Drug use is skyrocketing in our area among teens. One family was nearly torn apart by their son’s addiction, is telling his story to help other families.
Brandon Dehaven’s parents recorded him going through withdrawals when he was in denial about his addiction.
“My son or my daughter is a heroin addict. How did this all begin? It all begins so innocently.” Brandon’s father, Bradley, told FOX40.
The Dehavens are a model family: married for 30 years, well off and they made Granite Bay their home.
But they were pulled into the world of drug use when their teenage son became a heroin addict.
“Addiction is a landmine,” Bradley said. “The addict may step on the landmine and it may kill them. It may addict them. It may disable them. But everyone around them gets hit with the shrapnel.”
Brandon’s drug use started when he attended Granite Bay High. He started with prescription pills and that was just the beginning.
“You keep doing more. You keep doing more. I was doing a 8 ball of heroin. Then it was more than that, it was 5 grams a day. And you’re just getting by at that point,” Brandon said.
By 19, Brandon was a druggie and was busted for selling and using Oxycontin.
“I knew a lot of people who had prescriptions and pills and drugs,” said Brandon. “And I knew people that wanted it. The whole area’s full of it: bored, rich suburban kids that like to get high.”
He was facing jail time, but his father cut a deal with Roseville Police and went undercover to bust his dealer.
Bradley posed as a seller, trying to get the dealer to buy prescription meds.
“They’re trying to move you to rob you. And the police had warned me about that, not to move or the bust was off,” Bradley said, recalling the bust. ”Police came out of the woodwork. Guns were drawn and it was pretty dramatic. It was very scary”
The Dehavens’ story highlights a growing problem in our area.
“At this point and time we’re losing the drug war. Drugs are rampant,” Roseville Police Sergeant Jeff Kool said.
It’s a battle Roseville Police say they’re fighting every day.
“The next best thing is heroin,” Kool said. “That’s when about two years ago, heroin made a comeback. And we’re making arrests almost on a daily basis.”
Bradley saved his son from jail time, but Brandon still struggled. He went to rehab and relapsed.
“Your body requires you to do the drug,” Bradley said. “So you’re forced to keep doing it just to keep your daily routine.”
After rehab stints and the daily struggles of addiction, Brandon has been clean for three years.
“I had to take control of it and own it. I had to know that that was me doing the right thing and deciding to stay sober, nobody else,” Brandon said.
Bradley and his wife are taking their family’s story around the country. They’re working with law enforcement and parents.
“We hope the people out there who are listening, do listen and do learn about addiction on their own terms and see some of the early signs and do act,” Bradley said.
The Dehavens know they are more fortunate than many other families.
“Most of them have buried a child and paid the ultimate price: never hugging their child again and we get to hug our child. Somehow, someway we got through,” Bradley said.
Bradley has written two books about their journey through addiction.
He and his wife also recently shot a documentary that will air on the TV Guide and CW networks.