Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Salvia Divinorum Appears in Teen Drug Treatment

This was just forwarded to me from a treatment center in CA. THIS IS HUGE!!! This is what I feared/suspected would happen all along. I can't say I'm surprised and, unfortunately, Brett may have been become one of these kids if Salvia hadn't taken him down long before now. How very sad this all is. Why is our country and the DEA so slow to react to these things?? Why can't we be more proactive instead of so reactive. Does another family have to lose their child before we wake up??

Friday, December 14, 2007

Salvia Divinorum Appears in Teen Drug Treatment

The use of Salvia Divinorum by teens entering teen drug treatment centers is becoming more common. Salvia Divinorum is a potent hallucinogen. Its effects on teen drug abusers have been compared to LSD. Salvia is a member of the sage family, and is a powerful psychoactive drug. Salvia can be chewed but is most commonly smoked as it produces a stronger effect. When smoked its effects last from five to ten minutes. "This shorter high is attractive to a teen that is trying to get high between classes or while in their bedroom..." Says a teen drug treatment client. This is a much shorter time span than other hallucinogens, but the effect has been described as having the same intensity. The effects of salvia range from a mild sense of wellbeing to a full on psychedelic trip that can cause a complete disconnection between the user and reality.The surprising fact about Salvia is that it is one hundred percent legal in every country except Australia. (NOT TRUE!) This includes all US states. (AGAIN, NO TRUE. ) Because Salvia is legal it is commonly sold in cigar shops, all natural stores, and over the Internet. Salvia is also fairly cheap.This makes Salvia extremely accessible to teenagers. Teenagers are able to walk into the smoke shop and purchase this strong psychedelic drug with no imposing consequences. Because of these factors Salvia is extremely appealing to teens that cannot legally buy alcohol or do drugs.While it is impossible to overdose on Salvia there are still many dangers involved in using the drug. Most teenagers smoke Salvia with marijuana making the act illegal. Salvia has also been known to cause depression post use. This was most highly publicized in the case of Brett Chidester, a 17-year-old student from Delaware, who reportedly killed himself after using Salvia. Although these risks do exist there has been no legislation passed to make Salvia illegal. (NOT TRUE). This makes a dangerous drug available to teenagers everywhere. It is expected that the cases of young people entering teen drug treatment will rise as long as this drug is so readily available to them.
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posted by Visions Adolescent Treatment Center @ 6:39 AM

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happier Christmas Times - Sadly Missed

"Goofy Brett' as he labeled this pic.

I found this picture on Brett's camera after he had passed on, along with tons of him and Lauren. No surprise there. This is again, just SO Brett, goofing. I love it. It always gives me a smile, no matter how down I am. Then I think "He'll be gone less than a month after he took this." Jan. 23, 2006 will forever be etched in my memory.


I know Brett would wish for everyone to take care of someone less fortunate this season. He believed so much in helping others. He never wanted his buddies to see that side of him but I saw it all the time. Shortly after he passed away I found this essay he wrote when he was 13. I don't remember it but it brought me to tears when I found it. It makes me so proud, even now, that he was so proud of me. I knew he loved me but to see this in writing, especially the last line "I'm just so glad I'm related to her." just blows me away every time I read it.
ONE THING I WILL SAY TO PARENTS EVERYWHERE: This essay shows that your children do watch exactly what you do, they do notice what you do for less fortunate, they do compare you to others. Will you come up short or will your child compare you to the Good Samaritan? Remember this, when you're complaining about not having enough time, when you're running here and there, pushing your kid's onto soccer, ballet, swim team, worrying about your next outfit, your next 4WD gas guzzler, your Starbucks $8 cup of coffee, some little boy or girl may be following your lead.
Here's my sweet Brett's essay in it's entirety:

"Although I know many people who resemble the Good Samaritan, I think my mother is the best of them all. She has helped so many people that it would be impossible to count them all. They range from every race, religion, or cultural background you could think of. Since it would be impossible to list all of her good deeds, I will list the ones that I think had the greatest influence on my life.

