Press Release
Senator Anthony M. Bucco Senator Anthony M. Bucco (R-25)
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Contact: Robbie Kenney / (609) 847-3600
July 20, 2020
Bucco Bill to Create Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey Advances

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Calls for Statewide Initiative to Combat Addiction and Fatal Overdoses

Amid a devastating spike in drug overdose deaths during the pandemic, Senator Anthony M. Bucco’s legislation to establish an annual Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey cleared the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.

Senator Bucco’s legislation to create Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey was advanced by the Senate health committee today. (

Under Bucco’s bill, SJR-85, August 31 of each year would be designated to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death.

“Far too many lives have been lost in communities across the State due to addiction and overdose,” said Bucco (R-25). “The COVID outbreak has triggered a 20 percent increase in overdose fatalities. I am advocating for this somber annual reminder on a local, county and state level because public awareness of the risks and extent of the problem is necessary for us to control the threat to families of every demographic. Information can be empowering to those who often feel helpless against this deadly threat.”

Bucco urges local and county officials to pass resolutions to recognize Overdose Awareness Day at every level of government.

“The battle against substance abuse disorder and opioid-related death continues day in and day out,” said Bucco. “Now more than ever, elected officials on both sides of the aisle must work together to increase awareness while breaking the stigma surrounding addiction. Establishing this historic day will honor the lives that have succumbed to addiction for years to come.”

The Opioid Awareness Day bill requests the Governor to order flags flown at half-staff on August 31 of each year, and to annually issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe Overdose Awareness Day with appropriate activities and programs.

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