LRADAC to host Black Balloon art installation in honor of 172 Individuals lost to overdoses in Richland and Lexington Counties

March 2, 2022

Columbia, SC –172 residents of Richland and Lexington Counties lost their lives to substance overdoses in 2021—an alarming rise that follows national trends in the increasing numbers of substance misuse-related deaths. To call attention to the continuous rise in overdose deaths, LRADAC is sponsoring Black Balloon Day this Friday, March 4, 10 am to 12 pm with a special art installation of 172 black balloons in honor of the lives we lost. The field of black balloons will be installed besides LRADAC’s Richland County office at 2711 Colonial Drive in downtown Columbia. In addition to the commemorative installation, LRADAC’s prevention staff will be on-site to distribute free Narcan—medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose—as well as Deterra, a safe, at-home medication drug disposal system.

“Black Balloon Day has become a national and international event, bringing awareness to overdose deaths and LRADAC is honored to remember the lives we tragically lost to overdose in 2021,” said Ashley Bodiford, LRADAC’s Director of Prevention. “Each black balloon you will see in our special installation represents a person, someone who was loved by family or friends and we mourn their loss. LRADAC is committed to providing effective prevention, intervention, and treatment services to those in need, as well as disseminating resources that we know can help prevent overdoses from occurring.”

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. For more information, contact Robbie Robertson, LRADAC Communications Director, at 803-917-9585 or by email at

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.