Melissa Etheridge's son has died aged 21 following a battle with opioid addition, the singer revealed.
"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."
Beckett Cypher was the son of Etheridge and her former partner Julie Cypher, a filmmaker. Beckett and his sister Bailey were both conceived using artificial insemination and a sperm donation from musician David Crosby, according to CNN.
Etheridge and Cypher have been separated since 2000, and the musician is currently married to producer Linda Wallem.
"I am grateful for those who have reached out with condolences and I feel their love and sincere grief," Etheridge said 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."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in 2017. Nearly 130 people in the United States die each day from opioid overdoses and the total economic burden of prescription opioid abuse is approximately $78.5 billion a year — including the costs of health care, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement, according to data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
From 1999 to 2018, almost 450,000 people died from an overdose involving an opioid, including prescription and illicit drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Etheridge has been hosting live performances on social media throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but Wednesday's performance was canceled due to her son's death, CBS News reported.
"I will sing again, soon. It has always healed me," Etheridge concluded her post.
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