WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Lori Trahan (MA-03), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) pushed the federal government to recognize a day that honors the lives of those lost to drug overdoses – Overdose Awareness Day.
The representatives were joined by 21 of their bipartisan colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden asking that he lower U.S. flags to half-staff on all federal buildings on August 31, 2021 to honor those who have died as a result of the overdose epidemic.
“On August 31, 2021 we will observe Overdose Awareness Day, which is held in remembrance of the lives lost due to substance use disorder,” the bipartisan group of lawmakers wrote to President Biden. “The substance and opioid use disorder crises have affected countless families and communities across the United States. Since 1999, our nation has lost over 750,000 American lives from drug overdoses, and the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest an acceleration of overdose deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.”
“In light of the rising overdose deaths taking place across our country, we write to respectfully request that you order flags to be flown at half-staff on all federal buildings on August 31, 2021, Overdose Awareness Day,” the lawmakers requested. “We are grateful for the federal government’s work in acknowledging these crises and believe that your order to lower flags at half-staff on Overdose Awareness Day would be the appropriate expression in acknowledging the lives lost to substance use disorder.”
The bipartisan group of lawmakers also introduced a bipartisan resolution to recommit the federal government’s support of the goals of Overdose Awareness Day. The resolution aims to reduces the stigma of drug-related deaths, raise awareness of overdoses, and acknowledge the mourning of those who have loved ones who tragically died substance and opioid use disorder.
Fitzpatrick, Trahan, and Blunt Rochester were joined by a group of lawmakers on the letter and in introducing the resolution, including Representatives David McKinley (R-WV-01), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Claudia Tenney (R-NY-22), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO-05), David Trone (D-MD-06), John Curtis (R-UT-03), Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-05), Madeleine Dean (D-PA-04), Abigail D. Spanberger (D-VA-07), Ann Kuster (D-NH-02), Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08), Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), John H. Rutherford (R-FL-04), Haley Stevens (D-MI-11), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), John Yarmuth (D-KY-03), Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY-03), Mark Amodei (R-NV-02), Katherine Clark (MA-05), and Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ-03).
A digital copy of the letter sent this week can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.
A digital copy of the resolution introduced this week can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.