Opioid addiction wrecked my family, mother says


A grieving Jacksonville mother is sharing a powerful lesson about opioid addiction

“My son would have sold my soul for his next high,” Mary Purvis said. “That's just how bad he had gotten."

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Purvis says the mother of her grandchildren was recently killed — and her son was shot. 

Now, her son is missing. 

For years, Purvis tried to help her son, Roy Smith. Purvis says he was addicted to heroin and fentanyl.

Purvis believes his lifestyle cost the life of 26-year old Brittany Crawford, the mother of his children.

Crawford and Smith were shot on Nov. 18, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is trying to figure out why. 

Purvis says because of his addiction, she knew one day she’d be getting the call that every parent fears. Instead, she had to call Crawford’s parents.

“I called her mother and father, and if I could, [I’d] take that phone call back a thousand times,” Purvis said. “That’s one of the hardest things I ever had to do.”

According to a state report, there were nearly 12,000 drug-related deaths in Florida last year. That’s six times the number of 2015 deaths.

Purvis says her son took off after being released from the hospital — and doesn’t know if he’s on another drug binge. 

“Right now my biggest fear is that he’s gone off and hurt himself,” Purvis said. 


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