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Funeral directors deal with opioid epidemic

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 18:43:47-04

A funeral director's life's work is death.

The type of death Palm Beach County funeral homes are dealing with these days is different.

"I have been doing this for the past 25 years and the last two or three years I've never seen anything like this in my career," said Garrett Jacobs.

Jacobs owns The Gardens Cemetery & Funeral Home in Boca Raton.

More and more of the bodies that are going into his crypts are from overdoses.

Deaths that are sudden, tragic, and too soon.

"It used to be happening once every couple of months," he said. "Now it's happening once a week now."

His funeral home isn't the only one.

"It's something that's becoming an epidemic," said Julian Almeida.

Almeida runs Palms West Funeral home in Royal Palm Beach.

He's also seeing more people in his coffins who overdosed.

"We're not talking about an elderly person. We're talking about somebody in their twenties, thirties, forties, which is considered very young and you're leaving behind kids, parents," He says.

Even though funeral directors make a living off life's end the business that comes from this epidemic is not what they want.

"I want to wait until you're 104-years-old. That's the way it should be, that's natural. We don't want anybody who passes unnaturally to come here. I don't want that. It's too sad. it's too horrible," Jacobs said.

It's a message they hope people fighting addiction will hear before it's too late.