It's not just crime that's become a more recent problem in Rockford. Drug overdoses have made up hundreds of emergency calls. That's why dozens of families held a special memorial, in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day.
Many parents say they're focusing on loving memories, after losing loved ones to drug addiction. Family members say they want to inform the community of what they call, a disease, in order to save more lives.
Dozens of families honored those who lost their lives to drug addiction, through a special memorial at the YMCA Log Lodge.
The ceremony was organized by two local moms, who both lost their sons to drug overdoses. Winnebago County coroner Sue Fidducia says it's a growing epidemic, with more than 80 drug overdose deaths so far this year. Darlene Seibold lost her son in April. She says it's events like this that help her make it through.
"The rest of my life I'll never be over it. But I hope with these people that are here and the group that forms here I'll be able to live through it," says Darlene Seibold.
Organizers want to remove the stigma about drug addicts. They are trying to start a support group and counseling services for families to cope with their loss.
We're told organizers hope to have another memorial next year and include other events like a 5-k run.