COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Jeff Edwards and his son, Tyler Edwards, shared nearly the same hobbies. From hunting on the family land to racing cars on the weekend, Jeff was proud that his son was surpassing him in life.
"Being together in the same room, it's like seeing your son, your brother, and your best friend all at the same time,” Jeff said. "I loved to see him beat my lap time. I wanted to see him go faster.
26-year-old Tyler Edwards enjoyed the outdoors, and after graduating Texas A&M, he hoped to teach others about his passion about the outdoors. But away from his family, Tyler kept a dark secret.
"It became a massive shock,” Jeff said. “I wish that my son could have known it was ok to come to me."
After fighting with opioid addiction, Tyler was found dead at his apartment on November 2015 from a heroin overdose.
Opioids are a prescribed medication to treat chronic pain. Recreationally it induces a sense of euphoria that is highly addicting. It's so addicting that CDC reports that deaths related to opioid abuse have quadrupled since 1999.
Jeff has honored his son's life by starting a conversation about opioid abuse with the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
“If you're a parent, you don't want to be me,” Jeff said. “You don't want to be the parent that has the bury your child. You do not want to give a eulogy for your child. Help your child any way you can.”