Brandon’s Story of Addiction to Pain Pills

Brandon was a BMX rider—bicycle motocross or stunt rider—for most of his teens. When he tore up the ligaments in his knee in an accident, he was given prescription opiates for the pain. That was the start of a destructive addiction that it would take several years to come back from.

He had reconstructive surgery on that knee and stayed on the opiates while it healed. After it was better, he kept taking the pills. He just knew he felt good when he took them. He didn’t know they were addictive.

More injuries followed, accompanied by more pain pills. Finally, during an uninjured period, he was taken off the pills. He felt sick and awful and never realized he was in withdrawal from the opiates.

He was sixteen years old by this time. He went to a party and his friends were snorting OxyContin. When he joined in, he suddenly didn’t feel sick or bad any more. He thought he’d found what he needed.

His parents noticed the heavy drinking that was occurring at the same time and when he was seventeen, he went to his first rehab. It was a three month program that he didn’t finish. He didn’t see the problem with drug abuse, so he left the program and began smoking marijuana and drinking. Soon, he was back to using opiates again.

Pretty soon, the opiate abuse led him to heroin, which was readily available around his high school. His friends convinced him that injecting heroin was even more awesome, and Brandon lost any thought of control at this point. His heavy heroin addiction would take up the next two years of his life.

His only purpose in life was to keep getting the heroin he needed. He’d get Suboxone, a treatment opiate, from a clinic, but most of the time he’d sell it, or use the Suboxone and then take heroin on top of it.

He tried to get clean at a long-term rehab but skipped out and got drunk after several months of sobriety. It wasn’t until his family found Narconon that he began to learn how to live a sober life.

Because he’d started using heavy drugs so early, he’d never had a chance to develop maturity or life skills. It was at Narconon that he began to grow up and leave old resentments behind. “I started having a natural, happy feeling – I hadn’t felt that in so long,” he said.

The Narconon program was the first rehab he ever graduated from. He decided to stay on at the rehab and help others get through their own recoveries. After all the help he’d received from the Narconon program, it just seemed right.

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