The greatest thing she has done lately is volunteering to teach cooking classes at a halfway house called Sojourners' Place. When I saw the looks on the peoples faces there after she had taught them how to cook, I could tell they were very grateful for the time she had taken to be with them. Last Christmas, she bought toys for the orphans at Our Lady of Grace home. The children were extremely happy when they saw their new gifts. She also regularly helps out and donates food, clothes and toys to the Ronald McDonald House. The Ronald McDonald House is a place where people can live while their children are being operated on at A.I DuPont Hospital. Another one of her many good deeds is volunteering at the Emmanuel Dining Room where she serves lunch to the homeless. Also, there is man in our neighborhood who is very elderly and uses a walker to get around. Since he uses a walker, it takes about 2 hours to go 1 mile. Whenever my mom sees him walking, she will always pick him up, no matter what her schedule or how late we are. He appreciates it so much. The deeds I have just listed are good deeds my mom does for less fortunate people.

Some other deeds she does are for people who are as fortunate as we are, but they just need some extra help. She has been a volunteer for the historic Chalfonte Hotel, built in 1874, in Cape May, NJ for over 20 years! She has stenciled over 50 rooms, free of charge. She spends 2 weekends a year donating her time to make the hotel a better place to visit. One of the most important things she has done is being an officer for the Wilmington Ski Club for over 7 years. Without pay, she runs ski trips out west and to Europe. She also does all the club's accounting. She always tells me that this was A LOT of work. She was a committee member for a 5K walk and she has also helped in the March of Dimes walk-a-thon 4 different years.

When my mom volunteers or helps out, I usually go with her. She thinks it is very important that I see how lucky I am. I watch the peoples' faces while she's helping them and after she has helped. Whether it's poor, homeless, or rich people, they always look extremely happy and grateful. I can never count how many times I hear "Thank you!" Whenever I see the people thanking her I get a feeling of happiness. I can tell they really like her and wish she would come back again. She usually does help them again, she doesn't know how to say no to people who need her help. My mom works full time and has 2 little part time jobs but she always finds the time to volunteer. In conclusion, I think my mom is the greatest person and she is the most like the Good Samaritan of all the people I know. And I'm just so glad I'm related to her.

Brett Chidester

... and his teacher wrote "Grade :A You have something to be proud of to have such a giving parent!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brett's Thanksgiving Wish "NO TURKEY ON YOUR TABLE!"

Brett became a vegetarian about a year before his death. The most carnivorious kid on the planet, one who could devour a million baby back ribs in one sitting, became a vegan pretty much overnite. All it took was the infamous "KFC video" sent to him by a friend to do it. He always wanted me to watch it but being a huge animal lover, as he was, I couldn't bring myself to do it. He assured me that anyone who watched it would never eat meat again.

Brett wasn't big on causes (as I am) but this is one that totally hit his heart. He never wavered and he never did eat meat again.

As Thanksgiving is upon us, and his place will sit empty at our family's table, I think he would love for me to tell everyone to watch this video, boycott KFC as we both did (and I still do), and think of the animals who suffer for us daily.

Another thought to ponder

Since Brett has passed away I've had many unbelievable experiences. Too many to write about here but they have made me believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he is watching over me, sending his love, and leading me on. I get led to some many different places, for no reason, and will find something that makes me wonder . Today I got a random email that led me to this quote:

"In each time you and I have decided where we will meet and in what circumstances we will bring opportunities for one another to have those beautiful growth experiences. We are truly what those in your realm consider to be soulmates. Two souls of very similar vibration—a frequency at which we both have a color and a sound that are similar. I wish to say to you that I am proud and happy at the many steps you have made forward in this incarnation. There are many things you have proven and many energies you have brought forth. I have stepped beside you. And at times I have been in front, encouraging you during those times you considered to be the darkest. Yes, my energy is familiar to you. I wish for you to remember, dear one, the beauty of your soul, the incredible light that can come into your heart. It is difficult to be that shining light when most around you desire only darkness. It is the true healer, the true sage, who remains sage amongst those who are not awake. Take heart and remain at courage.”

