As long as I live, I will never, ever forget that phone call.

It was only a few days after I had visited Matty at his house. I was alone in my dorm working on homework when his number popped up on my cell phone, which was surprising in itself because he never contacted me anymore. I answered, happy to be hearing from him, but also with a bit of worry in my stomach that something was wrong.

“Matt’s dead,” was all the gruff voice said when I answered. “You need to come to deal with it.” And with that, he hung up.

My vision tunneled, and the noises around me faded as a collapsed to the floor. I woke up moments later, disoriented, but remembering the call I had received. I raced to my car in a panic and sped over to my brother’s house.

The door was unlocked, and the roommate was gone. He had fled the state, or possibly even the country and the police never found him.

The front room was a mess, just like the last time I had been there. Matt’s bedroom door was closed. I took a deep breath and entered, terrified of what I would find.

He lay in his bed looking peaceful. He could have been asleep. He was cold though, and he wasn’t breathing. I held him in my arms and cried. I had never felt pain like that before. It ripped through my body. At one point I leaned over the side of his bed and threw up.

I called the police, then my parents. I stayed in Matty’s bed, cradling him in my arms until the police showed up.

Matty had overdosed on meth and died of cardiac arrest. He had done so many stimulants that his heart just couldn’t take it anymore.

I wish I had paid more attention to the signs. I wish I had done more to help him. I should have made him go into treatment. I shouldn’t have let him take Adderall. I should have helped him in school way before that.

Don’t let what happened to Matty happen to you or anyone you love. If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, get help now. Don’t wait. Don’t have regrets as I do.