|Henry Raines, DDS||Ashley||Jennifer||M||Dee||Tonia||Mary|
Henry Raines, DDS
“Henry A. Raines, D.D.S.” wrote:
Dear Mr. Hambrick,
I had the opportunity to read your web site on meth today, mentioned in Paulding.com and wanted to compliment the effort you have put into it.
I would like to comment that as a practicing dentist, it is easy for me to tell who is using, or has used, methamphetamine. The drug causes a very dry mouth, so that food sticks to the teeth. That, and the absence of brushing causes a characteristic pattern of decay – carries at the gum line, all the way around the teeth. Treating this problem in a user or former user is very expensive for them, usually requiring crowns on the affected teeth, something they usually can’t afford.
Dentists have a nickname for this condition called “Meth Mouth”. After looking in a mouth for two seconds, I lean back in my chair and wonder how I am going to help this person. Should I ask them if they are using drugs, or did? Can they afford the treatment? This is a very difficult problem for dentists.
I work as carefully as I can telling people that drugs are just about the worst thing you can do in life, and I appreciate the web-site as a resource for these misguided people.
Keep up the good work, have an awesome day!
Regards, Henry A. Raines, DDS
My name is Ashley and I’m 18 years old! Growing up I was a pretty good kid! When I was in 9th grade, a freshman @ a Douglasville High School, I played varsity softball and made decent grades! I hung out with the right people, had good friends and didn’t do anything I wasn’t supposed to! I was scared to do anything wrong because I didn’t want to get in trouble!
Shortly after that, I started hanging out with the wrong people! I started skipping school and drinking! I smoked pot once but didn’t like it and haven’t done it since! I lost all those good friends I had and the only people that would talk to me since I’ve started drinking a lot were the people I was drinking and skipping school with! I starting dating one of these bad people and I then, started sneaking out of my house @ night on the weekends to go to parties and to get drunk! After about a month of that I started drinking at least 4 times a week. ((weekdays too)) that’s when I stopped being scared to get in trouble and getting in a lot of trouble!
I was 16 at the time and one day in February of 2004; I decided I was going to run away! It wasn’t because I had it bad or I got in a fight with my parents or anything like that, it was just that I wanted to do what I wanted and I couldn’t do that @ home so I left to go do whatever, whenever I wanted! I ended up staying with some guy out in Mableton! I was only gone for a week and I was drunk every night that week! The first time I ever tried meth was that week but I was really drunk when I tried it so it didn’t do anything to me so I didn’t like it! Well I ended up getting caught and I got arrested and spent the weekend in jail ((ydc)) and then went home!
Even though I had just went through all that, I got out of jail and kept doing the same things!! I was at my probation officer’s office at least once a week every week! I ended up skipping a week of school which was the week before spring break! I went to Florida for spring break and got pretty drunk down there a few nights! The day we came back to school I didn’t go that day and my parents and probation officer found out about all the days I missed and I got sent to jail again for being unruly! I was there for 2 and a half weeks!
Well I got out and still kept doing the same things, drinking and skipping school! But this time, I hid it more and no one knew!! Like, my parents and my p.o thought I was doing real good and was staying out of trouble but I was really doing the same things, I just wasn’t getting caught! That summer I got a whole new group of friends! They were still the wrong people though! One guy was my best friend and his friend was my boyfriend!! There was about 7 other people we hung out with everyday and actually a few of them didn’t drink, smoke cigarettes or anything but we didn’t hangout with them when we did drink!! I was still drinking with them and sneaking out with them and everything!
At the end of the summer, April of 2004, me, and some friends snuck out and went to the pool in a local neighborhood and got drunk! The police came and we all got arrested! When they called my mom, she told the police that it wasn’t me because I was sleeping in my bed! She didn’t believe them because she thought I was doing so good! I got to go home that night and I wasn’t allowed to hang out with those people anymore!
2 weeks after that I started night school! ((It was my 11th grade year)) my first day at night school I meet this guy and I thought he was just the cutest thing ever! Well we starting hang out and he did a lot of dope ((meth)) and so I started doing it with him! Me and him hung out everyday before and after school and every time we hung out, we did dope so I was doing it a lot when I first starting doing it! My parents didn’t notice it at all!! I ran around my house tweaked out everyday and they didn’t think anything of it! I still hadn’t went to court about the whole drinking thing yet and I knew I was going back to jail and I had it in my head that I was going to run but I wasn’t going to do it until a day or 2 before court!
