MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – Today is Black Balloon Day. Every year on March 6th, across the country, you can see black balloons, bringing awareness to drug overdose deaths.
It started in 2015, to honor Greg Tremblay, a father of four, who died of an overdose at age 38.
You can see black balloons bobbing in the breeze along streets in Marshall County today in front of social service agencies, restaurants or car dealerships. YSS put them out, to help create awareness.
They say Americans are more likely to die of an overdose than a car accident or a gunshot.
Valery Staskey of YSS says substance use disorder can be a fatal disease, and it’s important to empathize with families who have lost a loved one.
“And we want them to feel supported and cared for because there’s a lot of stigma around substance use disorder. And not that we’re trying to normalize death, you know, we’re just commemorating their lives because people who use drugs, their lives matter too.”Valery Staskey, YSS Prevention Specialist
Many health departments offer free Narcan kits and training, for families of individuals struggling with drug addictions. There are also support groups for those who have lost a loved one to drug overdose. Fentanyl test strips available, to show the presence of fentanyl in drugs.