Where do these thoughts come from? Who knows but they certainly make me pause and think.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Brett was a whiz w/ Photoshop. Here's a self portrait he did of himself using it. I just think it's the coolest thing. People have said it reminds them of a CD cover. If Brett had of kept up with his drumming he could have probably cut an album some day. He was an excellent drummer and I never got tired of listening to him. Most parents hate the idea of drums but not me. One of my favorite things when he was younger (all the way thru grade 8) was to go watch him perform in the band concerts at school. I remember his band teacher telling me he was a "little prodigy". She said "You give Brett a sheet of music and BAM, he's done, got it all right, while the other kids are still trying to figure out where to start." Later he auditioned for the State Honors Band and made it! No surprise there. Whatever Brett set his mind to, he made it happen. No prodding from Mom or Dad to do something. He was the most self motivated kid ever. I always wondered how I got so lucky. I now wonder how I could be so unlucky to have lost him at such a young age, and for no good reason. I tell myself every single day that the 17 years he was here with us were the most incredible years of my life. I am so grateful and thankful that I could be with him for that short time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Brett's Favorite Holiday (after Christmas, of course!

Brett LOVED Halloween. He used to tell me it was his favorite holiday after Christmas. Here he is w/ cousin Alexis on his 2nd Halloween. He was a rabbit and he loved the costume I made for him except we both were a little upset we couldn't get the ears to stand up! I used to make all his costumes as I love to sew and he loved to wear them. Each year they got more elaborate until he got to be 8 or so and all he ever wanted to be was a ghost. So, it was the old, white sheet route after that. The absolute best times I've had were taking him trick or treating with his cousins.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Some Common Misconceptions

Brett's Dad and I have been asked several times about things that people who didn't know Brett have written on the internet. So, for the record, are some answers:
1. Brett did NOT keep a journal. He was too busy, and probably a bit too "macho" for that. He would definitely have thought that a little too effeminate for a real man to do. He did write random notes here and there, mostly in his Scheduler for school. Many of the notes were about Salvia. A ridiculous amount actually. He was a straight A student so I never had to check any of his work or ask him what he had for homework. Now I wish I had a reason to have looked in that Scheduler. All those references to Salvia definitely would have set off a red alarm for me.

2. Brett was NOT an alcoholic, wasn't on Prozac, wasn't on Accutane, didn't do other drugs. I know he had tried pot a few times but I believed that was normal for a senior in HS. I wasn't happy about it at all, but it really is a right of passage. I feel Salvia is far more dangerous than pot will ever be. Also, Brett was drug tested where he worked part time, as part of his employment requirements. He had 2 drug tests in 6 mos. and they were negative for all drugs. He was employed there when he died. His posthumous drug test showed no drugs, which isn't surprising since Salvia metabolizes within 15 mins. Thanks to Brett's posthumous drug sample, our medical examiner is the first in the country to develop a drug test for Salvia.

3. Brett was never treated for depression. He was actually never treated for anything. He was as healthy as a horse, since the day he was born! A few years in school he almost made perfect attendance because he was just never sick. Our whole family is like that, both his dad's and mine. And, no, there is no history of depression on either side of his family. And, no, he wasn't upset because he came from a divorced family. Actually he quite enjoyed it. He used to tell me how lucky he was, that he had 2 houses, 2 Christmas', 2 Easter's, 2 birthday's, and that he was an only child and that he liked getting all our attention. People were always amazed that the 3 of us would vacation together at the beach a couple of times each summer. Even tho Dennis and I were divorced we had a great relationship and it showed. We were meant to be friends and it worked out pretty wonderful for all of us. Brett was loved beyond belief and he knew it. That's the part that makes me happy every day, that Brett knew how much we loved him and worshiped the ground he walked on. He wrote about our love for him, and his love for us, in his last note to us. I will cherish it always.

