Updated 20 March 2015

Mother Kelly Smith-Miller posts about her son Brayden's overdose on Facebook

Kelly Smith-Miller of St Louis in Missouri is the mother of a teenage boy who overdosed on heroin and Xanax on 12 March. She wrote an emotional Facebook post to warn other parents and teenagers about the dangers of drug addiction in our teens and the post has gone viral.


When mother Kelly Smith-Miller posted the story of her son Brayden Travis' story of drugg addiction and subsequent overdose on her Facebook page, it went viral within days.

Normally a private person who had battled her son's addiction along with him for the last 3 years (he is now 18 years old), she felt compelled to share his story of addiction with the world in the hope that it would save other lives out there.

She also posted pictures of him - one before his overdose, and one of him lying in ICU in the hospital.

Kelly describes in a moving, from-the-heart post how she saw him start on marijuana and gradually slip into the dead-end road that heroin leads to. On the night of his overdose, he took a deadly combination of heroin and Xanax, a benzodiazepine medication used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. This medication is highly addictive and, some feel, often over-prescribed.

In South Africa the equivalent would be Alprozolam (Alzam) 

Kelly writes in the post "He laid for at least 7 hours or longer before he received medical attention due to no one calling 911, possibly in fear of suspected consequences. Medical personnel believe my son should have been dead long before he was able to get the medical attention he needed, but for some unknown reason he has stabilized."

Braydon suffered a stroke and he has experienced severe damage to the Hippocampus and Cerebellum parts of his brain.

On 17 March she wrote: "Today is a turning point for my son. Still a long journey ahead, but I'm well prepared to travel it! Brayden will be moved out of ICU and moving into intermediate care. He has been able to breathe on his own for 24 hours and his heart rate, oxygen, and blood pressure is stable. 

On 20 March the post had been shared some 330 639 times since it was posted on 12 March 2015.

Read it for yourself below and please share to help raise awareness not only for Brayden and Kelly, but for all teenagers and parents struggling with addiction. She also encourages everyone to share support group information.

Read more:

More young people are using heroin and like to mix it with other drugs
Younger South Africans are starting to use heroin  
Heroin has become the drug of choice for many young South Africans
Heroin: Two readers share their stories


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Healthy gut »

IBS – 4 symptoms that extend beyond your stomach

When you think of IBS, symptoms that come to mind include diarrhoea, constipation and gas. However, there are other symptoms that extend beyond your stomach.

Sex health »

Do you feel sad after sex? This is why and what you can do about it

A new study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy has revealed that 41% of the men surveyed had felt sad after sex in the previous four weeks.