2 weeks into school, I got real drunk one Friday night and forgot to go home! When my mom realized I hadn’t been home, I called my friend and he came to pick me up! I passed out in his bed and my dad some how found out where I was and he came and got me! They knew I was drunk and I got yelled at pretty bad that night ((enough to sober me up)) so right after my parents went to bed that night, I got my friend to come pick me back up! I stayed gone that whole rest of the weekend! I actually got arrested again and I went to the sheriff station and my parents got to come pick me up and that when I went home!
I was grounded that week but I didn’t care because I was still doing dope with my friend after school and he’d front me some every night and I’d go home and sit in my room and do it so being grounded didn’t bother me anymore!
I was actually working at the mall at this time and that Friday I went to work and didn’t come home for 3 and a half months after that! That’s when I decided I was going to run! I stayed with some people in Fayettville for about a week and half! No one there did meth and it started pissing me off because I couldn’t get any so I came back to Douglasville and went straight to my friend’s house because I knew the minute I got there, I’d get geeked up!
I stayed with my friend for about 2 weeks and then I went and stayed with some people in an apartment complex on Fairburn Road because my parents and the police were going to my friends looking for me so I went somewhere else for a while!! While I was in the apartment complex my friend would still come over there and deliver to me so I was still getting high! He came to get me one night and we went to his friend’s house! These people were shot out real bad and I went there 2 nights in a row for about 4 hours each night and all I did was smoke dope! I loved it at the time but now that I think about it, they were really bad- it was horrible!
I met my friend’s best friend over at this house! I hated him at first, I thought he was the lamest person and all I did was make fun of him! Well the second night I went over there I hung out with him a little bit and started to like him a little bit! So we talked on the phone and stuff after that night!
I got drunk one night and told my friend that I hope he got hit by a bus and died!! I didn’t mean that, it was alcohol talking but he didn’t care and after that we were no longer friends or anything anymore!! So then I started going to hang out with this other guy that I had met and doing dope with him instead! This guy ended up asking me if I’d stay with him so I went back to the apartments, packed up my stuff and moved in with him at a weekly hotel.
We stayed there for 3 and a half months! This guy was a pretty big dope dealer so it was scary living there but it was also what I thought was heaven! All I did for 3 months straight was smoke dope, clean and go grocery shopping for some people that weren’t even ever hungry! I loved it at the time!! Doing dope was almost the only thing I had to do there! It was like, never ending dope and never ending money! We spent 1,000 dollars a day on meth! I was so bad on it when I was living there, that I would stay up for weeks at a time without sleeping or eating! I was in a really bad situation but I thought it was great and that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life I thought! I was going with people to get meth for this guy and I was going to this guy to sell it, I was dealing it all over Georgia and I thought it was just wonderful!! But it wasn’t, it was killing me!
This new guy was on the run too but for a different reason and it was so bad and serious, what we were doing that we had other people’s name in our cell phone, our room and everything! We had to be so careful about everything we did and everyone we spoke to! That part sucked! After a while, people starting calling me instead of this guy and so there at the end, me and this guy were partners selling to people! It wasn’t just him anymore! I was doing it, too! I took showers everyday but I didn’t take care of myself and I thought I was beautiful when really I literally looked like I was dying! I mean, if you don’t eat or sleep for weeks, you’re not going to look good! On November 17, 2004 at 10 am the police came busting in our door at the weekly hotel I was in and me and my friend were arrested! We were actually sleeping when they got there so we had stuff laying everywhere! There were meth pipes on the floor and table, blow torches, scales, baggies, we had 4 ounces in a box and just everything you could think of that a dope head would have there for meth!
I was so messed up from doing meth that they sent this lady to come talk to me but she couldn’t and actually yelled at me because I couldn’t finish a sentence. Nothing that came out of my mouth made sense and I just mumbled or stopped in mid sentence thinking I finished it but really I didn’t! It was horrible! When they weighed me, I was 70 pounds which is 35 pounds less then I am now! When I failed my drug test, my probation officer told that I had more meth in my system then he’s ever seen in his life!! To fail a drug test, you have to have 300ml in your system; I had 35,000ml of meth in my body! They said I was very lucky that I’m alive, which scares me real bad because if I would have kept doing dope like I was; I would be dead right now! I don’t want to be dead! The police told me I looked like a “dope whore” because I was so strung out! That don’t feel good at all the hear someone tell you that you look that bad! It sucks! But that’s what meth will do to you!
Well, I went to jail ((ydc)) for 30 days and then in December of 2004 I went to Nelson Price Treatment Center for 9 months inpatient! That wasn’t fun at all! I hated that place! When I first got there, I was a crazy person and all I did was get in trouble! I didn’t want to be clean and I let everyone know that! Usually people get to go home on weekends after 3 months of being there, I didn’t go home for 6 months! I even graduated 2 months after I was supposed to! I did not do very good the first 5 months I was there!
