Drug Overdose Awareness and National Black Ball Day

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (WANE) – Families from across northeast Indiana have come together to remember those they lost to drug overdoses.

JAVA held this event at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge in downtown Fort Wayne to tie ribbons around trees and distribute black balloons for National Black Balloon Day, Sunday, March 6, to raise awareness of drug overdoses.

Theresa Juillerat, co-founder of JAVA, was among those at the bridge today and this day holds a special day in her heart.

“I wish I had known about fentanyl before my son died, that day, that terrible day, it was the first time I heard the word fentanyl,” Juillerat said. “I want to raise awareness, I don’t want other families going through what my family went through, just enduring the loss of a child. This event should never happen, but here we are. I just want to give as much support and as much awareness out there.

Nate Moellering, Director of Community Outreach, has seen what the dangers of the fentanyl epidemic have done to those around him and is advocating for Fort Wayne residents to be more aware of the true seriousness of fentanyl.

“People need to be aware that this thing exists,” Moellering said. “These synthetic drugs are here on the streets, they don’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter what color you are, where you’re from, how much money you have, how much money you don’t, it doesn’t matter “It doesn’t matter who you are. It is available and it reaches children, it reaches all age groups and it kills people in record numbers.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, along with opioid addiction, and the deadly fentanyl is driving this epidemic.

Families were given black balloons, told to display them outside their homes to let loved ones know they miss them.

Black Ball Day helps raise awareness of the important issue of supporting people with substance use disorders.