"People are losing loved ones -- friends, family, people with this disease that has no face,” Samet said.
Addiction does have a face for Perry. It hangs around her neck and lives in memorial pictures.
But even Perry admits that she didn’t understand the devastating effects of the drug until it took her son.
It’s the small signs her son was using that have stayed with Perry. If she had noticed sooner, she said, she might have been able to help him.
“He could be saying ‘Hello, hi,’ and he’d just fall asleep.”
While Aaron was using, Perry said all of the teaspoons in her home went missing.
“He took all of my teaspoons, everyone of them, gone.”
Spreading awareness about the disease and reaching out to those who are suffering will help save lives, Perry said.
“We have to get to the addicts. The people in society are aware, but we have to get to the addicts .... they’re the ones that need to know,” Perry said.
Reporting those who are dealing and reaching out to those who are using, Perry said, is imperative in fighting this epidemic.
“If you know anyone that’s dealing this right now I would beg you -- I know you don’t want to release your identity -- anonymously tell somebody,” Perry said. “Let’s get them off the street, that’s the only way we’re going to do it.”
Perry ran her fingers over her ring that bears Aaron’s fingerprint. She grabbed at the pendant swinging on her chest.
“My necklace, it says ‘always in my heart,’” Perry said.