OCEAN TOWNSHIP – Legislation sponsored by Senator Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) that would authorize the MVC to issue special support recovery license plates to raise awareness for families and individuals suffering from substance abuse disorder was passed by the State Senate this Monday.
Proceeds from sales of these special license plates will be provided to the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to support permanent sober living housing for residents who have completed substance abuse treatment programs.
The bill (A268), also known as the “P.I.C.K. Awareness Act,” was named for Parents in Connection for Kids, Inc. (P.I.C.K.), a 501(c)3 non-profit agency dedicated to reducing heroin overdoses and Substance Use Disorder. P.I.C.K. works to reduce the stigma of addiction, encourage the public to reach out for help, inform them, advocate for them and offer resources to prevent the early onset of addiction. The group also provides resources and education to parents of children in substance abuse situations.
Senator Gopal released the following statement regarding the bill’s passage:
“A substance abuse disorder affects everyone in a family, including both friends and family of the person suffering an addiction. If we want to stop the opioid crisis, we need a two-pronged approach that works both through prevention and treatment. The special license plates created under the P.I.C.K. Awareness Act will not only raise awareness of substance abuse in our communities, it will also help connect our neighbors with the support, guidance, and knowledge they need to get better.”