Musicians and families affected by the opioid crisis got together to raise awareness of the dangers of opioid addiction at Buffalo's Ironworks. They aimed to pay tribute to late singer, Prince, who passed away April 21st after an accidental overdose of opioid painkillers, which he used to treat hip pain.
"By putting a very public face on this epidemic, maybe people will become more aware that this doesn't discriminate based on class or income," said Keri Lock, whose son recovered from his addiction. She is also a member of local organization, "Save the Michaels of the World." "It crosses all boundaries of economic status."
Eric Crittenden, musician for band "Critt's Juke Joint," wanted to plan this event to raise awareness and pay tribute for Prince.
"Prince didn't have to die," said Crittenden. "His number wasn't up. Somebody punched his number. That's not alright with me and that's not alright with his fans or the mothers and fathers that have "Prince's" of their own."
Eighty-five million American families are touched by this epidemic. This is also a reason why Crittenden wanted to join forces with local organization, "Save the Michaels of the World."
"We want to bring awareness to say, 'Hey listen, I know that the first five people I look at in this room, they all have someone in their immediate family or immediate circle that has dealt with this problem or is dealing with this problem, without question,'" said Crittenden.
Several families who lost people to this crisis or have dealt with it also attended the event.
"It's a comfort to know that you're not alone," said Julie Israel, Vice President of "Save the Michaels of the World," which was started after her son battled with opioids and passed away. "Unfortunately, I have met so many people in this journey that I have been put on by my son... these people are wonderful."
She hopes other families will learn to educate themselves in this issue.
"We're actually in the worst health crisis the United States is facing," added Israel. "I beg them to be informed. Addiction is preventable through education, and if you educate yourself you can potentially save your loved one from a life-long disease. Because once you get the disease of addiction, it never goes away."
To learn more about the organization go to www.SaveTheMichaels.org , where you will be able to also donate to families affected by this.