Man buried alive in Tampa to draw attention to drug addiction

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John Edwards has been buried alive in an effort to help those struggling with drug addiction.

“In my mind, I’ve got to focus myself. I have to tell myself I will not get claustrophobic,” he said from his 3-foot-by-3-foot-by-8-foot box.

Born in Ireland, Edwards is a former drug addict.  He has been clean for the past 27 years and now works to help others kick their own habits.  He told FOX 13 that, by speaking from the grave, he can stop those who are struggling from winding up in an early one.

Ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.

“I’m raising my voice up to bring hope to the people,” Edwards said.

He's broadcasting the experience live online, taking calls and questions from viewers around the globe using the hashtag #GraveChat.  His grave plot sits outside the River at Tampa Bay Church.

”We're saying, look, if you have problems with drugs or alcohol or depression, we're here as a beacon of hope to come and to give people a better future,” said associate pastor Jayson Williams.

Edwards is spending three days underground. He was buried Sunday.

”There are two tubes: One that brings food down, the other tube is for pulling rubbish back down again, and we have a little toilet here,” he described.

To view the live feed, or contact Edwards, click over to