Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
A M Stone | WVOW News
LOGAN Monday is Black Balloon Day. A day for organized groups of families and friends pay tribute to loved ones lost to the disease of addiction.
The event is not just about releasing balloons into the sky. Organizers of the event want to raise awareness of the clear and present danger associated with overdose.
Gabby Adkins, the Community Engagement Specialist with the Recovery Group of Southern West Virginia says black balloon day brings communities together.
“We’re just bringing people in together and giving them hope,” Adkins said.
Recovery Group is a faith-based organization partnering with Abundant Life and Word of Life church in support of men and women in recovery. Ms. Adkins says recovery members can reach those struggling with addiction.
“There is a light,” Adkins said. “The ones who have recovered, they are the light to draw them in to bring them out of that darkness. To give them hope and faith. To show them they can do this.”
Logan High School Assistant Principal Melissa Dalton says everyone can contribute to helping save lives by just keeping the overdose reversing drug Narcan with the home’s other emergency supplies.
“People can have Narcan in their homes the same way they have Band-Aids,” Dalton said. “You never know when you’re going to come across a situation where someone is overdosing and you can save their live. As long as a person is alive, they have a chance at recovery.”
Ms. Dalton knows the pain from overdose loss all too well. Dalton’s daughter Hannah died from an overdose. However, this mom refuses to allow her daughter’s death to be in vain. Dalton supports rehabilitation and recovery but she also offers support to friends and family of loved ones lost to addiction.
Dalton, along with her school colleague John Godby, started a support group at the Striker Bible Church called Finding Hope in the Darkness.
“After she was gone,” Dalton said,” I sometimes though I was isolated.”
Dalton said many people are just like her. People are either dealing with a child in active addiction or they are dealing with the feeling of loss from a child’s fatal overdose from addiction.
“Loss is loss,” Dalton said, “We meet once a month and we lean on one another. We are trying to get something started to get that support.”
Overdose is the among the leading cause of unintentional death, with opioids the leading drug, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Around 1,000 emergency room visits daily from opioid medication abuse or nearly 91 deaths a day from overdose in the US.
Mountain Laurel Integrated Healthcare will provide screenings for health, behavioral health and substance use disorder.
The black balloon day event will include illuminated bags with names of loved ones gone too soon and each balloon released symbolizes a live lost to overdose.
The event will take place at Willis-Nisbet Field on the Island in Logan beginning at 6pm Monday, March sixth.