William “ Will” Christian Doerhoff grew up in Maumelle, Arkansas and went to Little Rock Catholic High School, one of the most stringent high schools in America. He had a 3.7 GPA and scored 27 on his ACT. Will served on his City Youth Council, was President of the Community Service Club at Catholic High and spent his weekends working and volunteering to help people in need. As an 18 year old freshman, he began his college career in the Fall semester of 2014 at the University of Arkansas.
According to Will, during his fraternity pledging semester, there was drinking and many of the boys, including himself, took illicit prescription drugs as a stimulant. Will confessed and was confirmed by a another fraternity brother, that an older member who had already been kicked out of the fraternity for drugs but allowed to return, taught him to inject and smoke illicit prescription narcotics. Will had never taken illicit drugs in his life until college. By the time Will had returned home from his freshman year of college, in early July 2015, what had begun as a permissive good time on a college campus had turned into an addiction. Will’s mother found him face-down, barely alive in his bedroom. His prescription drug use had escalated and he had overdosed on Heroin.
Will was successful in recovery for over a year but in October, 2016, he relapsed and Heroin took his life. What began as illicit prescription narcotics use on a college campus, (that was well known by Will’s fraternity brothers), had now led to the death of one of the most beautiful children God put on this earth. As parents, had we known early on of this drug abuse, our son would have been home and in treatment, as quickly as this began, but the grim reality is that parents and adults are the last to know.
As is evident in the text message from Will’s fraternity brothers after Will’s death, students and peers are either scared or not sure what to do when this drug use begins so they engage in the “Bystander Effect”. The William Christian Doerhoff Memorial Foundation’s goal is to empower students to create a paradigm shift of awareness in their culture and to protect one another. To "Speak Up-Speak Out" when they know their friends are participating in illicit prescription drug use and illegal substance abuse. Our goal is to teach them they have the potential to save a life.