LEXINGTON, S.C. (WIS) - Hunting and college football just aren't the same anymore for Bruce Loveless and his family.
"Back in the day you'd live and breathe by whatever the results of a Saturday game were but I hardly watch a whole game anymore," he said.
These were all things Bruce enjoyed with his son Chase.
"My son was a 6 foot 5 inch, bear of a guy. A terrific kid," Bruce said.
In 2014, Chase, a student at the University of South Carolina, passed away. "I wish I knew then what I know now," Bruce said.
Chase was 23.
"You're numb. It's just like a tornado hit," Bruce said.
Bruce said Chase died of an opioid overdose. Chase turned to heroin after misusing opioids.
"There are no words in the English language that can describe this terrible hollow feeling," Bruce said.
The Loveless family isn’t alone. Since 2014, hundreds of people have lost their lives to opioid and heroin overdoses in South Carolina. “It’s a journey you got put one foot forward every day and some days you have to fake it, make it to make it a better place,” Bruce said.
Five years later, Bruce now works to mentor families going through what he's been through. He said you never really get over it. "Every day is precious. You can't take anything for granted."
Bruce and his wife started the Palmetto Foundation for Prevention and Recovery to honor their son and help others dealing with substance abuse. It is a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to early prevention and intervention in the fight against substance abuse and addiction.
They work proactively to educate young South Carolinians about the dangers of substance abuse. You can find more information here.