When I got out and came home ((September 9, 2005)) I still didn’t want to be clean! Rehab won’t help unless the people actually want to be clean because drug addicts will do what they want regardless! I stayed clean for about a month and then got back on meth! My plan was to do it for about a week and then not do it again for about 2 or 3 weeks, that way I wouldn’t get shoot out again! It worked for a while, I’d stop 3 days before a drug test and when I got to skinny and weird looking, I’d stop but after a while that didn’t work anymore and I just keep going!
I actually almost got shot this last time around! I snuck out with my older brother and I hooked them up with some people I knew ((actually it was that same guy from before and some other pretty serious people)) and my brother had said he was going to get a half ounce so I was thinking he had the money! So we went to meet them and my brother and this other guy ends up robbing the dealer of a half ounce! I had no idea what was going on and I didn’t know they were going to do that! We left and I was freaking out pretty bad because I didn’t know what was going on! Well, I went back home and I did not talk to my brother for about 2 weeks and I don’t know where he is since then.
They came for me because they know me real well and I’m the one that hooked that whole thing up! I had people posted up in front of my house, people calling and threatening me and I was really scared! It all stopped for about a week! Well, since being out of rehab, I was still running around to dope dealers in hotels and still not paying for it but I wasn’t sleeping with people for it or anything! I just hung out with people and did their dope! It was pretty easy! I was at weekly hotel when I saw the guy we robbed there! It scared me at first because he was one of the people threatening me but he was being nice and I guess didn’t care anymore! But a girl that was with him that night was there that day to and when she saw that I was there, she got mad and put a gun to my head and ask me again what happened! I told her and then she told me that she wasn’t going to shoot me and she knows I didn’t know that my brother was going to do that but she was just trying to scare me and she did! I thought I was going to die! People were telling me, I was starting to be mean again and I starting getting right back like I was when I was with the last guy, I didn’t care about anything or anyone, I almost lost the boyfriend I am with now and have been with for 6 months, I’ve been having to hide it from him because he hates meth, but I stopping caring enough to hide it, I almost lost the relationship I have with my family again and I almost lost everything again!
The rehab I was in called me and asked me if I’d come talk to the kids there and I did! But I went up there tweaked out of my mind, telling them about not doing drugs! It was a horrible day! But that’s the day I starting noticing what I was doing and it was like a light when on in my head and I didn’t want to be doing the things I was! I was back down to about 85 pounds and I was losing everything once again! All for meth! I knew I needed some kind of help but I was scared to go to someone and say “I’m doing meth again” so I didn’t know what to do but I did know that I wanted to stop for good this time! So I knew I had a drug test coming up so I didn’t clean out my system or anything! I failed it and I just let it happened! A couple days before I had the drug test, I had already called an out-patient rehab and talked to them and had some stuff set up for me to go there! Because I knew I wanted and needed rehab again! So I failed the drug test and now I’m in Tanner Monday-Friday! 9am-2pm!! I’m glad I’m there and I’m not glad that I’ve been through all the stuff I have! Meth is nothing good! It seems like it when you’re on it but when your whole life starts falling apart, that doesn’t feel good at all, it sucks! Meth has messed up my life a lot of times and you can’t win when you’re doing it. Being clean sucks sometimes and you’re going to miss it but I feel a lot better and life is 100 times better!
I am a twenty-six-year-old, single, white female, with nothing more than a High School education. I came from a family that did not use drugs or alcohol. I started using drugs at the age of 14 years old. My parents were unaware at the time of my problem. I was unaware as well that I had a problem. I didn’t have many friends and was a generally quiet child. I felt unaccepted by other kids my age. I felt unloved and unlovable. When I started trying different drugs I found that a lot of other kids my age were using as well and I had a feeling of acceptance with them. I felt that I finally fit in, I finally had friends.
I smoked marijuana, took different pills, and drank a lot of alcohol. The drugs and alcohol seemed to make me feel better about myself. I was able to talk freely without feeling afraid of people. I felt that life had dealt me a bad hand and drugs made me forget or just not care.
At the age of seventeen I was introduced to methamphetamine, (crank or speed). I didn’t know what it was. I recall friends I hung around with telling me I’d like it. It would make me feel good. I tried it and it was all they said it was. I felt I could handle any task. I was on top of the world. I would stay up for a few days without sleeping or eating, feeling like nothing or no one could change the good feeling I had about myself. It gave me a kind of euphoric feeling, a warm and more personable feeling. Drugs now took first place in my life. Nothing else mattered anymore.
