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Fighting the opioid epidemic

(IMG: WPMI) Fighting the opioid epidemic

Jace Waters was an average Baldwin County kid who had a love for baseball, fishing and hunting.

Entering high school, Jace's love for baseball grew.

He became an above average pitcher at Robertsdale High School.

Home video shows him showcasing his skills for college teams, eventually signing with the University of West Alabama as a starting pitcher his freshman year.

But a back injury from high school would eventually change the course of Jace's college career and his life.

"He was prescribed by the doctors physical therapy and lortab," said Julie Waters, Jace's mother. "Little did we know where that was going to take us."

It was the start of a 12-year battle with opioid and drug addiction.

"He would spiral in and out of treatment centers, sobriety, relapse and sometimes jail," said Julie.

Julie Waters says, like many parents faced with a child battling drug addiction, she tried everything - private counseling, in-patient rehab - but nothing was working. Jace's addiction to drugs grew stronger.

He eventually lost his drug battle and his life to a heroin overdose inside an Arizona hotel room.

"They had to take the hinges off the door - he had fallen against the door and they said he's dead. He overdosed the night before he was supposed to come home," said Julie.

Julie said her son hated the addiction.

He would cry out for help.

She says it's too late for her son, but not for others.

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