Educators are dealing with the growing problem of drug abuse in our school system and School District 68 is trying to get out in front of it.

The District has hired a mental health and addictions coordinator who will help staff better understand how to respond to issues surrounding substance abuse.

Earlier this year, an Island Health Information Bulletin reported an increasing number of education, police and health care professionals on Vancouver Island were expressing concerns about the use Alprazolam, or xanax in their communities.

Those communities included Nanaimo, Parksville and the Cowichan Valley.

Superintendent Scott Saywell said there was a growing concern around opioid misuse and it’s an issue that isn’t going away especially with cannabis becoming legal on October 17th.