Grieving Out Loud with Angela Kennecke

Brandon Novak’s Story: from fame to homelessness to helping others find recovery

Originally released August 16, 2020

Brandon Novak was a world-famous champion skateboarder. However, he was also in his first treatment center for addiction to heroin at age 17. Brandon went on to co-star in TV and movies in the MTV Jackass and Viva La BAM series. To his numerous fans, he seemed to have it all. He was getting paid to skate and hang out with his friends, but Brandon Novak’s life was crumbling into several pieces off-screen. At age 35, after several years of being an addict, the once-rising celebrity burned out and ultimately hit rock bottom. He was now homeless, begging for money on the streets of Baltimore and living under a bridge. Brandon went to his thirteenth rehab for help with nothing left to lose. More than four years later, Brandon Novak is sober, living in Philadelphia, and has turned his life around. 

Brandon and Angela Kennecke met at the 2019 DEA 360 Los Angeles Opioid Awareness Youth Summit, where they spoke to 5,000 high school students, telling their individual stories. Along with speaking out about his addiction and recovery journey, Brandon has become a recovery advocate for Banyan Treatment Centers. He works with them to show others that recovery is possible and it is never too late. He has also become a Certified Intervention Professional to help people struggling to get their addicted loved ones into treatment.

Brandon is the author of the best-selling memoir Dreamseller: An Addiction Memoir. The book provides insight for addicts’ families and loved ones and serves as a cautionary tale for our youth. He has also written two other books, The Brandon Novak Chronicles and The Streets of Baltimore.

You can contact Brandon for help by calling: 610-624-6719.