It's a problem that many don't want to talk about or find too painful to talk about -- and Montana has seen more than its share of it.
Tuesday evening at Rose Park in Billings, an event was held to remember those from the community who have died due to overdose. Several people who have lost loved ones due to accidental overdoses told their stories.
One of the speakers, named Melissa, told the crowd that she had lost several family members to addiction and overdose -- including her mother.
“See that’s what addiction does. The ones that continue to play Russian roulette with addiction. With the disease of addiction, they might one day overdose. But it’s the family members and friends that need to stay behind and pick up the pieces. When I say that addiction doesn’t discriminate… addiction robs the souls of the most beautiful people,” she said.
More than a dozen posters of people who have overdosed and died in the community -- many of them young -- were placed in front of the speakers. One woman recalled the lack of support she received following the overdose death of her young brother.
Organizers of the event say it’s important to bring awareness and end the stigma of overdose. Aug. 31 marked International Overdose Awareness Day.