Awareness for drug overdose and National Black Balloon Day

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- Families from places all over Northeast Indiana joined together to remember those they have lost due to a drug overdose.

JAVA hosted this event at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge in downtown Fort Wayne to tie ribbons around trees and hand out black balloons for National Black Balloon Day which is Sunday, March 6 for drug overdose awareness.

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

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“I wish I would have known about fentanyl, prior to my son passing, that day, that dreadful day, was the first time I had ever heard of the word fentanyl,” Juillerat said. “I want to bring awareness, I don’t want other families to go through what my family has gone through, just enduring a loss of a child. This event should never be, but here we are. I just want to give as much support and as much awareness out there.”

Nate Moellering, Community Outreach Director, has seen what the dangers of the fentanyl epidemic have done to those around him and pleads for the people of Fort Wayne to be more aware of how serious fentanyl really is.

“People need to be aware that this thing is out there,” Moellering said. “These synthetic drugs are out here on the street, it doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter what color you are, what background you come from, how much money you have, how much money you don’t have it doesn’ t matter who you are. It’s available and it’s making its way to children, it’s making its way to all age groups and it’s killing people at record numbers.”

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

The black balloons families received, they were told to display them outside of their homes so their loved ones know that they are missed.

Black Balloon Day helps create awareness around the important issue of providing support to those suffering from substance use disorder.

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