August 31, 2021

Manchin Leads Resolution Designating August 31st As Overdose Awareness Day

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led nine Senators in recognizing today, August 31, 2021, as “Overdose Awareness Day” in remembrance of the lives lost to drug overdoses, to remove stigma around substance use disorder and to put an end to overdoses. In 2020, a record 93,331 Americans died from drug overdoses, a nearly 30% increase from the 70,980 overdose deaths in 2019. 1,377 West Virginians died from drug related overdoses in 2020, a 49.3% increase from 2019.
“Last year America experienced a heartbreaking spike in overdose deaths. We lost 93,331 Americans and 1,377 West Virginians to drug related overdoses. I am proud to lead my colleagues in recognizing today, August 31st, as Overdose Awareness Day in remembrance of those who tragically died from a drug overdose,” said Senator Manchin. “Today also serves as an urgent reminder of the need for immediate, meaningful legislation to address the drug epidemic facing our nation. I will continue to advocate for funding to prevent overdoses and combat this continuing crisis. I encourage all West Virginians to join Gayle and myself in keeping the families and loved ones of those lost from an overdose in our thoughts and prayers.”
Senator Manchin has been working tirelessly to combat the drug epidemic. In February, Senators Manchin and Portman reintroduced the bipartisan Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act to permanently schedule illicitly manufactured and deadly fentanyl related substances. With nearly 3/4 of the overdose deaths in 2020 related to opioids or synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl, this permanent scheduling extension is vital. In May, Senators Manchin and Romney introduced the bipartisan Life Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act, which would establish a stewardship fee to provide and expand access to substance use treatment. This bill would provide a consistent funding source for support and treatment for those suffering from substance use disorder.
Senator Manchin was joined by U.S. Senators Edward Markey (D-MA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH). U.S. Representatives Lori Trahan (MA-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced a companion resolution in the House of Representatives.
Bill text can be found here.
A timeline of Senator Manchin’s efforts to address the opioid crisis can be found here.