A bill that would mandate education on drugs and alcohol in schools is likely to be fast tracked once lawmakers return to Concord in January.
If passed the measure would require that all public schools delegate time each year to teaching drug prevention from Kindergarten up to 12th grade. Currently schools must teach students prevention, but not annually.
At the state's drug task force meeting on Wednesday, Sen. Nancy Stiles of Hampton, who is sponsoring the legislation, told members that more needs to be done.
“We need to educate our kids at an early age so we can avoid what is happening in the world right now,” Stiles said. Last year more than 300 people died from a drug overdose. According to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count, New Hampshire is tied for worst in the nation when it comes to teen substance misuse.
If the bill becomes law parents who are not comfortable with the curriculum can decide to opt their child out.
Other bills that are likely to be fast tracked this legislative session involve harsher penalties on fentanyl possession as well as requiring insurance companies cover substance abuse treatment.