Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 31, 2021

Union County Recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day

Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Commissioners encourages all residents to join in observing International Overdose Awareness Day on Tuesday, August 31.

On Tuesday, the lights in the atrium of the Union County Administration Building in Elizabeth will be displayed in purple. The Commissioner Board has also adopted a resolution recognizing International Overdose Awareness Day.

“International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to help prevent overdose. The Commissioner Board would like to honor those lives lost to overdose in 2021, and recognize those who are in recovery,” said Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella.

In Westfield, The Matthew Thomas Toriello Memorial Fund and The Albert Anthony Kayal Foundation are working with the town’s administration to set up purple flags on the lawn of the Municipal building, one flag for each life lost in 2021. The flags will be on display on Tuesday, August 31st in recognition of National Overdose Awareness Day.

“According to the Union County Medical Examiner’s office, there have been 75 overdose fatalities in Union County in 2021. The town of Westfield will display a purple flag for those lives loss due to overdose this year, as we continue to spread the message about the tragedy of drug overdose death, and that drug overdose is preventable,” said Commissioner Kimberly Palmieiri-Mouded, who is a resident of Westfield.

International Overdose Awareness Day was initiated in 2001 in St Kilda, in Melbourne, Australia to remember without stigma those who have died, and to acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. On this day, events are held across the U.S. and around the world to raise awareness and remember those who have been lost to drug overdose.

For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Union County COVID-19 Test Center at Kean University, the Mobile Test Unit, vaccination information, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.

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For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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