Tampa mom honors son's memory by spreading message about opioids

Cindy Grant's son, Dan, died of an overdose when he was 19 years old.

TAMPA -- Last month, Florida Governor Rick Scott proposed a three-day limit on prescribed opioids in an effort to step up the state's fight against the powerful drugs.

But one local mom was tired of waiting, and isn't waiting for the government to respond.

Cindy Grant has been working with the Hillsborough County Anti Drug Alliance (HCADA) educating our community after her son was taken from her from his deadly epidemic.

For Grant, this is more than just a newspaper.

This goes across all prevention issues like addiction, promoting healthy families, how alcohol affects your brain,” says Cindy.

It's a way to get her message out there; the message of opioid addiction.

With the work of many at HCADA, including herself, they’ve created their own newspaper to give our youth an understanding of issues going on in our community.

“That's the whole goal is to reach the youth, in honor of my son every day,” she says.

Dan Grant was 19 when he died.

“Every single day it hurts and that was in 1997,” she says.

It was 24 years ago, but the pain has never gone away.

Two Oxycontin pills was all it took.

Grant says her son's "friends" didn't bother to call police, until two days after when he went into cardiac arrest.

Her last moments with her son, in a hospital bed where he was attached to a number of machines helping him breath.

“I tried talking to him and I knew right there that he was gone. Even though they were trying to revive him, in my gut I knew he was gone,” she says. “When they pulled the plug he just went, it was a hard decision.”

But Cindy is a fighter. That's why she now works to educate kids, parents or anyone else on the dangers of drugs.

“So, in Hillsborough County, in 2016, we had 2,646 people that were discharged from the hospital with opioid dependence. That's a lot of people,” she says.

Cindy says helping others, helps her cope with losing her son to something so preventable.

Aside from working with HCADA, she also volunteers with Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education (NOPE) to future educate the community on the impact overdoses have on our community.

The organization held a prayer vigil earlier this month to remember those died from drug and alcohol abuse.

Five hundred photographs were on display as friends and family members wrote special messages to their loved ones.

You may also remember the Sunset Music Festival.  Grant helped with the event to make sure it was safer this year for concert goers.

The amnesty bin that was set up at the concert was full, says Grant.

“Mushrooms, pills, cocaine, marijuana, Oxycontin pills, cocaine, anything you can think of was in there,” she says.

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