Embracing Life: From Teenage Drug Addiction to Happily Ever After

Br’ette, destined to be a more rebellious teenager than most, was literally on the brink of death from her drug addictions a decade earlier. Today she works full-time, is raising two healthy children, and is very happily married


teenage drug addiction
Br’ette V. with Big Sister Gail Veley

Among a bustling and energetic crowd, Br’ette V. and her husband Trevor recently occupied two auditorium seats at Dixie High School in Hurricane. They waited to see their young son Chantz and his class perform at a Christmas dance recital. As the children performed, the two watched with complete adoration. First grader Chantz stood on a milk crate and swayed to a Disney song. While Chantz may not have been a “natural,” he worked hard to find his rhythm.The rhythm of Br’ette’s life was very different 10 years ago. Br’ette, 27, never saw herself then where she is now. Her life today is fulfilled by family, including her loving husband, son Chantz, and six-month-old daughter Shyla Mae. Yet Br’ette, destined to be a more rebellious teenager than most, was literally on the brink of death from her drug addiction a decade earlier.

Although raised in a loving home by her steadfast mother, Kathy, Br’ette was drawn into drugs by other teens around her at school. Yet it wasn’t this one event in particular that predestined her to go down this path. Perhaps it was an accumulation of events, among them her parent’s divorce when she was six, or the influences of relatives using drugs and alcohol. Perhaps it was a lack of interest in school and the unwelcomed repetition of sixth grade.

Back when Br’ette was 12, Kathy, a single mother, recognized that Br’ette needed additional mentoring. She called upon Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) to provide her with a Big Sister. A woman named Gail stepped in to help. As a 39-year-old reformed rebellious teenager herself, Gail may not have had the same drug addictions as a teenager, but she understood rebellion, the thrill of sneaking a cigarette, and what it was like to be hungover. She sensed the need to help steer Br’ette toward better choices.

Yet, it wasn’t enough intervention to prevent the inevitable. Within a few years, Br’ette ended up focusing on drugs over everything else. As a student who had briefly earned straight A’s after spending time with Gail, she was once again facing failure. She went to drug rehabilitation near Salt Lake City and became clean for a while. However, as soon as she was back home, an old boyfriend and avid drug user began occupying her time. 

In that same time period she met Trevor, with whom she had an instant spark and a romantic interest. But he didn’t want a girl hooked on drugs. They stopped seeing each other, yet Trevor still cared deeply. 

Shortly afterward, “I was at home sitting on my bed, tweaking out at like two in the morning,” Br’ette recalled. “I was drawing pictures and seeing shadow people. I’ve heard that if you see shadow people you are near death. Then I looked over and saw Trevor standing in the doorway. I didn’t even think he was real.”

Acting on impulse, Trevor had climbed in his car that predawn morning as though being prompted by a guardian angel. The next thing he knew, he was driving to her house. Standing in the door of her room, he promised to stay with her that weekend if she would get clean. Knowing her life needed desperately to be turned around, she agreed. 

Two long, grueling days later, she was through the worst of it, lucid and clear-headed. She and Trevor became engaged six months later. His devotion, along with her mother’s belief in her, enabled her to leave a darkened world behind her and thrive. Today she works full-time, is raising two healthy children, and is very happily married to Trevor. Together, they plan to buy a 40-foot sailboat and experience a completely different life outside of what they have known.

“It was a change of perspective that helped me,” Br’ette said. “It’s a matter of will power. Are you willing to be stronger than your desire to use? I’m in a much better place now and don’t need to.”

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