“I couldn’t speak.” – An overdose survivor shares her journey to recovery

Taisa Brumagen started using drugs when she was 14. Now five years sober, she shares her overdose story, her road to recovery, and how she wants to use her story to help others.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Taisa Brumagen says she lost control of almost all of her senses the first time she overdosed.

“I remember it as like, kind of just like I laid down, like, I went to sleep, and I could hear, the only sense that I could use was my hearing, I couldn’t lift my arms up, I couldn’t speak,” she said.

“I could just hear what was going on around me. I don’t remember much more of it than waking up, you know, at the hospital, and then they did a panel and for me, I had opioids in my system, and then I had overdosed.”

As a girl, Taisa struggled with not having her father around. She says she witnessed substance abuse and domestic abuse in her home. At 13, she was a victim of sexual assault.

Taisa says she began using drugs a year later to cope with that childhood trauma. Her drug of choice was meth.

“It was my escape and it felt good at the time, and that I didn’t have to, you know, confront my trauma or my problems or my feelings head-on,” she said.

Taisa says the opioid that triggered her overdose was oxymorphone. For some, an overdose might be a wake-up call, but Taisa continued to use.

“I didn’t care what happened to me, because if I survived that [overdose],  I was going to survive another one, and it would be alright,” she said.

No matter what happened, nothing seemed to compel Taisa to stop using drugs.

“I went to jail like five or six times in a span of six months, and I got out and I did the same thing, so that wasn’t enough for me,” she said.

“I had a CPS case and my kids were taken and that wasn’t enough for me. My kids were in foster care, that wasn’t enough for me. I actually overdosed twice. That wasn’t enough for me.”

Then one day, Taisa had a sudden realization: she had had enough.

“I remember my last arrest and I went to jail and I was just tired,” she said. “I was done. Like, I was just so defeated. There’s many times where I should have been dead. You know what I’m saying? And like, I’ve survived.”

Taisa says she’s been sober for five years. She says the best thing that people who are witnessing loved ones struggle with addiction is to express love and care for them.

“You know, the times when I went to treatment, and I went to jail, the people who picked up the phone for me and told me that they still loved me was really important,” she said.


Categories: Nebraska News, News