 2 responded to 943 calls in May, breaking a record for most 911 calls in one month.

“The call volume is getting to levels that are unheard of,” Robert Weeks, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Association, told CTV News.

“If this continues, and we expect it to continue, (the call volume) is more than a lot of municipalities have in their whole fire service, in all their fire halls.”

Source: ctvnews.ca


First responders struggle to get a grip on fentanyl

Paramedics, police officers, fire fighters gather in Victoria to discuss the death-dealing opiod

…..
British Columbia’s first responders are struggling to deal with the ‘crisis situation’ that has developed since the arrival of fentanyl.

The greatest challenge facing paramedics, police officers and fire crew is understanding how to deal with a drug that can be almost as deadly for the person handling it, as it is for the user.
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One of the major concerns is skin contact with fentanyl. First responders are being advised to wear skin protection including gloves when interacting with a possible overdose victim.
…..

Source: cbc.ca


Increase in overdose deaths prompts B.C. to declare public health emergency

A public health emergency has been declared in British Columbia over a “significant” increase in drug-related overdoses and deaths.

Source: cbc.ca


RCMP writes Surrey parents to warn about student fentanyl use

SURREY, B.C. – As summer holidays approach for elementary and high school students in British Columbia, RCMP in Surrey are urging parents to keep kids safe and to speak with them about easily available and deadly drugs.
In a letter to parents regarding fentanyl, assistant commissioner Bill Fordy says on the RCMP’s website that a safe summer depends on caregivers understanding the risks linked to illicit drugs.
…..

Source: ctvnews.ca


Accidental drug overdoses in BC up 75%: coroner

The BC Coroners Service says accidental illicit drug overdose deaths in BC were up 75 per cent between January and May compared to the same period in 2015.
…..

Source: news1130.com


‘It feels like murder’: The devastating impact of fentanyl in B.C.

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“I’ve not seen anything like this,” said Dr. Jane Buxton, harm reduction lead at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. “The numbers are so worrisome.”
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“I would argue that over the past year, we’ve definitely seen a return to levels of street violence and chaos reminiscent of back in 2005 to 2008,” Hughes said.
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It appears to be a viable option still to cut heroin with fentanyl to make a profit, and people are taking advantage of that to make money. But they are directly killing people as a result of that. – Sgt. Randy Fincham
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“I’ve had 26 overdoses in the last six months,” said James Pollock, 40, a heroin user who lives on The Strip.
“With fentanyl, you just hit the ground … lights out, you don’t even know. You just wake up every time to the paramedics above you.”
…..

Source: vancouversun.com


more news: google.ca/…

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VPD is asking parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of fentanyl

The Vancouver Police Department is asking parents to speak with their children about the dangers of fentanyl.

Chief Constable Adam Palmer believes parents and caregivers have an important influence on their children’s lives, and that these kinds of conversations could make all the difference when teens are faced with difficult decisions.

Original story: mediareleases.vpd.ca/…..

Letter to parents from Chief Constable Adam Palmer:

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

We need your help. Many of you have probably heard about the rise in overdose deaths related to fentanyl throughout B.C. A large number of people who have died were not even aware they were taking fentanyl – you can’t smell it, taste it or see it. These were not hardened drug addicts, either – they were recreational drug users, youth, and business professionals.

We are starting to see an increase in fentanyl use and overdoses in our youth, and we are very concerned. Fentanyl can be 40 to 50 times more toxic than heroin. Many teens seem to feel invincible and believe terrible things only happen to other people, which can make it a challenge for them to hear the safety message we’re trying to share.

We believe that parents and caregivers have an important influence in their children’s lives, and you can play a critical role in keeping your children safe. What can you do?

  1. Visit knowyoursource.ca and learn about fentanyl and other opioids (painkillers).
  2. Talk to your child. Don’t assume they are using drugs, but don’t assume they’re not. Stay calm and focus on these facts:
    • they may not know they are taking fentanyl – they cannot see it, smell it, or taste it, but it can kill them
    • fentanyl is cut into other drugs, like cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and oxycodone
    • fentanyl may be in pill, powder or liquid form
    • trying any of these drugs even just one time could kill them if they’re cut with fentanyl
  3. Advise them to call 9-1-1 if they see these signs of overdose in any of their friends:
    • severe sleepiness
    • slow heartbeat
    • trouble breathing
    • slow, shallow breathing or snoring
    • cold, clammy skin
    • trouble walking or talkingAn ambulance will be dispatched, and no one will be in any trouble. Police rarely come, as we don’t want to discourage anyone from calling 9-1-1 for help because they are afraid of other consequences.
  4. Friendships are a very important part of our kids’ lives. Encourage them to look out for their friends, to share information about the dangers of fentanyl, and to support their friends making good decisions. Understandably, most teens want to make their own independent decisions. Let them know you are giving them the facts to help them make an informed choice about their safety, and the safety of others.

Thankfully, only a small number of our teens are at risk for overdose, but every parent who receives that kind of devastating news is surprised that it has happened to their child. Sometimes, despite our best efforts at parenting, they give in to curiousity and peer pressure, or may engage in risky behaviour.

On the horizon is another drug you may have been hearing about on the news. W-18 is a deadly opioid 100 times stronger than fentanyl. While we haven’t discovered it in Vancouver yet, it will likely surface here before long.

By having a conversation with our kids, we decrease the risk that this may happen to them – and we increase the chance they could prevent it from happening to a friend. Let’s work together to make sure everyone has the information and support they need to make healthy and safe choices.

For more information, please contact the Vancouver Police Youth Services Unit at (604) 717-3144.

