TAMPA, Fla. -- Florida is among the states that continue to show significant increases in the number of drug overdose deaths every year.
More and more families are left devastated.
One local organizations wants you to know there is help this holiday season.
"It’s a hard journey," whispered by a shaky voice. It resonates with this group gathered together on a rainy Saturday morning.
Everyone in this room “is” on a journey, and they all have something in common; something heartbreaking.
"I miss my child, I miss my child, and he was 16 years old, he shouldn't be gone," Laura Engelberger said.
They've all lost someone very close to them to a drug or alcohol related incident.
It’s tough this time of year and support groups like this become even more important.
"When they first came here, it wasn't because they wanted to be here, it's because they knew they had to," Lynne Knowles' said.
Knowles’ daughter Jamie died of a heroin overdose. Lynne has become a mouthpiece for stopping addiction through education as president of the NOPE task force in Hillsborough county.
"Everything that I do, helps me as much as I'm helping other people."
This group is called “Journey to Healing Hearts” funded completely by her organization, and it sets out to be that help. They meet the second Saturday of every month at the HCADA building in Hillsborough County.
They meet once a month, it’s free, and open to anyone who needs to vent, shed tears, or just find something to smile about knowing you don’t have to take this journey alone.
The group is open to anyone who's suffered the loss of a loved one to a drug or alcohol related incident.
Meetings start at 12 noon, second Saturday of every month.
Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance, 2815 East Henry Avenue, Tampa, FL CONTACT: Lynne Knowles 727-641-4284 www.Nopehillsborough.org