My boyfriend died from a drug overdose

by Victoria Kiarsis

Billy Derr and Victoria Kiarsis

I met Billy Derr at a 12-step meeting in Boston in the fall of 2014.

Although I didn’t think much about him at the time and was even dating someone else, Billy had different ideas. He told me later that when he saw me for the first time, in my burgundy pants, tan booties, and leather ...  read more

Billy Derr’s Story

Jenny Derr and Billy Derr

By Jenny Derr, his mother

In April of 2016, our 24-year-old son, Billy was visiting us in Richmond. We had a good weekend–he was engaged, laughing, and spending a lot of time with us, which is not the typical behavior of someone in active addiction.

He had relapsed in October 2015, after a year and a half of sobriety, and seemed to be back on the right track. He was enrolled at Boston University taking two classes and he loved living in Beacon Hill. He flew back to Boston on a Tuesday morning, I took him to the airport, we hugged and I said I love you. I asked him to get a haircut when he got back.

I spoke to him later that afternoon. He had been walking through the city and was getting ready to go to class. That was the last time I spoke to him.

I texted him a couple of times that night but didn’t get a response.

The next morning I texted him again, and got no response.

I had the oddest sense

 ...  read more