On Sept. 20, Dan Phillips broke into his son Chad's bedroom, found the 20-year-old unresponsive from a drug overdose and tried to revive him.
Eight days later, and just a few miles away, Jim Millar picked the lock to his 15-year-old's room and performed CPR on his son Sam, who had also overdosed.
The fathers — who didn't know each other before but whose sons were acquaintances — now share a painful bond: Their sons died because of the powerful prescription drugs they were addicted to.
"The pain that it has caused this family … is something that no parent should ever have to endure," Dan Phillips said. "I lost a piece of me that day. I'll never get that back."
Their journeys have not been easy. Both men were aware of their son's drug use. Both say they did everything they could think of to help their sons.
Phillips put a GPS device in Chad's vehicle, cleaned out the contacts in his cell phone, sent him to rehab. In the weeks before his death, Phillips kept his son by his side seven days a week.
Millar twice sent his son to a treatment program in North Carolina, but each time Sam returned to Orlando, he continued to use drugs.
Chad overdosed on oxycodone. Sam died of a combination of oxycodone, hydromorphone and alprazolam.
In 2010, 147 people — including Chad and Sam — died in Orange and Osceola counties because of accidental prescription-drug overdoses.
Sam was not the youngest victim. Last fall, Morgan Bell, a 14-year-old Brevard County girl, was dropped off after an oxycodone overdose at an Orlando hospital by a man later charged with molesting her.
Dan Phillips and Jim Millar both say parents need to educate themselves about prescription drugs. Until their own children overdosed, the men didn't know how deadly they could be.
"Our kids didn't think they were that bad," said Millar, who wants to use the money he saved to send Sam to college to help families in similar situations. "Unfortunately, we know the signs now."
The fathers' advice to other parents: Talk to your kids about the dangers of prescription-drug use. Make sure you know what your children are doing. Take action if you see signs of drug use. And don't believe anything the drug user tells you.
Carol Burkett, director of the Orange County Office for a Drug Free Community, said most parents are just like Phillips and Millar: They don't think their child would use drugs, let alone overdose. She applauded the fathers for their courage in sharing their sons' stories publicly.
"What they're doing is what helps parents the most," she said. "There's nothing better than to hear from a parent to another parent."
Phillips and Millar say their most important message to parents is: Never stop trying to save your child.
"I took a lot of wrath when he was here," Phillips said of Chad's anger — brought on by his father's prodding about his drug use. "Just never give up. Never give up."
Pharmacists aren't cops
They aren't trained to be cops.
RX FOR DANGER: Part 2 of 3