August 31, 2020 marks the 20th annual International Overdose Awareness Day. To raise consciousness of this prevalent health crisis, activities are held in communities around the world. I, along with the Township Council and The Marlboro Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse, am asking Marlboro residents to join us in raising awareness and support.
Beginning August 17 through September 4, Marlboro Township will recognize the Overdose Awareness Campaign by placing purple ribbons at the Administration Building and Recreation Center. By order of Chief Pezzullo, Marlboro Police Officers will support this initiative by placing purple ribbons on their uniform and today, I signed a Mayoral Proclamation declaring August 31 as Overdose Awareness Day within the boundaries of Marlboro Township.
It is important that we change the way we look at drug-related deaths. International Overdose Awareness Day aims to educate, reduce the stigma, and remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose.
No community is immune. In New Jersey during 2018, nearly 90% of the 2,900 reported drug overdose involved opioids - a total of 2,583 fatalities. The United States has just over 4% of the world's population yet 25% of the world's overdose deaths. While always a health issue, the onset of COVID-19 shows drug overdose as a growing problem in our communities; as of June 30, 2020 Monmouth County lost 99 persons due to overdose.
The Overdose Awareness campaign is an opportunity to stimulate discussion about overdose prevention and drug policy. So many of our neighbors, individuals and families, are affected by these tragic losses and recognizing this day is a chance to publicly mourn and help the community learn more. More details are available at https://www.overdoseday.com/
We are asking you to join with us in acknowledging International Overdose Awareness Day:
- Tie a purple ribbon around your mailbox or a tree. Raise awareness through social media using this year’s hashtags #OverdoseAwareness and #EndOverdose.
- Spread the word through your networks, friends and organizations who may be interested in helping to raise awareness.
Change starts with each of us. Together we can make a difference.
Mayor Jon Hornik