Acadia Hospital to light up purple for Overdose Awareness Day and National Recovery Month

August 31, 2023
Bangor, Maine - Tyson MacArthur, who grew up in Washington County, was a standout athlete, making both JV and varsity basketball teams his freshman year at Woodland High School. Over time, he started experiencing severe pain in his feet, which orthopedic specialists said was caused by a bone-on-bone birth defect and he was prescribed OxyContin to help relieve his extreme discomfort. By his senior year, he was addicted.

Over the course of the next decade, Tyson, like so many others, found himself in and out of recovery programs, but methadone was helping him reclaim his life. In 2021, Tyson was injured in an altercation that resulted in the need for surgery. His doctor prescribed oxycodone, and the cycle started again. When his prescription relapsed, loved ones suspect a "friend" gave Tyson something to hold him over. What he didn't know is that it was laced with fentanyl. Tyson MacArthur died on September 4, 2021. He was only 34 years old.

Tyson's tragic story is one that is all too familiar for far too many families across Maine and the nation. To help raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma around recovery, Northern Light Acadia Hospital is lighting up purple on August 31 in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day and will remain lit up throughout September for National Recovery Month.

"The opioid epidemic has destroyed individual lives and entire families and it shows no signs of letting up anytime soon," says Jackie Cyr, RN, MSN, NPc, director, Northern Light Addiction Care and Substance Use Services. "We know through the work we do each day with our patients in recovery that lives do not have to be cut short like Tyson's was. Help, hope, and healing are available to those who need it, and I urge anyone currently in the grips of an addiction to come forward and seek help."

Acadia Hospital urges everyone to wear purple on August 31 and understand that by lighting up the hospital purple throughout the month of September, we seek to spread awareness and remove the stigma associated with substance use disorder, because addiction is a disease the needs treatment, not judgement.

Learn more about International Overdose Awareness Day here <> .
Learn more about National Recovery Month here <> .
Bob Potts, Director, Marketing & Communications, (207) 385-6631

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