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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 9, 2015 11:43 AM
From: Representative Tim Mahoney
To: All House members
Subject: Drug and Alcohol Prevention in Schools

In the near future, I will be introducing legislation amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), also known as the Public School Code, to make changes to drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs in schools.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the rate of abuse of prescription drugs, alcohol and cigarette smoking among youth has generally declined over the past few years. However, electronic cigarette use continues to grow and changing attitudes toward the perceived risk of marijuana and prescription stimulants is concerning since this may lead to a future increase in the use of these drugs. The Pennsylvania State Coroners Association recently reported that in Pennsylvania alone, drug related overdose deaths increased by 20% in 2014 compared to the previous year and will continue to increase as the United States is battling an overdose epidemic. Most deaths were attributed to the result of multiple prescription drugs either alone or with the addition of heroin or cocaine.

My legislation will require that a separate course of study for drug and alcohol instruction be developed for grades five through twelve to provide targeted instruction for the most at-risk age group. Additionally, my legislation requires that all teachers receive training in recognizing the signs a student is using or abusing drugs or alcohol and the appropriate steps to take in case they suspect a student is using or abusing drugs or alcohol.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important and life-saving legislation. Thank you.

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Introduced as HB1748