SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ  – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. would require the Department of Education to develop an educational fact sheet for distribution to parents of student-athletes and cheerleaders concerning the use and misuse of prescription opioids cleared the Senate Education Committee.

“Each year, more Americans die from drug overdoses than in traffic accidents, and more than three out of five of these deaths involve an opioid,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “Ensuring that our student athletes, cheerleaders and their parents are educated about the dangers of opioids and the potential for abuse can help boost prevention efforts.”

The bill, S-2402, requires the Commissioner of Education, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health, to develop an educational fact sheet that provides information concerning the use and misuse of opioid drugs in the event that a student-athlete or cheerleader is prescribed an opioid for a sports-related injury.

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Under the bill, school districts and nonpublic schools that participate in interscholastic sports or cheerleading programs are required to distribute the fact sheet annually to the parents or guardians of student-athletes and cheerleaders, and to obtain a signed acknowledgement of the receipt of the fact sheet by the students and their parents or guardians.

The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.