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Terri Brown

Riding her Harley through America’s national parks, Brown feels a calmness that eluded her traumatic youth. “I love nature, it helps ground me,” says the prominent South Dakota recovery advocate. Beaten and molested as a child, in a family where her adoptive mother was a binge drinker, Brown buried her pain with marijuana, cocaine and alcohol. “The sexual trauma was never discussed, the beatings were never talked about,” she says. “The drinking and drugging was a result of my trauma. Today, I know that to be true.” Growing up as a young gay person in the 1960s and 70s, Brown says her sexuality played a role in her addiction also. While incarcerated for multiple DUI convictions, Brown had a spiritual awakening that led to her recovery. She learned to embrace a new way of living and fill the hole in her heart with spirituality, serenity and peace. That was 19 years ago. Today, Brown is a recovery champion, serving on the Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals, and helping others get well as Lead Recovery Coach for the nonprofit Face It Together in Sioux Falls, S.D.

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