New Jersey state Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Morris County) is urging local and county officials to pass a resolution within their communities, creating Overdose Awareness Day.
In 2019, the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Nevada issued a proclamation recognizing the day.
Nonprofit organizations are lobbying governors and other government officials to get the day recognized throughout the United States and to get every state to lower the flags to half-staff. Last year, only Connecticut lowered flags.
Additionally, opioid-related overdoses in New Jersey have increased by 20 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 outbreak is far from the only health crisis plaguing our state and our country,” Bucco said. “Too many lives have been lost in communities across New Jersey due to addiction and drug overdoses. In order to shine a light on this pressing issue, I am advocating to designate August 31st as Overdose Awareness Day on a local, county, and state level.”
Battle against overdose deaths continues every day, Bucco said and cautioned it was not a partisan issue.
The awareness day would honor the lives of people who have died of overdoses and help break the stigma surrounding addiction, he said.