Ethics Counsel on

Work/Life Balance

What's Your Fate

By Jim Priest and Reggie Whitten

Reviewed by Melissa DeLacerda

Oklahoma attorney Reggie Whitten suffered the loss of his 25-year-old son in a motorcycle accident that was fueled by valium and alcohol abuse. Brandon Whitten had been fighting drug and alcohol abuse for a number of years at that point. 

What’s Your Fate? is one of the many positive results of Brandon Whitten’s death. Reggie Whitten and his best friend, attorney Jim Priest, have created an educational program FATE: Fighting Addiction Through Education. What’s Your Fate? is part of the ongoing educational process created by Mr. Whitten and Mr. Priest to try to stop young people from starting to use drugs and alcohol. 

The book starts with the story of Brandon Whitten’s death and the aftermath to his loved ones. It also includes testimonials by Oklahoma athletes who have made good decisions with regard to drug and alcohol use. The volume also contains testimonials from other Oklahomans who relate how substance abuse has impacted their lives. 

The book is easy to read and alternates between touching stories about the results of alcohol and drug abuse and education about how alcohol and drugs impact a person physically and mentally — and detrimentally affect human performance. The volume will speak especially to young men, as the majority of the athletes who have contributed their stories are male athletes, well-known to Oklahomans. 

FATE is a nonprofit organization with the mission to educate the public on substance abuse and addiction issues in Oklahoma. It also strives to motivate individuals and groups to work to significantly reduce the incidence of substance abuse in the state. A special focus of FATE is preventing substance abuse among young people. It is dedicated to changing the culture of substance abuse by telling true stories of successes and failures. More information about FATE can be obtained at 

What’s Your Fate? should be read by all parents who suspect drug or alcohol abuse in their children and should be required reading for every adolescent in Oklahoma. 

Ms. DeLacerda practices in Stillwater and serves as chair of the Oklahoma Bar Journal Board of Editors.

Originally published in OBJ 2013 Vol. 84 No. 29