Statewide Initiative is Necessary to Combat Addiction and Save Lives
August 31 of each year will be designated Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey under a bill sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco and passed today by the Senate.
Senator Bucco’s resolution designating August 31 of each year as Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey cleared the Senate. (www.overdoseday.com)
“Every day, the battle against substance abuse disorder and opioid-related death continues in this state and across the nation,” said Bucco (R-25). “Information can be empowering to those who often feel helpless against this deadly disease. Establishing this meaningful day will honor the lives of those lost to addiction for years to come and hopefully save many more from the grasp of drugs. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle must work together now more than ever to increase awareness and remove the stigma surrounding addiction.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, overdose deaths in the state have skyrocketed by more than 20 percent.
“The devastating spike is a cry for help and a call to action,” Bucco said. “Far too many lives have been lost across the state due to addiction and overdose and the COVID outbreak has only added fuel to the fire. This somber annual reminder will help promote public awareness at the state, county and local levels. People need to understand the extent of the problem before we can control the threat to families of every demographic.”
The Opioid Awareness Day bill (SJR-85) 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 New Jersey citizens to observe Overdose Awareness Day with appropriate activities and programs.
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