Black Balloon Day

Every year on March 6th, people across the nation and world take a moment to remember and honor those who have lost their lives to overdose. This day is known as Black Balloon Day. As with many things related to the opioid epidemic, this tradition began with a family’s loss. Diane and Lauren Hurley began Black Balloon Day in remembrance of Greg Tremblay, a family member who died of an overdose when he was 38 years old on March 6, 2015.

In recent years, Maine has experienced a dramatic spike in overdose deaths. Last year, 636 Mainers lost their lives to this tragic epidemic. The rise in deaths stems from fentanyl being laced into other drugs (without the users’ knowledge), loss of access to treatment, rising mental health problems, increased isolation, and other challenges arising from the pandemic.

Overdose deaths are now at a record high across the United States. In 2021, more people have died from overdose than car crashes and gun violence combined. Steps are being taken across our state to address the opioid epidemic, such as increased naloxone access and programs for individuals seeking recovery. Still, there is so much more work to be done.

This year the Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative will take a moment to honor and remember our loved ones by “hosting” a virtual balloon release on Facebook and social media. Use the virtual balloon template below to post and tag #BlackBalloonDay.

Join our Virtual Balloon Release

Join the new Oxford Hills Recovery Center Team!

WMARI is hiring for a part-time Peer Support Specialist (PSS) We are seeking a compassionate individual to fill the role of a part-time Peer Support Specialist (PSS). A PSS is a person who has been successful in their recovery process and who can support others...

We are Hiring!

WMARI is thrilled to announce we are hiring staff for the new Oxford Hills Recovery Center! We will accept applications until the position is filled. Please submit a letter of interest and your resume to info@wmari.org. For more information about WMARI, visit our...

Raffle! Enter to Win!

Enter to win a handmade butterfly recovery quilt* and help raise money for WMARI! The raffle drawing will take place at the 6th Annual Western Maine Recovery Rally on Sunday, September 18th. You do not have to be present to win, but we want to see you all there! The...

WMARI Awarded HRSA RCORP Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: August 11, 2022 RE: Health Services and Resources Administration (HRSA)-Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) grant awarded to Oxford County organizations. CONTACT: Kari Taylor, Director, Western Maine Addiction Recovery...

WMARI joins the “Community…What A Concept” Podcast

Kari Taylor, Director, joins the "Community...What a Concept" podcast this morning to share about WMARI and the work we are doing in the community. Thank you to our hosts, John, Ruby, Christian, and Wendy! To listen to other episodes from our community, please visit: ...

WMARI Needs Your Support to Continue its Critical Work

Please Donate Now!  Substance use and the opioid crisis continue to impact our community daily. In 2020 and 2021 fatal overdoses in Oxford county were at their highest of all time. Please consider donating to maintain and grow recovery support resources in Western...

Job Opportunity! Program Coordinator for Recovery Outings

PT Job Opportunity! Approx. 12hrs per week, June 1-October1 River Valley Region Recovery Outings Program Coordinator A Program Coordinator is needed for a new project this summer which offers a series of Saturday morning outings for people in recovery and their...

September 18th, 6th Annual Western Maine Recovery Rally!

Save the Date! The 6th Annual Western Maine Recovery Rally will take place on Sunday, September 18th. Look for more information coming soon.

Maine Student Action “Lead with Love” Screening and Panel, May 27th

Students at Mountain Valley High have organized a showing of “Lead With Love” and a panel discussion on May 27th in Rumford from 5:30-7:30 pm. If you are interested in attending, you can register here or use the QR code below:...

Volunteer Recovery Coaches are needed in Oxford County!

Volunteer Recovery Coaches are needed in Oxford County! What is a Recovery Coach? A Recovery Coach promotes recovery and removes barriers and obstacles to recovery, serving as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking or already in recovery from an addiction to...