New Jersey State Senator Anthony Bucco (R - 25) has introduced legislation to shine a light on the state's overdose drug crisis.

Senator Bucco's legislation would mark August 31 of each year as 'Overdose Awareness Day', on the internationally recognized day for awareness.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has overlapped the ongoing drug epidemic and Bucco says during the state shutdown the amount of overdoses in New Jersey has gone up 20-percent.

"We really need to shine a light on the opioid epidemic and this crisis we're continuing to see with overdose deaths in New Jersey," Bucco told Townsquare Media News. "Even though we're suffering through a Covid crisis right now, we can't lose sight of the fact that there are those struggling out there struggling with addiction, there are those families that are struggling with deaths of loved ones and we need to shed the light on that to remind everyone that this is something that people deal with everyday in their lives and we have to try to remove the stigma from it, get people into treatment and make sure that we can keep people healthy and active members of society."

Bucco says it's important that not only the general public recognizes this day but his fellow legislators as well.

"They have constituents out there that are struggling as well and hopefully this will carry through the budget process," Bucco said.

He explains that enough funding needs to be appropriated so that people can get the help and treatment they need to recover.

"We can't lose sight of the fact that we need to make sure that we appropriate enough funds so that people can continue to get treatment and continue to get help," Bucco said.

He expects a number of events around New Jersey to recognize Overdose Awareness Day and says the non-profit organization 'Prevention Is Key' will be having an event all to help people find places to get treatment and places for families to go for counseling.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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