OKLAHOMA CITY - Even after almost two decades, Reggie Whitten's voice still thickens with emotion when he talks about his son, Brandon.
"It's hard to believe your own child can become an addict — and I didn't believe it. I grew up watching Andy Griffith, and I thought Otis the town drunk was really what an addict looked like. I'm ashamed to say this: I really thought it was bad people making bad decisions, and then I found my own son had become addicted to these painkillers," Whitten said.
"He was really a good boy. He just got sick, and I didn't really know what to do. I know so much more now, and I'm just trying to spread that out here. I guarantee you, we've saved a bunch of lives in the last 18 years with the knowledge that we learned from Brandon's death. So, I'm just going to keep doing that."
Brandon Whitten, 25, was killed in a motorcycle accident after a relapse into drug and alcohol use. Since losing his oldest son in 2002 to the opioid epidemic, Whitten has devoted his life to combating the crisis, through his career as an attorney, as founder of the nonprofit FATE (Fighting Addiction Through Education) and as an executive producer on the documentary series "Killing Pain," which recently won two regional Emmy Awards.
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