Youth Survey for Youth Opioid Use in Alberta

INTRODUCTION

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey. In 2018, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate released a report called Into Focus. This report looked at 12 young people who died from opioid poisoning between October 2015 and September 2017. They were working with child intervention services (child welfare)—or had been previously—when they died.

This report said it was really important for Alberta to develop a youth-specific plan or response to the opioid crisis. We made five recommendations to areas of government that work with young people regarding education, health and Children’s Services.

We want to see if anything has changed for young people since we released that report in 2018.


Who is OCYA?
The OCYA is all about helping young people who are receiving services through the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act or the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act (PSECA), or who are involved with the youth justice system. Whether we help by advocating, arranging for legal representation, or engaging the community on issues that matter to young people, the bottom line is we care about young people and want their voices to be heard.

Purpose
We are interested in hearing about your views and experiences of using opioids (such as fentanyl). We understand that people sometimes use opioids accidentally, like when they’re mixed into other drugs. So when we ask about your experience with opioids, we mean any time you’ve taken them, whether accidentally or on purpose. Also, when we talk about opioids and drugs, we mean both legal ones (such as prescription pills) and illegal ones.

We will be asking you what helped you, what did not help you, and what you think would help other young people to stay safe and get the support they need related to opioid use. Sharing your experiences will bring attention to the realities young people face and what can be done to makes things better.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who can do the survey?
Young people under the age of 24 years old, who use opioids or have used them in the past.

Will anyone know I answered the questions?
No. Your safety and privacy is very important to us. Your identity will be kept private and your name will never be attached to your answers.

What if I don’t have answers for some of the questions?
No problem! Just answer the questions that you can. We appreciate anything you have to tell us about any of the topics. Just type “no comment” or leave it blank.

I don’t really like to write out a bunch of stuff. Is there another way to do the survey?
Yes! If you want, you can do the survey over the phone with someone from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. We can also meet online, either one-on-one or in a focus group. You can phone Mari Hidalgo at 587-983-7879. She will make sure that your name will not be identified and no one else knows the answers you gave her.

How will the answers be used?
We will add your answers to everyone else’s answers, and we will create a public report about what can be done better to support young people who use opioids. The report will describe what has helped you, what has not help you, and what you think would help other young people to stay safe and get the supports they need. Sharing your experiences of opioid use will bring attention to the realities young people face and what can be done to make things better.

If you have any other questions about the survey, you can contact Mari Hidalgo at the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate: maricon.hidalgo@ocya.alberta.ca or 587-983-7879.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out the survey!