Black Balloon Day has become a national and international event, bringing awareness to overdose deaths. As with many things with the opioid epidemic, Black Balloon Day began with a family's' loss. Diane and Lauren Hurley began Black Balloon Day in remembrance of Greg Tremblay. Tremblay, a father of four, is the son-in-law of Diane and brother-in-law of Lauren and died of an overdose when he was 38 years old on March 6, 2015.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2018, a 4.1% decline from 2017 (70,237 deaths). Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with more than 65% overdose deaths related to prescription opioids and illicit opioids (heroin and illicit fentanyl). Americans are more likely to die of an opioid overdose than they are from a car accident or by guns (homicide/suicide).

Overdose Lifeline has made a practice to release virtual balloons each year. This year we encourage everyone to send out their own virtual balloons. To share pictures, to remember and celebrate the precious lives lost to overdose. 

It doesn't cost anything to reflect for one minute how the loss from drug overdose affects everyone whose life was touched by that individual. Please take a minute to post on your social media, read in your office, home or classroom to remind everyone the importance of thinking before making a choice that may affect more than you know.