SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED JUNE 29, 2020
Senator ANTHONY M. BUCCO
District 25 (Morris and Somerset)
Senator DAWN MARIE ADDIEGO
District 8 (Atlantic, Burlington and Camden)
Designates August 31 of each year “Overdose Awareness Day” in New Jersey.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on July 22, 2020, with amendments.
A Joint Resolution designating August 31 of each year as “Overdose Awareness Day” in New Jersey.
Whereas, 1[Drug addiction] Substance use disorder1 is a chronic disease 1[,]1 characterized by 1the problematic,1 compulsive 1,1 or 1[difficult to control drug] difficult-to-control1 use 1of drugs and other substances,1 despite harmful consequences; and
Whereas, 1[Drug addiction] Substance use disorder, particularly when it involves opioid drugs,1 is seen by both the 1federal1 Centers for Disease Control 1and Prevention1 and the World Health Organization as a fast-growing epidemic that can all too easily lead to overdose and death; and
Whereas, In 2018, 67,367 individuals died from drug overdoses in the United States; and
Whereas, In New Jersey alone, 2,900 people died from drug overdoses in 2018; and
Whereas, Furthermore, for every drug overdose that results in death, there are many more nonfatal overdoses, each taking an emotional and economic toll on 1[the individual] individuals1 , their 1[family] families1 , and the community at large; and
Whereas, 1[Drug addiction] A substance use disorder1 can fuel feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, depression, and hopelessness, causing individuals to resist seeking treatment and support; and
Whereas, Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held on August 31 of each year that aims to raise awareness of drug overdoses, reduce the stigma of a drug-related death, and 1[to]1 acknowledge the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who 1[have died or had a permanent injury] died or were permanently injured1 as a result of a drug overdose; and
Whereas, To further the goals of Overdose Awareness Day, all flags throughout the State should be flown at half-staff for the day’s duration; and
Whereas, Recognizing Overdose Awareness Day in New Jersey sends a strong message to former 1[or] and1 current substance users, namely, that they are valued, and that overdose death is preventable; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. August 31 of each year shall be designated as “Overdose Awareness Day” in New Jersey to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.
2. The Governor is respectfully requested to order flags be flown at half-staff 1on August 31 of each year1 and to 1annually1 issue a proclamation calling upon public officials and the citizens of this State to observe “Overdose Awareness Day” with appropriate activities and programs 1[each year]1
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.