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In pictures: Oake family sheds light on opioid epidemic

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Scott Oake sits at the head of the table with sons Bruce, left, and Darcy. Bruce died of a drug overdose in March, 2011, when he was 25.

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Scott Oake with his wife Anne and youngest son Darcy, an acclaimed illusionist, who is performing a charity magic show at Manitoba Theatre Centre June 14 and 15 in support of addiction.

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Bruce Oake at a family dinner with his father Scott in the background.

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Bruce, left, was one of more than 36,000 people who died of a drug overdose in North America in 2011.

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“He was a difficult little boy,” recalls Bruce's mother Anne, a trained nurse. "He had ADHD, and they diagnosed him with Tourette’s, and he had trouble in school. ..."

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Bruce grew up boxing and playing music in Winnipeg.

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Bruce in the boxing ring as a young boy.

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Bruce's battle with an OxyContin addiction first put him in a hospital in 2007.

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In their Winnipeg home, the Oakes have a wall of photographs that has been dedicated to Bruce.

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Bruce spent time in addiction facilities in Winnipeg, Halifax, Toronto and, finally, Calgary. The drugs ranged from crystal meth to OxyContin and injectables like heroin.

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The Oakes say they want people to understand that drug addiction encompasses every segment of society.

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By Darcy’s count, Bruce, right, was in detox eight separate times. “He’d go to rehab, get clean and then come out, get his swagger back and be right back at it,” Darcy says.

Oake Family/Oake family

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