Florida Mom Who Lost Son to Fatal Overdose Says His Mental Health Was Hurt by Pandemic

Holbrook says that this advocacy work — which she’s doing with the nonprofit Kids Have Hope — is helping her grieve, along with her faith.

“Chandler was baptized a couple of years ago, so I know he’s sitting at the feet of Jesus. I know I’m going to see him one day,” she says. “I’m not going to lie and say that there aren’t mornings that I don’t want to put the covers over my head and lay there, but I know I need to get up and put one foot in front of the other and keep going.”

And she urges people whose family members are struggling with substance abuse and mental health to “fight hard for them.”

“Get in their face and find out what they need. I firmly believe in tough love and I’ve done the tough love — I’ve cried and I’ve screamed. You name it and I’ve done it,” she says. "Chandler was an amazing young man, but he couldn’t fight that fight on his own, unfortunately.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. And if you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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