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NEWS9 Special Assignment: Beating the Addiction, Brandon Duplinsky

Brandon Duplinksy has been sober for seven years, and he's using his experiences to empower others. (WTOV)

A once-broken Brooke County man is now building a community centered on faith.

Brandon Duplinksy has been sober for seven years, and he's using his experiences to empower others.

With a little one on his arm, and another just below his waist, Duplinsky can smile as the sun shines down on his family and the many blessings that are now before him.

“God allowed me to use my record as a resume,” he said. “That's what he ended up doing. Everything that I once thought was for evil ended up being for good."

To an outsider, it would appear that the 35-year-old has it all together. He's about to get his degree in Christian Leadership and Management from Liberty University, was just named to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and recently got a full-time job as a counselor at a treatment center in Washington, Pa.

But Brandon admits, it took years for all the pieces to fall into place.

“You try to be so many things for so many people; you lose sight of who you are,” he said.

To understand how he got to where he is today, you have to look at where he came from.

“We moved from the country into the city setting,” Brandon said. “It didn't take too long before I kind of just like fell in love with the fast pace.”

The fast pace, at first, meant smoking weed and drinking alcohol. And at 19, he started experimenting with pain pills.

“At that point, the monster was loose,” he said.

At 21, he tried heroin.

“Instead of doing 10 or 15 pills at a time, it was a portion of what is already a small amount, and it's fantastic all day,” he said. “I said, ‘wow this is amazing.’’’

But Brandon found that a greater high resulted in a greater consequence.

“I began to chase and pursue. That's when it began to snowball, massive amounts, doing whatever it takes, losing friends, losing jobs,” he said.

Time and time again, Brandon found himself behind bars. To this day, he can't tell you how much time he's served.

But, he does remember this.

“I was sitting in a jail cell, and I was staring out the window. It was a blue bird day. I was in there by myself, and I just was staring out the window and saying there's got to be more than this. What is it that I'm missing?” he asked. “Why do I keep doing this? And a voice echoed behind me, like a booming voice that sounded like, and said, ‘it's time," and I knew at that point, God told me it's time to stop messing around, to come on and get saved.”

Brandon spent hours a day studying what he calls his war bible. Its cover is completely worn, and inside is a highlighted passage on each page.

Now seven years clean, he shares his faith with others fighting addiction. He started Lethal Affection Ministry and preaches to families, addicts, and others just looking for direction at a church in Brooke County each week.

“I want people, through Lethal Affection, to meet God, to see Jesus, to understand that there's not just a better way, but a supreme way to do life, and if you don't live life, lives going to live you,” Brandon said.

He holds drives, and collects toys for families going through tough times, and he shows up to the county court to advocate, extending his hand those in a position he knows all too well.

The newlywed credits his wife, and God, with keeping him on track. He works each day to make his little ones proud of the big changes he's made.

“That's what I live for now, is to provide, and lead and guide,” he said. “And do the best I can in this, because this is a second chance. I got a second chance on life.”

Brandon said one of the lowest moments was when his father told him, if he died, he wasn't sure if he'd die proud of his own son.

That's no longer the case. Brandon has mended his relationships with his parents and brother and works to make his four children proud every day.

For more information on Lethal Affection Ministry, click here.

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