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

20th Annual Basics of SUD Conference – Registration is open!

Register Here PARIS, ME - The Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative (WMARI) is thrilled to announce that registration is now open for the much-anticipated 20th Annual Basics of Substance Use Disorder Conference. Themed "Stronger Together: Addiction, Recovery,...

Save the date! The SUD Conference is back!

Mark your calendars! WMARI is excited to announce the long-awaited return of the Basics of Substance Use Disorder Conference on March...

Holiday hours for The HILLS Recovery Center

The HILLS Recovery Center will be closed on Friday, 12/22, Monday 12/25, and Tuesday 12/26 for the holidays. We will be back open for our regular hours (11am-3pm) on Wednesday, 12/27! The Friday NA Meeting, Sunday AA meeting, and Tuesday All Recovery meeting will go...

7th Annual Western Maine Recovery Rally, September 17th (11am-3pm)

Please join us on Sunday, September 17th, for the 7th Annual Western Maine Recovery Rally! We will meet beginning at 11:00 am at The HILLS Recovery Center- 15 Tannery Street in downtown Norway. Park your car at The HILLS, pick up free t-shirts and signs (we will have...

New WMARI Butterfly Quilt Raffle!

Enter our raffle for a chance to win a beautiful, one-of-a-kind butterfly quilt wall hanging, and donate to an important cause!

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day!

August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day, a day that brings us together to remember those we have lost to overdose, to acknowledge those injured by overdose, and to reduce the stigma surrounding substance use disorder.

Second Chance: Battling Addiction

In the shadows of every individual's life, a unique tapestry is woven with threads of joy and sorrow, triumph and defeat. Our journey through existence is often marked by moments that test our resilience, spirit, and essence. And within this intricate mosaic are those...

SMART meetings now at the HILLS Recovery Center

Looking to add more tools to your recovery toolkit? The HILLS Recovery Center now has SMART meetings available. Check out our events page for dates and times.

Peer Support Referrals Now At The HILLS Recovery Center.

Need to make a referral? The HILLS Recovery Center now has peer support referral forms if you or someone you know is in need of help with substance use disorder. Please fill out a form in the Forms section.

The HILLS Recovery Center on the “Community…What a Concept” Podcast

The HILLS Recovery Center staff sat down and talked about substance use disorder, our community, and the new resources available! If you have a few minutes, check out the conversation. You can also listen on Apple, Google, or Spotify.