TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator John A. Girgenti, to ensure that students are made aware of the dangers of newly popular “designer” drugs like ecstasy before they encounter them, was passed by the Senate Education Committee today.
“Research has shown that educational programs on ‘designer’ drugs in schools have led to a change in the perception students have on the dangers of these drugs,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “Recent estimates suggest that within the Newark, New York, and Jersey Shore corridors over 750,000 dosages of new drugs, commonly called ‘designer’ drugs are being consumed each week. These drugs are stronger and more lethal than drugs found on the street only a few years ago. We need to educate our children about these new drugs and their deadly effects before it is too late.”
Senator Girgenti’s bill, S 621, would require new drugs to be added to the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The news drugs that would be included in the instructional program are date-rape or designer drugs like the so- called “ecstasy” drug.
According to Senator Girgenti, the Commissioner of Education would need to develop a Comprehensive Health and Physical Education curriculum framework with sample learning activities and resources that address current drug problems for the school district.
“Ecstasy has become very popular, especially by young people who frequent ‘techno’ parties because it has stimulant and hallucinogenic effects,” said Senator Girgenti. “What these kids don’t seem to understand is that ecstasy produces significant long-term neurochemical changes after even one use and permanent brain damage during repetitive use.”
The measure now heads to the full Senate for consideration.