More Great Pix of Brett

I love this pic of Brett. How handsome he was, with a beautiful heart, that came shining thru. He was so good looking, yet so humble. I remember saying to him one time, "How does it feel when I drop you off at school and all the kids come running, yelling "Brett's here, Brett's here!" He said "It feels pretty darn good!" Here he is teasing cousin Danielle in the phone booth in England. Poor girl, just trying to make a phone call home to mom and he's tap, tap, tapping on the booth the whole time and getting a huge kick out of it. I see this picture and I always think the same thing "That is SO Brett!" And, of course, I was as bad as he was. I always laughed at his jokes and egged him on. I thought he was hilarious. I miss his wonderul, quirky, right on sense of humor. I will never laugh like that again, ever.
Here's Danielle and Brett waiting for the plane. Danielle is the real heroine of the whole Salvia story. Without her coming to her mom and telling her that Brett was smoking Salvia we would never have been able to piece the story of his death together. I guess we would have figured it out eventually, with all his Salvia notes, and the many times we found Salvia and the police finding Salvia near him when he died. But she sped up the process and allowed me to have a dialog with Brett and what he felt about Salvia. I will always regret that I gave Brett too much credit for being so levelheaded and mature. I thought he would know enough to stop this garbage that would eventually lead to his downfall. When someone never makes you doubt them for a second, why would you start? When they came home every day, sober and together, why would you think something had taken ahold of them? This drug is so insidious. He is the first to be identified with it, but I'm sure he's probably not really the first, and definitely won't be the last. We were just lucky, we were able to put the puzzle pieces together. How many other families didn't have the information we did.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Brett's favorite place to be - LONDON

This was Brett's final trip abroad. His favorite cousin, Danielle accompanied us to visit his other English cousins. We had an incredible time and I was so glad the hounding by Brett and Danielle was finally over. No more "Please, please, please take us to England!" Never in my wildest dreams, or should I say nightmares, would I believe that my boy would be gone just 7 mos. later. Soon after this is when I got the call telling me he was smoking Salvia. Only 7 mos. to take one of the strongest people I've ever met down. Unfathomable to me.

Brett called this "Looking toward the future"

To Salvia Users

Just in case you're inclined-don't bother posting comments. I won't read them!! This blog is for those who loved and knew Brett, not the "posers" as Brett would call you, the ones who never had any contact with him or the ones who say "Oh, yeah, I worked with him, or I went to school with him, or I saw him walking down the street one day, etc, etc." Brett was so straight up, so darn forthright, so "tell it like it is". He'd hate the lies that have been written by him. Don't post anymore here. This blog is about TRUTH.

True Tales - The Life of Brett Chidester

Much has been made of the death of my beloved son, Brett Michael Chidester. I thought it about time that the world learn about his life. His real life, not the life that people who have never met him have invented on the internet. I made a pact with myself, after his sensationalized death, that I would try very hard never to read any of the postings on the net about him. I've been pretty darn good about it, but over time I've had well meaning friends ask me or tell me about certain things they've read. I don't stress over it because Brett's family, his friends and schoolmates, my friends, his dad's friends, knew the real Brett and knew what he was about. He was an inquisitive, fun loving, devoted son who made every day an adventure. The words "I'm bored" never emanated from his mouth, ever. He had the ability to turn the most mundane task into an adventure. His crazy sense of humor, his guileless wit, his love of laughter and life, will never, ever be forgotten by any of us. His was, and always will be, unforgettable.

This is my first blog, and believe me, Brett would be proud. He always tried to get me to come into the 21st century, kicking and screaming. So, this one's for you, Brett. I'm not a writer but I hope I can do you proud, my sweet, "stolen angel", taken from us who loved you much too early.

My hope and desire is to provide a place with pictures and videos of Brett, my recollections of his life and death, some of his writings, and for all to come to know the young man that touched and changed our lives irrevocably.