New Jersey Sen. Tony Bucco’s legislation to establish an Overdose Awareness Day has passed out of the state Senate’s Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee.
Bucco’s bill, SJR-85, would declare Aug. 31 Overdose Awareness Day to raise awareness about overdoses and reduce the stigma attached to a drug-related death. The bill asks for the Governor to order flags to be flown at half-mast that day and to issue a proclamation annually calling for public officials and NJ residents to observe the day with appropriate activities and programs.
“Far too many lives have been lost in communities across the state due to addiction and overdose,” Bucco (R-25) said. “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 urged local and county officials to pass resolutions recognizing the awareness day locally.
“The battle against substance abuse disorder and opioid-related death continues day in and day out,” Bucco said. “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.”