This feeling went on for several months. I had been diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 13 following a 4-wheeler accident I had. Little did I know the speed I was doing would cause my system to react in a bad way. I began having grand mal seizures as a result of lack of sleep and eating. I went to see my neurologist and told him what was happening. He told me I was killing myself and if I continued to use methamphetamine he would refuse to care for me any longer. His words then were “I will not be responsible for your death.” His words were scary enough to make me go home and stop using speed, for a while.
I continued with the marijuana, alcohol and pills. When I was around crank I would still use it. I kept my doctors words in the back of my mind. I didn’t do it on a daily basis again until I turned 20. By this time I had married a guy who was heavily into all drugs and had no job and no way of providing for himself, me or his daughter. He sold drugs to buy more drugs and would do a side job here and there to buy groceries. My mother paid most of our bills. It never bothered me enough to make me want or even see a reason to stop.
My mother helped me acquire a business license and a local music store. I had worked there previously and took a big interest in guitars and such. The owner got ready to sell and he offered it to me first. Needless to say I lost the store due to poor management. I spent most of the profit on more dope. We even sold drugs out of the store.
We took trips to Atlanta with friends to pick up dope and bring back to our county. The money was good and the crank was plentiful. The consequences of getting caught by the cops never entered my mind. Looking back I realize that the others in the car would not have claimed the dope. I was the driver and the owner of the car. The police didn’t catch us but doing drugs every day was catching up with me.
I filed for divorce thinking I could get away from speed and our drug using friends. When I went to the divorce hearing I was told by the judge that my husband was a bigamist, my marriage was invalid and the adoption of my daughter was void. I was devastated. I had lost her forever and now saw no reason to try to get straight.
The day they took her I sat at home alone. I found my husband’s bag of syringes and began firing dope. I sat at my kitchen table feeling kind of like I was on another planet. This became the only way I would use. I quit smoking marijuana, doing any pills or alcohol. I lived now only for methamphetamine.
The next year was quite a blur. I lost my home and all my materials. That good feeling Meth gave me when I first tried it was gone. I felt so bad now. I would do anything to get more dope and try to get that feeling back. I stole from people and stores. I sold everything I had of any value just to get high. I had sex with people who gave me Meth.
I never got the good feeling back. I went into a state of depression that I couldn’t seem to break free from. I tried to commit suicide by overdosing. I guess the Lord wasn’t ready for me to leave this earth. I often wondered why. I never thought I’d get clean enough to help other people with the same problem as mine.
I was sharing needles with other people. I would let other people fix my shot for me. On one occasion I let a man I knew fix my needle for me. I did the shot and woke up about twelve hours later naked in a place I’d never been before. All he would say is “I didn’t do anything you didn’t want me to do.” I knew I had been raped. I also knew I put myself in the position for this to happen to me.
During this time a few people I had been involved with were diagnosed with Hepatitis C. After getting clean I got tested. The Lord saw fit to spare me one more time. I am negative for disease but the thought of knowing how close to it I was still scares me today.
I started seeing myself in the mirror more clearly. I could see I was dying. I knew I had to quit. I tried several times to quit but my system now seemed to need Meth. I would stop for a few days, sleep and eat. I would feel stronger so I’d go try to hang out with my using friends but it never worked. I couldn’t stop.
The day I finally stopped I recall being upset at myself and everyone around me. I was driving down the road in my car when I felt like a heavy burden had been placed on my shoulders. I knew it was God’s way of showing me it was time to change. I went home and stayed, refusing all my friends calls and visits. I had the worst nightmares of my life. I began having four and five seizures a month. It took about eight or nine months for the seizures to stop. The nightmares still continue to this day. They’re not quite as intense as before, but they say time will heal me. Nothing is bad enough to make me want to go back now.
I had some criminal charges facing me and the judge let me off easy. He gave me probation and fines. My probation officer would help me as long as I continued to help myself. He ordered me to attend drug counseling which ended up being the best thing that ever happened. My counselor was an ex-addict and he knew both sides of the road.
I got into the NA program. Working the twelve steps helped me tremendously. I now have control of my life. I work a full time job and in my spare time I attend anti-drug programs where I am sometimes able to share my experiences and help others. Life is still not easy. I know it will never be. I am still fighting to let my past go. It seems hard for me to have good, healthy relationships with people. Sometimes when they hear my past they run away. I understand why but I live my life knowing I have accomplished a great deal already. The rest will happen in time. As long as I stay positive and surround myself with positive people I can do anything I want to do in this life.
My way of giving back is to share this, my story, with others. I have learned that our most painful experiences offer us opportunities to grow.
If I can do it, anyone can. I will forever hold close to my heart the valuable lessons I have learned. I am forever thankful that the Lord gave me a second chance.
