The DCT Foundation was created after our beautiful son, Dan, died at the age of 24 from an accidental drug overdose. While he suffered from the disease of addiction for the last 7 years of his precious short life, this didn’t define him. He was bright, caring, funny, and athletic and loved by many. The pain of losing our son was crippling. The memories of that devastating day on December 3rd, 2010, is somewhat clouded. But the shock, numbness, emptiness, tears and pain that filled our bodies is something that may never be completely forgotten. The final good-by from a parent to a child is an unnatural act, and one that may have been prevented if we had the resources, education, treatment, and prevention tools.
This disease not only affects and can destroy the person in addiction, but also those who care the most and are closest, their family and friends. They/we suffer physically, emotionally, financially and socially. Our grief is still at times tangled with a longing for answers, many of which may never be answered. Within a few months after Dan’s death, we were searching for grief support, and tried a local hospital, only to discover that we didn’t seem to be able to “fit in”. While any type of death is a very sad loss, a parent grieving their child is one that only another parent can identify and support. Also, the journey of addiction is complicated, and for some, filled with shame. We discovered a national support group, GRASP (Grief Recovery After Substance Passing), and decided to start a local chapter. In May, 2011, we had our first group and it was attended by over 30 people. We currently meet once a month, and some of the original group still attend. While we may never have some of those questions answered, we have found love, strength and support among these very special people, who are now our GRASP family. Yet we still felt the need to move in the direction of advocacy for substance abuse treatment and prevention.
Many obstacles are evident when searching for drug and alcohol treatment information and assistance. To honor Dan’s life, this foundation was formed. We are dedicated to offering charitable aid for entrance into in-patient treatment for low-income adults, as well as our overdose prevention and response program.
As a community, we face a challenge, in that the issues surrounding addiction are shrouded in misunderstanding, silence and shame. To everyone who assists and encourages our outreach efforts in awareness, prevention and treatment, we hold you deeply in our hearts. To our sons John and Austin, we love you, and we embrace the future together, healing and supporting one another. We are blessed in all that we share.
-Carl and Toni Torsch