Tennessee Father Talks About Losing Child To Overdose

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jul 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-30 23:30:43-04

A father who lost his daughter to a drug overdose shared how he has been coping with the loss.

Bobby Cooper lost his daughter Jessica to an opioid overdose in December of 2016. He remembered the initial phone call.

"I couldn't think, I couldn't talk. It was almost as if you mentally just shut down," he said.

Cooper said he's saddened to hear that Max Barry, son of Nashville's Mayor Megan Barry, died from an apparent drug overdose late Saturday night.

He said he knows from personal experience coping and coming to terms with the tragedy will take time.

"It's not one that'll happen overnight. There's no way to describe it, and I understand how she feels," he said.

Cooper said his daughter loved being around people but struggled to overcome her addictions.

"Your children are supposed to be your legacy in your life, and when that, when you do lose a child, you have a sense of incompleteness," he said.

Cooper has turned his grief into help for others by starting Addiction at Home - a business that has provided free resources and a support system to families who experience drug overdoses.

"Helping those families understand that there is a way to help their loved one without loving them too much. Without doing it for them and allowing them to do it for themselves to embrace the recovery," he said.

Cooper's son also battled an addiction, but has been clean for two and a half years.

He has now been working as an Alumni Relations Coordinator and helps others with addictions.

"He makes me proud to see that he was able to grab a hold of his recovery and take his 12 steps, and he really owns that," Cooper said.

Cooper added it will get easier for the mayor and her family with time, and he has encouraged them to one day be advocates for others with overdose addictions.

To visit Addiction at Home on Facebook, click here.