SPRINGFIELD, Mo- Tonight we continue our courageous conversation series by sharing the story of a local woman who had a brother commit suicide over his drug addictions and her own son is now battling heroin addiction himself. Here is Tina May’s story:

What people don’t understand is addiction is not just a family thing to me. my personal opinion, the addiction, this heroin, it’s a community thing.

The people that you meet that your kids hang around with, just because you meet them that’s not who they are. you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. And the parents that I did meet. I thought they were okay.  And it turns out they weren’t.

David:  Do you still communicate with him? 

Everyone once in awhile, I’ll get a text saying mom I love you.  And it’s those times that I pray for because nothing else hurts as bad as something going bad with your child and you not be able to get ahold of him.

Prevention is easier than treatment.  Because once your child gets to a certain age there’s nothing you can do but sit back and watch his life unfold and hope that it’s not ending.

If we can get our kids to not try these things then there wouldn’t be a demand for them.  and these drug dealers would move on.

David:  How early should parents start that conversation?  And what should they say to their kids?

Earlier the better.  My kids were very young when my brother was going through this. And I tried to teach my kids more like a learning experience, this is what happens.

I don’t think this is something that people need to say well my kid isn’t old enough.  Years ago I would have said my 8 year old isn’t old enough to know about this stuff but now I think she is.

You know just like the parents i talked to who said I talked to my kids about drugs they wouldn’t do that.  Just because you talk to your kids about it, doesn’t mean they’re not going to do it.