MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Kristen Tersch surrounds herself with pictures of her son Logan.
Childhood memories – his love of fishing and the water and baseball.
“He was so much more than an addict,” she told CBS4’s Joan Murray.
The pain-killer addiction he struggled with most of his adult life finally claimed it in June.
Logan overdosed on a mixture of cocaine and fentanyl, becoming another statistic in South Florida’s opioid crisis.
“When I recognized that he’d slipped, first part of May, I said to him, ‘If you go to the streets, you’re gonna die,’” she recalled.
Tersch and others see hope that the president has declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency.
“Getting opioids, heroin, different kinds of narcotics is very easy for people in South Florida,” said Dr. Luis Perez Alonso.
The emergency room director is on the frontlines of the epidemic.
Over at the North Shore Medical Center in Miami, he treats opioid overdoses, sometimes daily.
“We don’t know where it’s made, how it’s made and what it contains,” he said.
As South Florida first responders try to keep up with the number of overdoses, Dr. Perez Alonso says the president’s declaration is part of the solution.
Tersch says she’d like to see more help for people in jail and more education on the opioid epidemic, especially school children.
“My son was smart, he certainly knew about, but the disease is bigger than the common sense,” she said.
Tersch is now becoming a public face on this epidemic. She says it does help her ease some of the pain of losing her son.