MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The Southeast Florida Recovery Advocates (SEFRA) nonprofit said it's seen a rise in overdose cases in Martin County.
Parents in Martin County like Joe Perez Deprado said his 27-year-old son has been battling addiction for six years.
"He's overdosed five times and every time I've been there to help him out," Deprado said. "'It doesn't get easier. It's something that stays with you as a parent."
Each time he was able to save him with Narcan, an overdose reversal medication.
"My life mission is to see him outlive me," Deprado said.
For people like Ellen Isaacs, her son Ryan became addicted to Oxycontin after a prescription for a back injury when he was 17 years old.
"He meant the world to me. He was my first child," Isaacs said. "The whole family was shattered."
She said he lost his battle after 16 years, overdosing on fentanyl when he was 33 years old.
"He would be disappointed that we are still where we are and it's not gotten any better, but at the same time, he'd be saying, 'Go get them mom, you can do this,'" Isaacs said.
Over the years she has advocated for Narcan and taken her concerns to Washington, D.C. to push lawmakers.
"There is no one who chooses a life of addiction, it's a horrible, horrible, horrible painful life," Kielian said.
SEFRA serves as a resource group to connect people in need with organizations available to help.
"What was the drug that's been taking people out?" WPTV reporter Joel Lopez asked.
"Fentanyl, definitely fentanyl," Maureen Kielian the leader of SEFRA said.
Kielian said her motivation is her son who is also battling addiction.
"Through SEFRA, have you seen a rise in overdose cases here? Has it gotten better?" Lopez asked.
"Honestly, it's getting worse again," Kielian said.
She said the battle against drugs needs to happen locally, claiming that a large amount of it comes through the mail.
They're hoping to bring more transitional housing to St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties for people who are not yet ready for sober living or recovery homes.
Advocates are also working on plans to host a march at the end of August for International Overdose Awareness Day.