Jennifer Brady, GA
Jennifer’s Mother’s Story
I am but one of many mothers who have struggled with the nightmare of seeing their child addicted to Methamphetamine. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It is, without a doubt, the worst experience of my life, and the most trying. My daughter, thank God, has survived and gone on to try to help others who are suffering. It is only through the grace of God that she did survive. Many, many prayers were said on her behalf. He heard, and He saw fit to restore her to good health. Perhaps He had a bigger plan for her life. I thank Him every day for bringing my daughter back.
When Jennifer’s problem first began, she hid it from me. Apparently, it had gone on for some time before I realized her problem. She was an adult, and even though I have always loved her more than my own life, I tried not to dominate her. I had made that mistake when she was a child. It wasn’t because I wanted to run her life. Rather, it was because I wanted to protect her from the bad things in life. I, myself, had suffered greatly in my youth, and my maternal side compelled me to try to shield her. I realize now that too much unconditional love can have its pitfalls, just as lack of love or immature parenting can.
She had gone thru tremendous emotional pain, and when she “disappeared” I felt that she just wanted time alone. I tried to respect her privacy. However, bad things were happening with her. As with all Meth addicts, she did not see it as a problem. It became her way of life. She went from a striking beauty to an almost skeletal creature that rarely slept or ate. Her “friends” and constant companions were people I could never understand her attraction too. Most of them were dirty looking; unkempt people who had no home, and seemed to live off of others. They struck me as “users”, though I didn’t quite apply that term correctly at the time. I could not believe she preferred their company to the comfort of her own home.
I had been told by a few people that she was developing quite a bad drug problem. I was told that she was “shooting up” and I confronted her with it. She actually admitted it to me. She claimed the needle was the safest way to use the drug. She said she was addicted and didn’t know if she could quit. She cried a few times and told me she wanted to quit. I knew in my heart she was telling the truth. But an even bigger truth was the fact that Meth had her in its grasp. She was highly dependent on the drug. I begged her to accept help through counseling, but she rejected. I begged her to come home. There were times when we cried together. A few times, she let me hug her while we both cried. I begged her to let me help her. Her heart said yes, but the addiction kept pulling her back.
Our close emotional bond had been there since she was born. However, she forgot about even that during this time. I didn’t, and there were many nights when I would awaken and sit straight up, seeing her face right in front of me. I knew something was terribly wrong with her. I had no idea where she was. I would start praying as I climbed into my auto and began my midnight search. My prayer was always, “Father, please spare her life, please let her live, please bring her home.” I would drive and look, though most of the time, I was blinded by tears. And, most of the time, my search was fruitless. She did not want to be found. I would drive and hunt for hours, and when I finally gave up the search, I would go on to work and try not to think. Always, in the back of my mind, was my constant prayer, “Father, please…”
One night I had rode and looked, and did actually spot her car, hidden behind a house I was not familiar with. At 2 a.m., I was trespassing on somebody’s property. I drove as close as I could get to her car, then walked up and opened the passenger door. In my mind, again, was “Father, please…”
She was slumped behind the wheel and did not realize my presence. I sat down in the car and reached for her wrist to check for a pulse. I held my fingers under her nose to feel for warm breath. Thank God, she was alive. I sat there with her, and cried my heart out. I asked God why this happening to her was. I told God I loved her dearly, and I begged Him again to spare her. I told God I did not understand Meth or how it had taken control over her. I prayed for knowledge and understanding. I wanted to be able to help her. I knew if I lost her, it would be the end of me as well. There would be no reason to go on.
This went on for some time, and I kept most of my pain inside, except when it spilled over out of my eyes. There were few people I could actually talk to about it. I knew others were suffering the same as we were, but it seemed nobody wanted to talk about it. The subject of Meth was taboo. When I would hear of someone dying because of Meth, I would cry for days. I knew someone’s heart was broken. There was a void that would never be filled in their life. And why? Because of Methamphetamine. Such a popular and deadly drug. Why were so many falling victim to it? What was the appeal? What was the answer?
The turning point came when she visited me at work one day. I had called one of her “buds” and told them if I didn’t see her face or hear her voice by sundown, I would be filing a missing person’s report and have a lookout posted on her car. She showed up a few hours later, angry and belligerent. She told me it was her life and I needed to leave her alone and forget about her. I looked deeply into her eyes, and I could see the chemicals. I also saw a demon, glaring at me, gloating and telling me “I’ve got her, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Then and there, I realized the creature in front of me was not my daughter anymore. She left in a huff, but I had seen the situation for what it really was. Satan had my daughter. This was war, spiritual warfare, and Satan knew he could hurt me most by taking her from me. I thought, “If you want war, old boy, I’ll give you war.” I knew I finally had the knowledge I had prayed for. God had heard my prayers. He had opened my eyes to the truth. Now, I knew how to fight this fight. I sat down and made a list of people whom I knew were exceptionally strong in faith. At last, I knew how to fight it, but it would take strength to win this one. I actually had a game plan this time.
