Addiction is a disease that seems to be perpetually spreading with no signs of slowing down. I have personally been hurt by addiction in my life, especially when it comes to my loved ones literally dying from it. My good friend Ben Evans wasn’t the only one of my friends lost to addiction, but he was the one I was closest with. He had hip replacement surgery due to a degenerative medical issue 7 months before his passing. His doctor prescribed him oxycontin, which ended in addiction. The few months before his passing I noticed that he wasn’t on pills, and he seemed to be doing really well for quite some time. I believe he passed from relapsing, thinking he could handle pills he used to take when he was using a lot. Ben is an amazing soul and we know there are other amazing souls out there living in pain, every day. 

In Ben’s memory, his family, a few friends, and I, organize B.E. Easy Music and Arts Festival, through the 501.c3 B.E. Easy Scholarship Fund. Our motto is “Open Dialogue Saves Lives”, because if we all would just share our stories, people wouldn’t feel so alone in their struggles with addiction. The festival’s aim is to spread community awareness about addiction and raise money to help people who don’t have the funds to get the help, but know they need it. B.E. Easy Fest will have a tent the day of with counselors on-site. They will be holding open dialogue sessions for people who have a story to tell, as well as workshops the day of for alternatives to drug use; meditation and mindfulness, yoga, and flow arts, to name a few.

People love to numb out life, which sucks because life can be amazing. If it wasn’t for these addictive drugs that humans created or if people were more aware of the beautiful side of life, the world could be a lot different. I miss Ben every day, but I am very grateful that his memory can live on, and potentially save someone’s life.