(TRENTON) – With tens of thousands of people throughout the country losing their lives every year to drug overdoses, Assembly Democrats Anthony Verrelli and Daniel Benson sponsor a resolution that would designate August 31 as ‘Overdose Awareness Day’ in New Jersey.
By designating an annual Overdose Awareness Day, the resolution (AJR-178/SJR-85) aims to help more residents understand the prevalence of overdoses throughout New Jersey while reducing the stigma of discussing drug-related deaths.
Upon the resolution being advanced by the Assembly Health Committee, Assemblymen Verrelli (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) and Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) issued the following joint statement:
“Every single life lost to an overdose is a tragedy made all the more heartbreaking with the knowledge that many of those deaths could have been prevented if more people had a better understanding of this serious issue. In 2018 alone, our state lost 2,900 of our residents to overdoses.
“The purpose of designating an Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey would be to ensure our participation in an existing international effort to prompt more discussions about overdose prevention and allow families to share the grief many feel they cannot outwardly express because of the stigma surrounding their loved one’s death.
“This day would also help send a message to anyone struggling with substance use disorders that they are valued and help is available.”