Black Balloon Day seeks to raise awareness about opioid addiction

Posted: Updated:
WAYNE -

March 6 marks Black Balloon Day – an international event that raises awareness about opioid overdose deaths.

Those who have lost loved ones to the opioid crisis are asked to hang black balloons on their property.

Wayne resident Susan Schmidt lost her own daughter Alyssa to opioid addiction several years ago and attended the funeral Tuesday for a cousin who also overdosed.

"Alyssa was fun-loving, caring, good-natured, kind, generous,” says Schmidt.

RELATED: Opioid treatment now eligible for medical marijuana 
RELATED: CDC: Opioid crisis leads to decline in average life expectancy 

Schmidt says that she wants to raise awareness that opioid addiction can impact anyone.

“Stop all the stigmatism. Stop all the ‘It’s not my kid.’ It could happen to anyone’s child,” she says.

Schmidt brought the idea of Black Balloon Day to Wayne Township's Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse.

“This is touching a lot more families than we realize,” Robbin Gulino, who runs the alliance “And by putting the black balloon of awareness we are asking people to share information and again take the stigma away."

Wayne Township will be hanging balloons around town hall and giving some away for those who may want to participate.

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