“I am forever heartbroken, devastated and still angry,” he added.
At that, some of the boys straightened up. Others leaned closer, their eyes locked on Hoetker.
Hoetker pulled out a piece of paper and read from a note Darby had written.
This morning the feeling I came up with was fear. … then I took a glance at my scarred arms and anger and insanity started building up inside me. It made me remember sitting in a hotel with totally blurred vision cause I had shot so much coke. And having this jerk trying to hit me, taking the needle in and out and in and out of my arm. My arms bleeding and me not tripping on the blood, the sickness. Just wanting one thing, that rush.
Hoetker looked up at the teen boys.
“This is Darby’s story,” he said.
Darby was born Sept. 7, 1970, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area.
When he was 8 years old, Darby’s parents divorced. Darby was all smiles on the outside. But on the inside, he was hurting.
At age 13, Darby began acting out. His grades began to slip. He started hanging out with the wrong crowd. And he began experimenting with drugs.
“Drug addiction ruins families. It ruins communities. It ruins lives. It will ruin your lives,” Hoetker said.
Even Darby knew his addiction would cost him his life, Hoetker said as he pulled out an undated letter from Darby.
How the hell can someone do this to themselves. It’s hard to look at my pain, but if I don’t it’s gonna kill me.
Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546; http://twitter.com/col_health; http://facebook.com/reporterharshman; firstname.lastname@example.org.