LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — You can learn more about signs your loved one might be struggling with addiction Thursday night at Largo Park.
A Pinellas County organization is holding a candlelight service to mourn and spread awareness.
At 7 p.m., the park is expected to be filled with people, glow with candles, and pictures of loved ones who passed will be displayed on a wall.
The hope is to provide a safe space to mourn and to save your loved one from addiction.
Kathy Fooshee’s son Nick died when he was just 27 years old from an accidental drug overdose.
“He wasn’t a perfect person,” Fooshee said. “Yes, he was a drug addict but he was still my son, and if it weren’t for the drugs he’d still be alive today.”
Now, it’s part of Fooshee’s mission to spread addiction awareness to other people.
She’s part of the organization for Narcotics and Overdose Prevention and Education, or ‘NOPE.’
Fooshee said she also volunteers to feed the homeless, where people are sometimes unaware of how quickly drug situations can turn deadly.
“If I have the opportunity, sometimes I’ll share a quick story about Nick and tell them how he died because of an accidental overdose because the drug was laced with fentanyl,” Fooshee said.
Fooshee said Nick started smoking marijuana in middle school and things escalated.
“You would think as a parent or a mom you would know those things,” Fooshee said. “But I really didn’t.”
You can hear stories from people like Fooshee at tonight’s candlelight vigil at the corner of East Bay Drive and Seminole Boulevard.
They will go over signs they saw in their loved ones who struggled with addiction. Lying and stealing could be two of them.
“They’ll do just about anything to get the drug of choice and so that’s where the tough love comes in,” Fooshee said.