THOMASVILLE, NC -- It's been one year but the pain of losing a child to drugs is still fresh for Hope Thompson.
“I remember every little thing,” said Thompson.
On August 4, 2016, she found her daughter, 18-year-old Tristan Thompson, who died of a heroin overdose.
“It hurts as much today as I did today I found her,” said a teary-eyed Thompson. “I try not to think about her face but I remember her face when I first turn her over.”
Thompson says Friday was Tristan’s “Angelversary.”
“She used to just glow. She would light up the room,” Thompson laughed. “She was so funny."
Tristan's death inspired her family to help other teens struggling with addiction.
The opioid epidemic is a growing problem across the country and in North Carolina.
Drug overdoses have claimed 12,000 lives in the state since 1999 and the number keeps growing.
Opioid related overdose deaths are up more than 800 percent in the state through last year.
Now, Tristan's family hopes sharing her story will save other families from the nightmare of losing a child.
In the last twelve months since her death, the family has transformed their house into “Tristan's Haven” -- a safe place for teenagers struggling with addiction.
“We want people to know that we are here and know that we care,” said Stephanie Lane, Tristan’s sister.
The non-profit aims to educate teens and provide support groups and even emergency shelter for those seeking rehab.
It also provides therapy for a family still grieving.
“I know it helps me,” said Thompson. “It's the only time but I feel like I'm doing something. Like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.”
Thompson says she hopes to continue using Tristan’s story to inspire others to improve themselves.
“We are still fighting for people to get help,” said Thompson. “Kids are dying every day. There needs to be more.”
So far, “Tristan's Haven” has already helped 23 people struggling with addiction reach detox.
Thompson says they’re looking to expand their efforts and help more people beyond Davidson County.
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