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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Rep. O’Brien law that amends drug abuse and suicide prevention in health education curriculum passes the House
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien’s (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) legislation (
) that amends substance abuse and suicide prevention education in the health education curriculum by including information that mixing opioids and alcohol can cause accidental death was passed by the House of Representatives.
“While the law we passed last year that mandates substance abuse and suicide prevention education be taught in all schools has had positive results, there is more we can do, especially in the face of our ever present opioid overdose epidemic. We need to provide our children with every piece of information available about the dangers of these substances in order to protect them, and others, from suffering a horrible tragedy,” said Representative O’Brien.
The bill amends legislation that was passed last year that states that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall incorporate, in consultation with the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, 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.
“Working as an educator has taught me the necessity for these educational curriculums and their importance to our children’s health cannot be overstated. These programs work and have positive results for our children and their families,” concluded Representative O’Brien.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request