I made tearful phone calls to those good folks. Not that I wanted to cry to them, but the pain and fear boiled over. I asked them to please pray for Jennifer. They all said they would, and some said they would have their whole congregations pray for her. I felt the power of their prayers. I knew a force stronger than I was at work.
About a week later, she came home. She told me she was home to stay. She gave her keys to me and said, “This will be tough, but I’m through with it.” She didn’t leave the house for almost eight months, unless someone was with her. She told me she couldn’t go out of the house. Home was her refuge, her safe haven. Nobody could reach her unless we wanted them to. She rested and slept a lot and her body and spirit began to heal. I remember one day when she was in bed, and I heard deep breathing coming from her room. I went to check on her, and heard a deep, horrible, moaning sound coming from inside her. I stood vigil, watching and praying. I knew in my heart the demons were leaving her body. They didn’t go easy, but they went. When I heard their departure, I said “Go back to hell where you belong.” I knew Jennifer had been delivered from evil. I had my daughter back. Through the Grace of God, she was delivered. I spent some time on my knees, thanking God. I knew He had broken the bonds. He had spared her life. There hasn’t been a single day go by since then that I haven’t said “thank you, Father.”
Jennifer has been clean for more than 2 years now. She is healthy and happy. Her checkups show she was exceptionally fortunate to escape this plague with no lasting damage or disease. She was indeed one of the fortunate ones. Prayer saved my daughter. That’s all there is to it.
Since her recovery and coming forth to talk about it, I have had numerous calls and visits from other parents, mostly mothers, going thru the same turmoil with their children. Sometimes, when I tell them it is spiritual warfare going on, they look at me like they think I’m nutty. But they know, just as I do, that she is alive and well today thru the grace of God. I have found that, more than anything else, they need to talk. Sometimes, they need to cry. I tell them to let it out. I tell them prayer can move mountains and slay dragons.
Today, I am glad to share this testimony. I am glad to see the truth about Meth being explored and exposed. Hiding the problem only advances the devil’s cause. Expose him, stand up to him, and he will flee like the lying coward he is. His power can’t hold a candle to the power we have thru Jesus Christ. We can win this fight, one precious person at a time. There is nothing more powerful in our entire universe than the living God. And together, we can move mountains.
When I was 14 I started to smoke weed. I was sitting downstairs in my friend’s basement and they kept asking me if I wanted to smoke. So, eventually I said, “Sure, why not?” I loved it. So, for about the next four months that was all that I did. At this time I did not have any problems in school, with my family, or with the police. Then I tried ice. One day I was hanging out at my friend’s house (the one whom I stated smoking weed with) and I saw a little bag with little crystals in it. I asked him what it was. He said that it was some tina. So I begged him to let me try it. He kept saying, “No, you’ll get addicted too easily.” But, finally he let me try it. After the first time I tried it I knew that I was going to have to have it all of the time. So I started working to get money. Right when I got paid I would go and spend all of my money on ice. I quickly began to get skinnier and skinnier. My whole body looked like a skeleton. Then I stopped for about a week and gained my weight back instantly. After I noticed the extreme weight change I would always smoke one or two blunts every morning so that I could eat. That worked pretty well. My weight stayed pretty normal so that no one could tell (sic, that I was using meth). After a while my parents began to get suspicious. So, they quit giving me money. The only thing that I could do to support my habit was to sell drugs. I did that for a while, but I quit because I was too paranoid. I began to steal my parent’s ATM card and steal their cars at night and go take two or three hundred dollars out about twice a week. I got caught doing that, so I had to find a new way to get money. I was talking to a guy one day and he said that he knew how to make ice in a fish tank. I found out how to do that and I started to make it. It cost about $75 to make. I could make $3,000 off what it made. So I did that a couple of times and thought that I had the life. As much money as I wanted and all the ice that I could dream of. By this time I had gone crazy. I would think that bugs were crawling on me, I would think that everybody was the police, and that someone was always watching me. But, still, I thought that I was living the good life. Besides being extremely paranoid, I was constantly fighting and getting in trouble with my parents, and I quit going to school. Well, one day I got in a fight with my parents and I decided to run away. Well, after the second or third night I got arrested because the cops found me. When I got arrested I had an ice pipe, a gram of ice, and a $5 dollar bill with cocaine on it. I dropped the gram of ice and stood on it so that they wouldn’t see it. But, they still got the pipe and the bill. They asked if I had been doing drugs and I said “yes,” so I didn’t get in trouble for the drugs. So the cops told my parents and my parents signed me up for rehab about two weeks later. After I got out I was doing pretty good for awhile. Then I ended up hanging out with my old friends and began to use again. I started stealing again. Now I’m in a treatment facility and working on my recovery. I will be leaving in a couple of weeks. I’ve been working on my N.A. twelve steps and will continue to work on them when I transition home.
