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.