Aims to Ensure Current & Evidence-Based Substance Abuse Instruction
TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Richard J. Codey that aims to ensure substance abuse instruction in public schools incorporates the most current, evidence-based standards and practices received final legislative approval in the Senate today.
“Schools across the state are responsible for teaching our children about drugs, their negative effects and how to avoid them,” said Senator Richard J. Codey (D-Essex, Morris). “We must review what our schools are teaching our kids about substance abuse, and ensure that they are doing it in a way that is not only evidence-based but is up-to-date and can be most impactful.”
Under the bill, S-372, the Department of Education would be required to conduct a review of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, in consultation with the Division of Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services, to make sure that our students are receiving effective prevention education.
The DOE would also be required to issue a report on its review within 120 days of the bill’s enactment and propose any necessary revisions to the State Board of Education within 12 months of the report’s submission. The report would include methodology used, the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum standards, and the extent to which they incorporate the most recent, evidence-based practices.
“We must proactively address the issue of substance abuse among our youth and the sharp increase in heroin and prescription drug abuse across our state in recent years,” added Senator Codey. “If we aren’t providing kids with the latest information that takes into consideration current prevention methods that are proven to work, our efforts will prove futile.”
The bill was approved by the Senate by a vote of 39-0 and the Assembly by a vote of 79-0-0. It now heads to the Governor for consideration.