September 1, 2004
I want to thank you first for all your hard efforts in this never ending battle. I’ve never seen anyone devote so much effort into pushing back the ocean as you concerning Meth. I was interested in learning that your sister has battled Meth and I am so grateful that she has found her way out of that maze. It is a shame that something so devastating is so easily came by so close to our hearts. I want to share something with you but It will be very hard to actually express this in words as it is a feeling and an internal battle that I fight daily. I wish I could have stayed and heard all of the testimonials today but just watching your slide show again made so much come back to me that I had to leave there and go to a 12 step meeting without a moment to waste. Meth affects all of us to different levels and I understand that. I heard a few people talk of God in your presentation today, and I am very grateful that today I have God in my life as well, however, when I got arrested, to me, there was no God except Meth. It was my savior, my friend, my husband, my employer & my life. It was everything I needed and everything I wanted. I stole tens of thousands of dollars before I started making just to assure myself I had it. Then once I started making, I put my children in the same house with all those chemicals and gases. I allowed my precious babies to breathe the very thing that I watched one of my friends choke to death on his on blood for breathing. NOTHING ELSE MATTERED! I did not want out! I loved Meth and did not see, as you know, all the hell I was causing around me. The problem is that only a few people are allowed to get away scott free. There is no way I would have ever stopped using meth if I had not been brought down. I almost burned my children’s life to the ground literally. And I know 5 people personally that have had to loose their life to this drug. The sad thing is that I understand that, I would have given mine for it. I hate that. It brings me to tears as I type. When I was put in jail, I can’t say that I felt God come into my life and help me to see the error of my ways and give me the strength to fight this thing. I lay there in jail on the cold floor in only the jump suit provided to me. And I was on my period (sorry) except see I wasn’t allowed to keep any of my undergarments, they were not white. So I lay there, no protection from Mother Nature, and slept for 3 days like that. I woke up in am mess as you can imagine. Came to realize just what had happened and took about 3 baths then started on my mission to get out and to get back to doing what knew best, Meth! I was fortunate; Judge Johnson & God had a different plan for me so I was unable to carry through with mine. My point being that still today after all I have learned, all the times I have spoken, all the pain I have felt, all the damage I have caused and all the time I have missed with my kids, I still have this Meth junkie in me that is just waiting for the opportunity to get out. I wish there was someway to photo this feeling and put it up on your screen. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done and I don’t know that I will ever win completely. But today I haven’t used and I will pray for tomorrow. I just had to share these feelings that your seminar pulled out of me, I hope you don’t mind. If anyone should get to hear it, it should be you because of all the hard work and honest effort you are putting toward this. I will read your book and once you get it published I want to make sure I get a copy of it. Just a note, my daughter has had a few more issues, so now I know both sides of the road, the user and parent of one. I guess I have used up enough of your time. Thank you again for your hard work and my offer to help in any way possible still stands. Thank You!
Hi, my name is Tonia and I am 26. I struggle with addiction, Meth being my drug of choice. I was raised in a loving home with good morals. My Mom was in the Air Force and my Dad a diesel mechanic. They divorced when I was about 10, but for the sake of the business they owned together they lived together in separate rooms for 3 years. This was one of the many excuses I would use later for my addictive behavior. My drug use started when I was about 12, experimenting with over the counter caffeine pills like No-Doze. I was introduced to marijuana when I was 14 by my sister’s boyfriend. I met a guy when I was 15 and (was) married by 17. Luckily we never had any children.
Throughout the years I experimented with just about every drug I could get my hands on: LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, “special K”, and alcohol. I used to get so mad when people would say that pot was a gateway drug. I would say, “I’ll be 80 years old smoking a joint in my rocking chair on my front porch”. I also used to say, “I’ll never do Meth, that’s for trailer trash”. Little did I know that once I met Meth when I was 20 I would be hooked.
The first time I tried it I stayed up for the weekend and noticed that I was shedding some weight. Now, since I have always had an issue with my weight this was the “Meth”od of weight loss that I was looking for. It was all downhill from there. It became all I lived for. Day and night I was looking to get high. Suddenly all the other drugs I used didn’t matter, all I wanted was speed. If I wasn’t smoking Meth I was asleep.
