WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A hip-hop icon stopped in Williamsport to discuss the opioid crisis with residents. The epidemic has affected millions across the country and families say they want change to prevent others from losing loved ones to addiction.

“Love your people. Life is too short but love them while they’re here,” said rapper, Master P.

Percy Miller Sr., also known by the stage name Master P, is speaking out for the first time about losing his daughter, Tytyana to substance abuse. Local families met with him at the Antioch Baptist Church in Williamsport to share their stories about the impact of opioids.

“It’s so important, these testimonies, these stories, bringing so many people together and you just feel the love, you feel the hurt, you feel the pain,” said Master P, rapper.

Carolyn Miele lost her son, Zachary, 6 years ago to an overdose. After learning about his recent loss, she was put in contact with Master P about coming to Williamsport.

“As Master P said, ‘i didn’t go to my daughter’s funeral, I went to my funeral.’ and that really rang true with me because that’s a day I’ll never forget,” explained Carolyn Miele, Founder of Saving Lives for Zachary.

“I feel like a lot of people here are not being judged. They’re all going through different things and to be able to be here, making that change, going through that process, this is a great start. To go from Williamsport to the world, Master P added.

The group discussed possible solutions, including more resources, education, and laws to limit access to opioid drugs. Addiction affects people from all backgrounds, and Master P wants others to know you’re not alone.

We can’t get our loved ones back but we can make a difference and help save so many millions of other families and kids that are out there and so that’s what today is about,” Master P said.

The families hope their stories inspire others to get help. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, resources can be found on the West Branch Drug and Alcohol website and the Lycoming County Joinder website.