LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Five months after his death, the words of a heroin addict live on in a newly-published book, a collection of poems and writings made throughout the latter part of his life.
Jay Koch began experimenting with drugs as the age of 14 and was completely addicted at 19. After several attempts at recovery, he died in November of 2017, at the age of 30, from a heroin overdose.
"Since that time, we've come to realize the drug addiction Jay encountered was based on a mental health issue," June Koch, Jay's mother, said. "He suffered from severe depression. He writes about that in his poetry."
His parents, June and Danny Koch, discovered five notebooks full of his writings after his passing, titled by Jay as "Diary of a Heroin Addict."
"It's sometimes very difficult to read and painful to read but I do believe that is one of his purposes for writing," June said. "He said, what he could not say in therapy, he could write in his poetry. The last couple of months of his life he began assembling this poetry in a book. I believe he left it so we could find it. I believe he left it as a message to other addicts. I believe he left it as a message to families of those addicts so that they can better understand the reason for why people go through this addiction."
The book, "Clearly Broken: The Voice of a Heroin Addict" is available at Amazon with the proceeds benefiting Lubbock County's Freedom Court, presided over by Judge William Sowder. The court is specialized for drug addicts seeking treatment.
"I visited yesterday in his court," Danny said. "A lady said, 'This is the second time I've heard you speak. Jay's writings move me.' If Judge Sowder speaks, if June and I speak, it might not always resonate. But, when Jay speaks through his writings it resonates. It moves."
The book contains about 150 poems, following an introduction written by Danny and June. That first chapter details their ups and downs dealing with Jay's addiction. June even writes about the night of Jay's death and how she discovered him the next day in his bedroom.
"I wanted to share the pain with others so they can understand that leaving your son or daughter to reach 'rock bottom' is probably not the best option because you see 'rock bottom' as death," June said. "The option we want to offer an addict is to raise up that 'rock bottom.' Maybe the 'rock bottom' is being incarcerated, maybe it's being in a lockdown-rehab facility. Let's try to raise up that 'rock bottom' from being death."
The hope is to remove the misconception of drug addiction only happening to bad people or criminals. June and Danny say it can happen in any family and is an epidemic.
"We can't save the world," Danny said. "But, if we can save one soul and if we can also say that we followed Jay's wishes, and his wish was to share this news and help some other person or persons, that is what we want to do."