ATLANTA — An Atlanta man who spent the last decade trying to pull his son out of the grips of heroin abuse, only to see him die in a car crash, hopes his story can help other parents dealing with the same problem.
Tim Dougherty says his 23-year-old son Paul struggled with heroin addiction and was getting treatment to live without the drug. Before Paul could get a grip on his addiction, he was killed in a car crash in mid-September.
“I think that he was using right after seeing his doctor, then he would stop so that he could pass the next test,” said Dougherty.
Tim says he has a message for other parents who think this kind of situation can’t happen to them.
“My kid wouldn’t do that because he doesn’t look like that,” said Dougherty. “My son didn’t always look like that and he was doing it, and if you don’t believe it, your kid is doing it too.”
Heroin not only claimed Paul’s life but also his girlfriend. Now Tim is left to raise the couple’s 3-year-old son.
“I will drug test that little boy when he’s 10, all the time, make it part of his life,” said Dougherty.
Tim tells WGCL that the cost of treatments for Paul have left him in a deep financial hole that will take a long time to dig out of. Paul’s doctor says Paul’s relapse was missing a key part of his treatment, taking the medication that targets opioid addiction.