Melissa Etheridge is facing a Mother’s worst nightmare.
On Wednesday the singer took to social media to share heartbreaking news that her son, Beckett Cypher at the age of 21.
“Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction,” Etheridge wrote on Twitter. “My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today. He will be missed by those who loved him, his family and friends.” She added: “My heart is broken.”
On Wednesday morning, Police in Denver confirmed Cypher’s death in the 1600 block of Wewatta Street around 2:04 p.m.
“I am grateful for those who have reached out with condolences and I feel their love and sincere grief,” Etheridge added in her post. “We struggle with what else we could have done to save him and in the end we know he is out of the pain now.”
Beckett Cypher was the second of two children Etheridge had with partner Julie Cypher, conceived by artificial insemination and sperm donation from musician David Crosby.
In her post, Etheridge assured, however, “I will sing again, soon. It has always healed me.”
The Pandemic Amplifying the Epidemic
The devastating news comes at a time when uncertainty in the world is an all time high. However, it only gives real reason to continue shedding light on ongoing mental health and addiction issues that the country faces. As the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a negative economic downturn, it’s also created roadblocks for those already suffering from substance use disorder.
According to KFF, deaths from drug overdose have increased more than threefold over the past 19 years from 6.1 deaths per 100,000 people in 1999 to 20.7 deaths per 100,000 people in 2018. In 2018, over 48,000 Americans died by suicide, and in 2017-2018, over ten million adults (4.3%) reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past year.
During these times of uncertainty, fear, and stress, it’s a possibility that substance abuse disorder and mental health issues will continue to rise, as heightened anxiety is a universal trigger for drug and alcohol use. In response to social distancing, those who have integrated harm reducing and had once used with a friend may now using alone and there is nobody nearby to administer naloxone or dial 911. Hospitals and healthcare systems are overloaded and in some communities services such as needle exchange programs have been placed on hold – leading people to engage in high-risk behavior. In-person support groups and resources to help kickstart recovery or prevent relapse may have now shifted their attention to the response of COVID-19.
Help For Addiction During COVID-19
In a world where resources and hope may feel slim, there is still hope. If you or a loved one are seeking help for substance abuse or mental health issues, there are still multiple facilities all over the country that are accepting new patients into treatment. In addition, more online and virtual recovery communities have began to provide support and guidance for those at risk of relapse or looking to continue to find support in recovery.
— Melissa Etheridge (@metheridge) May 14, 2020