 

Sincerely,
Adam Palmer
Chief Constable

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Testimonial by Kway Middle School principal Ms. Laurie Ebenal

“The Odd Squad presentation was well received by the entire Kwayhquitlum community. Parents, who attended the event, appreciated the authentic and real aspects of the presentation. Teachers and students were impacted by the stories of the people living with addiction on the downtown east side. The presentation had a raw element that did not sugar coat the potential direction drug use can take you. The teachers appreciated the educational and health aspect of the presentation and that you didn’t lecture to the students. Providing concrete facts and riveting stories allowed a platform for students to explore the information from a empowered position. Thank you once again.”

Ms. Laurie Ebenal (Principal, Kway Middle School – SD43)

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Blush Article about the “Odd Christmas Party”

Original article: blushvancouver.com/the-odd-christmas-party-an-evening-with-jim-byrnes/

Whether you have heard of them yet or not, Odd Squad members have been making a difference in our city’s most troubled area since 1997. A group of concerned Down Town East Side (DTES) beat cops decided to “take something out of that sordid mess that we were tasked with policing and make it positive” was how founding member and new Executive Director, Tobin Hinton, described the beginning. Operating as a charitable entity, the group does not receive any funding or financial support from the Vancouver Police Department and the contributors are made up of police officers, retired officers, and volunteers. This year’s annual Christmas fundraiser was held at Central City on Beatty Street and it was packed.

Whether you have heard of them yet or not, Odd Squad members have been making a difference in our city’s most troubled area since 1997. A group of concerned Down Town East Side (DTES) beat cops decided to “take something out of that sordid mess that we were tasked with policing and make it positive” was how founding member and new Executive Director, Tobin Hinton, described the beginning. Operating as a charitable entity, the group does not receive any funding or financial support from the Vancouver Police Department and the contributors are made up of police officers, retired officers, and volunteers. This year’s annual Christmas fundraiser was held at Central City on Beatty Street and it was packed.

Juno award winner and Entertainment Hall of Famer, Jim Byrnes, sits on the board of directors for Odd Squad and also gives of his time to perform at the fundraising events. Between sets I caught up with Jim to find out why he was so passionate about supporting this cause. “I’ve got some real good friends who were the guys who started this. Myself, I was on that street at one time in my life, I know what life on the street is like and I know how things can go. A couple bad decisions and things can go wrong. I was lucky to have people that loved me and I was able to walk away from that street.” Jim went on to share, “I think that the work that we do with the Odd Squad to show what can happen and to show young people how to make better decisions is so important…I will support it to the bitter end.”

Diana Zoppa, the new president, got her start with Odd Squad back in 1998 when she organized their first fundraiser at the Commodore. “I’ve been with them ever since.” Diana shared some thoughts as the successful event came to a close. “Our goal was about $40,000 and I am sure we met it.” The next event for Odd Squad Productions? “We have an event that we do in May called Jewels and Jeans which we have always done at Birks.” Plans for 2016? “We are going to educate as many kids as we can with Peer2Peer programs, give more presentations all over the lower mainland and produce 3 big films. We are also really focused on gang awareness.”

A great cause and a really great group of people giving a tremendous amount back to the community. If you would like more information, please go to www.oddsquad.com

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The Odd Christmas Party Wrap

❆ The Odd Christmas Party Wrap 

Thanks for being there!

🎄

Squad and XMAS party volunteers

We sincerely thank those who were able to join us on December 1 for the Odd XMAS Party. 200 guests enjoyed a magical night with friends, old and new, who assisted in raising $25,000 towards this year’s efforts with presentations.

Odd Squad members intend to reach 20,000 kids by the end of June 2016 with their drug and gang presentations.

It’s not too late to donate and your contribution goes a long way.

Odd Squad members have been delivering valuable educational presentations to youth for 18 years. In order to keep the information current and timely for the kids, presentations and equipment needs to be upgraded and overhauled on a continual basis.

It’s not too late to assist us with these costs. 

For your donation, Odd Squad will provide the list of schools, interest groups and youth programs they present to by June 2016. You will also receive a charitable receipt for donations. 

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Event Photos from an Odd Xmas Party – December 1, 2015

You can still donate to support kids – click here

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Gangs & Guns Training Symposium

The 8th Annual Gangs & Guns Training Symposium by Safer Schools Together will be held on February 18th and 19th 2015 at the Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre.

Full list of presenters and presentation descriptions are available here on the ticketing page:
saferschoolstogether.com/event/gangs-guns-training-symposium-2016

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North Stars to partner with RCMP against drug abuse

Battlefords North Stars hockey team is starting a joint initiative with RCMP in Project First Goal to educate children against drug abuse.

Battlefords_North_Stars_LogoThe project will see members of the North Stars travelling to Vancouver to see first hand the consequences of drug abuse, touring the downtown east side with the Odd Squad. The players will document their tour and bring back what they see and hear to local schools.

The Regina Pats and the Saskatoon Blades are involved in this project.

Read more at: www.newsoptimist.ca/…

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End Gang Life: Myths & Realities

Doug Charlton spoke at a press conference today as Executive Director of Odd Squad and Producer of the End Gang Life: Myths and Realities video modules. Within a couple of hours of the official launch, the project is already having a huge impact and receiving national recognition.
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We launched the videos this morning at a press conference and the story and the videos have already “gone national”. You’ll see it featured on local news over the next day or so, as well as some of the national news programs like CTV Newsnet.

If the reaction over the last couple hours is any indication of the impact that these videos will have, I am positive that we will make a difference in the lives of many. In just a few short hours I’ve received calls and emails from the RCMP National Youth Services Section, the National Crime Prevention Centre, the national School Action of Emergencies (SAFE), and even the Ottawa Police Service. — Sergeant Lindsey Houghton, Media Relations Office, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – BC

http://oddsquad.com/videos/

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