"It's a nightmare so many families go through and it just eats away at good people," she said. "When you have a loved one who is battling opioid addiction, it's horrific. You don't know what to do. You want to help them, but ultimately they have to help themselves."
Beckett became addicted to painkillers at the age of 17 after breaking his ankle while training to become a professional snowboarder, according to the outlet. After he left the drug rehab facility Melissa had sent him to shortly after the injury, he began using heroin and fentanyl.
"The drug abuse really turned him into someone I didn't know," she claimed. "He was quicker to anger or mistrust. He stole money from me. The last couple of weeks, he was paranoid, and all of a sudden he was involved with guns. It's sad because it's not who he was before that."
"You realize the only way to help them is to take care of yourself," she added. "You can't do anything for them -- you can't make them be sober. I could only do so much. You constantly think, 'If I had only done this, had I only done that.' That doesn't help you. That's making yourself sick with guilt and shame."
After Beckett's death, Melissa opened the Etheridge Foundation to "support new scientific research into the causes and effects of opioid addiction." She also speaks about his struggle on her streaming platform Etheridge TV.
"When opioid addiction took my son, I wasn't going to hide that. It feels better to be open about it, to be truthful about it," she explained. "We're here to be an example."
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.