My Brother, Benjamin

By
Katherine Najdusak
Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

I walk to honor his memory, to honor other families affected by this crippling disease, to join the fight against addiction.

My brother, Benjamin struggled with addiction since we were teenagers. Always getting in trouble with the law, and missing school, spending much if his teenage years in juvenile detention centers, and only a few months at a time clean and sober. Ben was a wonderful, loving, caring individual that also carried a lot of anger and pain throughout his life. Our father was very abusive when we were children and Ben never really accepted or dealt with the anger he harbored toward him... and turned to drugs to find some relief. As an adult, Ben continued to use drugs... each time pushing it a little further. His addiction grew from marijuana and alcohol to pills and eventually to heroin. He was in and out of jail because of his drug use... ended up in a serious fight that ended in a traumatic brain injury in November of 2015. We all thought he would stay away from the drugs then. But addiction claimed hold of him again. And Ben ended up in another fight in October of 2017... ending up in a halfway house and in treatment for addiction. Ben was 140 days clean and sober before picking up his drug of choice again, this time, addiction won. Heroin use took his life March 29, 2018.