Measure to Establish a Higher Education Substance Use Advisory Committee Passes House

Central Virginia- Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Hanover) is pleased to announce the unanimous, bi-partisan passage of House Bill (HB) 852. 

HB 852 will establish and appoint members to the Virginia Institutions of Higher Education Substance Use Advisory Committee.  The Committee will work to develop and update a statewide strategic plan for substance use education, prevention, and intervention at Virginia’s institutions of higher education. 

This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia Commission on Youth (COY) of which Peace is former Chairman.  COY findings, and a Virginia ABC study, found that little to no data on current college student alcohol and drug use trends and behaviors are available statewide.  The Advisory Committee will provide oversight on these findings and continue to make recommendations as the work of the Committee advances.

Speaking to the passage of the bill, Delegate Peace asserted, “Currently, there is no specified prevention office in Virginia that has a focus on college-aged substance use.  It is imperative to highlight Virginia’s commitment to this issue, and signify to college administrators the need to come together and collaborate on this topic.”

DeDe Goldsmith, COY member and parent, states, “This legislation is critically important to give administrators and students the tools they need to attack recreational drug use on college campuses head-on.  Our young people learn best by and from each other, and they have come up with unique ways of doing so.  HB852 will ensure that their good works are available statewide at our college and universities to help reduce the medical emergencies that are increasingly prevalent among the student population.  Currently, substance use and abuse education programs are implemented from the top down and are ineffectual.

My daughter, who was an honors student at a state school, died because she lacked the honest, fact-based information she needed to make an informed decision about the risks that are associated with even incidental drug use. This will help get the right information to the right people by the right people.”

The bill will now be heard in the Senate. 

Delegate Chris Peace’s voting record shows a consistent focus on opposing tax increases, protecting family values, defending the Constitution, and promoting job creation and a high quality of life in Hanover, King William and New Kent counties.