Source: NJ 101.5 -
For some kids the transition from middle school to high school is very stressful and unfortunately, many start abusing drugs and alcohol when they get to high school. Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) is sponsoring a bill (A-413) to establish a statewide substance abuse prevention grant program for eighth-graders.
“It’s imperative that we do it. In today’s world with technology and peer pressure the way it is we have to start way younger,” DeCroce said. “We have to change things and that means changing laws, assisting communities and schools in a way that we haven’t done before.”
The legislation is modeled after a successful drug and alcohol education prevention program at the Copeland Middle School in Rockaway Township in Morris County. Project Positive Choice started at the school in 1998.
“We all know New Jersey’s heroin and prescription drug problem has exploded during the past couple of years and it’s not just in the cities. It’s in our suburban and rural areas too,” DeCroce said.
At CMS, Students meet with teenagers who are recovering from addiction. They listen to their peers who have been impacted by substance abuse and they meet celebrity role models.
“It combines educators, parents and the children and that’s where we have to get,” DeCroce explained.
Under DeCroce’s legislation, the programs would be funded by private and corporate donations, federal money or school districts.