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Health

Ridge pol’s first bill becomes law, bringing opioid education to city schools

Bay Ridge’s newest elected official is officially a lawmaker.

Councilmember Justin Brannan’s first bill was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday, June 26. The legislature addresses the ongoing opioid epidemic in Brannan’s district and beyond by making opioid education a reality in New York City schools.

The bill, Int. 618-A, mandates that the city create and distribute age-appropriate educational materials about the effects of opioid abuse, to be given to students across city schools at the beginning of each school year.

The bill piggybacks on Resolution 197, recently passed by the Council, which calls upon New York State to require the Department of Education to include opioid education in its public school curriculum.

“I am very proud that my first bill is going to address the lack of opioid education for students in our city, and I am very proud that Mayor De Blasio and Speaker Johnson are joining me in fighting to keep our students well-informed,” Brannan said. “It’s too bad that legislation like this is even necessary, but I’m always glad when we can act together and protect our city’s kids.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuses, most substance abuse problems are said to begin before the age of 18, with the National Center for Health Studies also reporting that opioids cause more overdoses in kids ages 15 to 19 than any other drug category.

The bill will go into effect in time for the start of the 2019 school year.

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