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Social Work students Sam Floren and Olivia Mancini alongside fellow shelter worker Kayla Crabtree and Rami Safi, a pharmacist and the professional affairs lead for Hamilton District Pharmacists Association.

Hamilton shelter workers create group to save young people from opioid addiction

Social Work students Sam Floren and Olivia Mancini, alongside fellow shelter worker Kayla Crabtree, started the Students Overdose Prevention and Education Network (SOPEN) to teach youth about the opioid epidemic in Hamilton.

Aug 27, 2021

Olivia Mancini and Kayla Crabtree have seen 15-year-olds in Hamilton battling drug addiction. Samm Floren has seen local kids as young as 10 starting to use drugs like cannabis or Xanax.

All three women work in city shelters and have formed a group to help educate young people about opioids and overdoses.

"Drugs are accessible to any age. It doesn't just happen to adults, it can happen to anyone," Mancini said.

"It would be important for youth to be educated and informed young adults so they can be more empowering in these situations."

The group is called Students Overdose Prevention and Education Network (SOPEN). Unlike other groups that raise awareness or are centred around not using drugs at all, this group will try to prevent drug use by teaching youth and students.

Read more in the CBC News article.