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Parents of 22-year-old who died from possible overdose call it a 'nightmare'

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ABILENE, Texas - The parents of one of the three people who died within an 11 hour period Friday from what police believe was overdoses said they are heartbroken.

A woman found Ricky Wilkinson, 22, dead in his car Friday morning in front of the old Lincoln Middle School on South 1st street.

Wilkinson's parents, Crystal Long and Joshua Wilkinson, said he struggled with a drug addiction for 10 years.

"My son had, you know, a huge battle he was fighting every day of his life," Long said.

"This is just like a nightmare. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy," Joshua Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson's mother said his struggle with drugs started when he was just 12 years old. She said he often talked about a deep sadness he felt, but even then he was always there for others.

"My son was a good person," Long said. "He wouldn't hurt anybody. He helped everybody he could, even though he needed help himself."

Wilkinson was admitted to rehab on three different occasions. Long said he also went to multiple mental health facilities, but that didn't help.

"The system is broken," Long said. "They give you just enough to get you stabilized, but they put you right back out there and we need to advocate, and something needs to be done."

Joshua Wilkinson said his son wasn't a bad person, and he wants people to know that "The kid had a heart of gold," Joshua Wilkinson said. He was a good kid. He wasn't a bad kid. He just had issues."

Wilkinson's parents said they never gave up on their son. They said other parents should never give up on their kids if they're struggling with addiction.

Police issued a warning Friday after Wilkinson and two other people died from a suspected overdoses. A fourth person who overdosed on heroin is being treated at a local hospital.

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