Black Balloon Day

LRADAC hosts annual Black Balloon Day on March 6

February 28, 2024

Honoring 201 individuals lost to overdoses in Richland and Lexington Counties:

2023 overdose fatalities represent a slight decrease from 2022 numbers
Black Balloon Day 2023

Columbia, SC –To honor the 201 residents of Richland and Lexington Counties who lost their lives to substance overdoses in 2023, LRADAC will once again host Black Balloon Day on Wednesday, March 6, from 9 to 11 am at LRADAC’s Education Center at 2711 Colonial Drive in downtown Columbia. With the total number of 2023 overdose fatalities at 201 (Richland County at 98 deaths and Lexington County at 103), last year’s statistics reflect a slight decrease from 2022, which had 219 overdoses (Richland County at 104 deaths and Lexington County at 115 deaths).

“Black Balloon Day is a somber day that honors the friends, family and loved ones we lost to substance misuse, but it also brings continued public awareness on ways to prevent overdose and how people can enter recovery,” said Ashley Bodiford, LRADAC’s Director of Prevention. “The decrease in overdose numbers from 2023 shows us that our efforts are working. However, more work continues to be needed to maintain these reductions.”

The public is invited to attend Black Balloon Day and to commemorate those lives lost from drug overdose in our community, honor their family and loved ones, and learn ways to prevent substance misuse and overdoses. In addition to a panel of speakers to talk about substance misuse, harm reduction, and overdose prevention, LRADAC’s prevention staff will be on-site to distribute free Narcan—a medication designed to reverse opioid overdose rapidly—as well as Deterra, a safe, at-home medication drug disposal system.

For more information about prevention, intervention, treatment, and withdrawal management, call LRADAC at 803-726-9330 or visit online at

Black Balloon Day 2024

LRADAC is the designated alcohol abuse and drug abuse authority for Lexington and Richland Counties of South Carolina. The public, not-for-profit agency offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment programs in locations convenient to residents of both counties. The agency has a budget of approximately $10 million and serves more than 5,000 clients per year.