Black Balloon Day, public awareness of the opioid epidemic

OWEGO (WBNG) — The Tioga County Advocacy, Support and Prevention coordinate Black Ball Day activities.

Black Ball Day is designed to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic. It offers a way to remember those who have overdosed and brings together those who have lost loved ones to demonstrate that they are not alone.

Tioga County Prevention Services Supervisor Christina Olevano said Black Ball Day has become a national and international event.

“This is to honor and recognize those who have been lost through overdose and also to show that they stand in solidarity with families who are currently impacted by active addiction and overdose,” Olevano said.

Olevano said it’s important to have conversations about substance abuse.

“It’s so important because I remember 12 years ago when I started doing this job, there were conversations that nobody was having,” Olevano said. “It’s not that overdose is new, we’re still in the midst of an opioid epidemic and it’s now more important than ever to continue to have these conversations and to be able to stand together as a community and say that you are not alone, we are here we are by your side, we support you and we recognize the struggle that is taking place within our community.

Olevano noted that Black Balloon Day is a great first step in starting a conversation about substance abuse.

“It’s a good opportunity if anyone has questions, if anyone is looking for support, referrals, resources, they can come that day and have that conversation with us,” Olevano said.

On March 4, Tioga County ASAP, in partnership with Truth Pharm, will be offering free Narcan training from 2-7 p.m.

A Peer Recovery Specialist from ACBC and Tioga County Community Services will be available to speak from noon to 4 p.m.

Black Balloon Day will take place at 72 North Ave. in Owego.

(WBNG News 12)