The long road to recovery

Anne and Angela.


The story of Sandton photographer Anne Lapedus Brest’s fight to save her daughter, told in her book Catastrophe: Oy Vey, my Child is gay (and an Addict), is one that many can relate to.

This inspiring story of heartbreak, anger, desperation and undying love was delivered by Brest with exuding passion to a receptive audience at Golden Acres in Sandringham. Brest told her story to help educate and inform people on the effects of drug abuse.

Brest is a proud mother of two and her story drove home the point that addiction can affect any family. “This was a journey I didn’t want to take, but in life, you do not get to choose these kinds of things,” she said. “We had to endure a tremendous amount of heartbreak, anger, and frustration, but my daughter [Angela] has been clean for five years now.”

The road to recovery can sometimes be long and winding, and in the case of Angela’s recovery, this was exactly the case. ” If an addict does not want to kick his or her habit, the recovery process will take much longer or completely fail,” said Brest. “When Angela went to her first rehab, she wasn’t ready and continued to use drugs. It took a visit to prison and a large intervention to make Angela realise that she was going down the wrong path.”

Brest’s son, Greg, also gave his views on addiction at the talk. “I lived in Los Angeles for nearly 13 years and in that time I also experimented with drugs,” he said. “When you live in a city like that, it is so easy to get sucked into that kind of lifestyle. It also added so much pressure on my mind that I had to keep this a secret from my mom. Luckily I never developed an addiction, but anyone can easily fall into that kind of trap.”

Audience members had a chance to interact and ask questions about alcohol and drug abuse, and constructive answers were provided by Brest and others in the audience.


Have you or anyone you know struggled with and overcome drug addiction? Share your story with us by posting on our Facebook page.

Michael Butler

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