Funded through Health Canada's Substance Use and Addictions Program, RDN's Rural Cannabis Outreach Program aims to educate youth (Grades 10-12) in rural communities on the health risks associated with cannabis use/consumption during adolescence and young adulthood. This outreach campaign will reinforce Health Canada's health and safety messaging about cannabis use and associated risky behaviours. RDN worked with local community partners and their high schools to curate informational/educational exhibits that will equip youth with the resources and tools to make informed decisions regarding cannabis consumption.
Through an evidence-based virtual exhibit, we will increase awareness and knowledge of risks associated with cannabis use/misuse. This project will deviate from non-interactive, lecture-style programming which delivers educational materials in a passive manner. Our approach is through the creation of a virtual exhibit that showcases narratives, facts, stats, and harm-reduction based information where students can interact with research-based materials in a ‘fun’ manner.
Harm reduction acknowledges that people use substances. The goal is to minimize the harms and risks of use rather than ignoring or condemning it. A recent study out of the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary identify that youth prefer harm reduction messaging, which is what we found in our focus groups.