New Castle News

Closer Look

September 9, 2013

‘Brandon’s Story’: Parents share heart-breaking tale of son’s addiction

NEW CASTLE — From the moment a child enters this world, a parent has dreams for a bright future.

However, mothers and fathers can only do so much to make that possible.

Dan and Terri Bailey of Shenango Township had high hopes for both their sons. They still do. Even when they reached the darkest times of their lives with their youngest son, Brandon, they never lost faith that he would somehow get on the right path again.

The Baileys have conveyed that message for several years in a video presentation called “Brandon’s Story.” It chronicles what can happen when a young person turns to drugs and tells the audience that Brandon is an addict.

And it points out that these trials and tribulations can happen anywhere and to any family.

THE WRONG CHOICES

On Aug. 27, Brandon turned 29. He spent his birthday in jail — a place he has become familiar with during the last 10 years.

The 2002 Shenango High graduate had been a model student academically with mostly A’s on his report card. He was nominated for “Who’s Who of America” and won National Merit awards in math and English.

Brandon passed an apprenticeship test for carpentry about the same time he graduated. But when fall came, he instead enrolled at Butler County Community College to major in parks and recreation. During his second semester, Dan and Terri noticed changes in their son’s behavior.

“He would miss classes and then, when he lost a job, it smacked in our faces that he needed money,” Dan said.

First, Dan and Terri’s cash began to disappear. After that, three rings including Dan’s wedding band were gone one day.

They confronted Brandon only to be met with denial.

So Dan went to a store that buys jewelry and learned that his son had taken the wedding ring to the shop.

At that point, drug use entered the Baileys’ minds, but they weren’t ready to face that possibility.

Eventually, Brandon admitted he had a problem. From there, the situation continued to accelerate.

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