"I love you, Mom," he told her, as they said goodbye that night.
But as his mother later said, the drug had already won.
The next day, Sept. 26, 2010, Johnson-Lavender got a phone call from her son's friend. They couldn't wake him.
At age 21, the 2006 Mashpee High School graduate and Mashpee native had died of an oxycodone overdose. "This isn't a problem; this is a war," Johnson-Lavender, of Mashpee, told people at a meeting on opiate addiction at Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School in November 2012.
"I'm astounded by how much obliviousness there is out there about how serious this is," she said. "This disease is killing our children." His obituary spoke of a boy who "excelled in athletics and particularly enjoyed playing baseball, soccer and tennis." He enjoyed riding his motorcycle and was "well-liked and befriended many people during his short life."