Rep. O’Brien bill that requires drug abuse and suicide prevention in health education curriculum passes House
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien’s (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) legislation (2017-H 5177A) that requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to consider incorporating substance abuse and suicide prevention education into the health education curriculum passed the House of Representatives unanimously this week.
“There is a tragic epidemic of our children abusing drugs and committing suicide and it is imperative that we give them the tools and education to not only protect themselves, but also those children around them as well. We cannot fail our children any longer and this bill will ensure that our kids know not only about the dangers of this behavior but more importantly, the signs and triggers that cause this destructive behavior to manifest,” said Representative O’Brien.
The legislation states that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall consider, in consultation with the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, the incorporation of substance abuse prevention and suicide prevention into the health education curriculum. Substance abuse prevention is defined as the implementation of evidence-based, age appropriate programs, practices, or curricula related to the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Suicide prevention is defined as the implementation of evidence-based appropriate programs, practices, or curricula related to mental health awareness and suicide prevention.
The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence), Rep. Kenneth A. Marshall (D-Dist. 68, Bristol, Warren), Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston), and Rep. Joseph J. Solomon, Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick).
The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903