My name is Brandon Arrastia, i am 24 years old born and raised in Miami Florida. Not quite the mountaineering state but since I was a child Ive had a passion for the outdoors. Whether it was open water fishing, hiking in the swamps of the everglades or skydiving, I was always out. A few years ago I took an interest in mountaineering being that it was so different than anything I ever knew. The whole expereience from being submerged in the wilderness, to the physical conditioning involved, all the way to the team work and camaraderie that is created up in the mountains seemed like everything I can ever want. So I took to it and thats where my journey began.
Fast forward to late 2017, I had just arrived from summiting Rainier via the Kautz route. At my grandfathers funeral, I sit down with my younger cousin to tell him I'm planning a winter climb on Mt. Shasta via Casaval Ridge. He gets very excited, lets me know he'd love to come along and starts joining me on weekend bike rides. A month after that he stops taking my calls, stops answering my texts and doesn't show up to ride bike anymore. Three weeks later on December 3rd 2017 my uncle finds him overdosed in his room, by this time he was gone and there was no reviving him. That sunday afternoon I received a call that shook me to my core and left my family in tears, drug addiction took him away from us.
From that moment forward, deep down inside me I knew I wanted to do something in his name that can bring a change to this drug epidemic that is destroying lives nation wide. I decided to partner up with the HERO Foundation and use each one of my climbs moving forward to raise awareness and donations for this cause. I will be blogging all of my climbs and using social media marketing to reach as many people possible. This turned from living my passion to giving my passion a purpose and making every step i take on those mountains that much more meaningful. Its not just about me reaching the summit anymore, its also about contributing to the fight against opioids so that another family doesn't get that call saying their loved one has passed because of addiction.
More than 150 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids every day.
every 8 minutes a person dies from opioid addiction.
heroin use has more than doubled amoung young adults over the past decade.
45% of heroin users where also addicted to prescription opioids.
since 2010 opioid overdose death rates have more than quadrupled.
An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.
About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids.
Drug overdose deaths, once rare, are now the leading cause of accidental death in the US.
I have partnered with HERO Foundation to raise awareness and donations for the opioid epidemic. The HERO Foundation is a non profit organization, all members of the board are volunteers and 100% of the money raised goes directly into the following activities:
Providing grief counseling and support services to individuals and families who have lost a loved one.
Providing family counseling and support services to individuals and families who have a loved one who has a substance use disorder.
Providing public education on opioid use.
Advocacy for public policy directed at treating this as a public health issue and reducing overdose deaths.
(Please note: 100% of the donations will be used towards the fight on the opioid crisis, all my climbing expeditions are self funded out of my own pocket.)
Click below to donate(on the donation form please leave a comment indicated you have donated through the brandon climbs website)