WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas – Families in Williamson County remembered their loved ones who passed away from drug addiction on Saturday.
Life Steps Council held their third annual event to raise awareness for drug overdoses on Saturday. The International Overdose Awareness Day is next Friday.
The Council said about 20,000 people in the county are currently abusing opioids.
"Families struggle silently, feeling as if they are being judged. What's important is we as a community rise up with each other and support each other and recognize that substance abuse and substance abuse disorders that's a disease,” said Executive Director Laurie Born.
Guest speakers at the event shared their personal experiences with addiction to various different drugs and alcohol. Families also placed photos of their loved ones on a memorial wall. The event ended with flowers being thrown in a nearby lake to further honor the lives lost.
"The process of going out as a group and releasing the flowers and memories of those we lost was a healing processes, part of our grieving process. Working together, releasing something. In my case, I really resent the loss of my son and feel deep, deep sadness,” said Jay Powers, whose son died in February.
The picture wall will be taken to the Capitol for Texas' Overdose Awareness Day on Friday, Aug. 31.