Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Danny

From: Mesa, AZ
Votes: 0 Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Danny




I grew up in a small border town where drugs were something that were not out of the ordinary. On the US side where I went to high school we sometimes had days where the police would come with a K9 and they would search our classrooms and bags for drugs. I had friends who would get nervous because they had their stash to sell in their bag. So everyone knew someone who had been involved with drugs at some point or another.

I met Danny in 2014 when he was 16. He was a ginger scrawny guy a couple of years older than me. I believe he had a great future in BMX and had been sponsored by a couple of brands. He came from a broken family where his dad was in prison and his step father sometimes beat him yet, he had the biggest heart.

Over the years we started losing contact but he would try and message me once a month just to see how I was. I knew he smoked weed but that’s it. He left town a year into knowing him. He gave me updates on his life every once in a while. They sounded like exaggerated tales of him running away from the cartels after doing some bad business. I didn’t believe him because I didn’t think someone so close to me could be involved in things like that.

In 2016 I went to the Phoenix ComiCon. We had had our monthly check in, and scrolling through Facebook, a mutual friend posted a picture stating that he was gone too soon. There were three people in the picture, the three of them my friends so I immediately messaged him and asked who he was talking about. It was Danny. I couldn’t believe it. I started crying in the middle of the convention and started battling with myself because my grandfather was sick and we knew that he would die soon. I decided to stay to at least be there with my grandfather.

As time passed, the details started emerging. He was in another town about 5 hours or so away. He started overdosing so he decided to go to the hospital walking. While he was on his way there, he collapsed and some people found him. He did not have any ID on him but all he was able to say was his name and that he was not from there. The woman that found him took to Facebook what was said and in a town group she posted about him. That is how his family was able to track him down. His body was sent to our town for the funeral. He died June 6, 2014 at the age of 17. He was addicted to crystal meth.

He had the biggest heart. This made me understand that addiction is a monster and that no one is truly safe from it. In a way, he did not stand a chance. People that are addicted to anything are not bad people, they just made bad choices, but I hope that whoever reads this story and might be wanting to try a new drug understands that even if you feel that you do not matter and that the only person that it is affecting is you is not entirely true. Danny had this problem for a year before overdosing.

If he was able to, he would have sought help, but unless there is money involved, people with low income do not have the opportunity for a chance in a good rehabilitation center. There should be more resources available to everyone. More funds should be put toward helping people overcome addiction.

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Addiction Awareness Scholarship Campaign 2020 Round 2 - Danny
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