I would stay up so long that I would crash for days. My husband was what I call a “normie”, he could stay up a few days and when it was gone and the money was gone he could forget about it and go to sleep. Not me! If it was gone I wanted more. I would sometimes stay up for a day just looking for more, struggling, but not able to sleep, that’s how bad the desire was to do more.
My husband eventually left me because of my using and told my Dad everything. My Mom begged me to move to GA with her and get clean, so figuring that was the best way to mend my marriage, I did. After about 2 months my husband and I reconciled and he moved to GA too. We figured we could start over fresh without all the old friends and influences. We did well for about a year, still smoking pot though. One night our next door neighbor, whom we had never associated with until that night, invited us over to his house for a keg party. Well, they were doing Meth too, and we relapsed. Then came the quick downward spiral. We no longer could pay our bills and my husband decided to move back to TN. I had already vowed never to move back there so I stayed here and moved in with my Mom. I quickly lost her trust and she told me I could not stay there anymore. So I moved back to TN. I was homeless, strung out and broke (in more ways than one).
In TN I met a guy who was manufacturing, and he would front me stuff and leave me room to make myself some money. My Dad owned some property and he let me move into a trailer. The guy asked me if he could use my house to “pull off” some and he would hook me up. I did let him and then I ended up cooking dope in a trailer, and I became the “trailer trash” I said I never would. So, I agreed and took him to get all the supplies and let him have the run of the house to do what he needed.
Well, this lasted for a year. Then one time turned into many times. At first I was “smurfing” for him. That meant I was going to get all he needed and then when he was done I would go get rid of the finished product. I was immediately sucked into this lifestyle even further. I had an endless supply of dope and money. I was set, so I thought. Eventually we got others to “smurf” for us, trading the supplies for dope. People came and went, some we never saw again. After a while I was helping him through the process. Eventually I learned every aspect of “cooking”. The whole time I was miserable. It got to where what we were producing wasn’t enough. In July 04 I was out “smurfing” and had went to 3 different stores on one side of town and stole 16 boxes of cold pills. I took those back to the house and then went to the other side of town. I stopped at one drug store and collected 6 boxes and then went to Wal-Mart and got caught stealing 3 boxes of Actifed. The insanity of it was that to pull of the size batch we cooked only took 16 grams of pseudo (about 8 boxes of 48 count 60 milligram). So it was insane for me to have been collecting this amount. I had gotten plenty on the first trip. But, Meth made me greedy.
The whole time God was tugging at my heart, telling me there was a better life for me. I was avoiding my family, the ones I loved the most, and hated the people I was hanging out with for the way they treated their kids. I hated the person I had become. I was a junkie, but God had a different plan. On January 1, 2005 I left TN and moved back to GA. I went to an in-treatment facility called Bridges Of Hope for 28 days. Upon returning home I started attending church and a program called Celebrate Recovery.
God has blessed me in the last 14 months. I have completed school to be a licensed Nail Tech and have a wonderful job. I am a contributing part of the community now. And I desire to help others who are struggling in the same way I did. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle. I no longer have the desire to go get high, but anything will trigger a thought at a certain time when I was using. I have only recently learned how to take every thought captive in Christ. Because a thought, when dwelt on, leads to an action. I would like to encourage all of you who are struggling to turn to God. He is all powerful. He picked me up from the depths of hell and delivered me from this addiction. He is the way, the truth and the life. I also want to thank law enforcement for all the efforts they have put into this Meth epidemic. They put their life, health, and safety of their families on the line to direct and protect the community and addicts like me. Please, if anyone who reads this would like to talk to me feel free to e-mail me CleanAndSerene13@hotmail.com.
In Christ, Tonia
My Name is Mary and I am 33 years old. I live in Cleveland Georgia, I have 3 beautiful children, a wonderful daughter-n-law and my first grandchild Anna Elizabeth was born in September. Here is my story and I really hope that someone out there will listen to what I am saying and take heed.
I am truly a walking miracle! By all standards I should not even be here to tell my story. I should have died 3 years ago……but by the Grace of God, I am still here!
I started using Meth at the age of 25, 8 months after my dad died. I had never even seen this drug prior to this. I was just looking for something to get me out of that slump I was in. I was sexually abused by grandfather from the time I was 3 until I was 13. I lived with my grandparents most of my childhood because that’s where my mother left me while my dad was in prison and she was out doing whatever it was that she was doing. After being married at the age of 14, getting divorced and remarried at 16, I had my 3 beautiful babies. That marriage didn’t work out either. We just grew apart. I married my best friend and he and I had a wonderful marriage until Meth became my best friend and my worst nightmare! We were both addicted and growing apart! We ended up getting a divorce and I hit rock bottom. I had lost down to less than 100 lbs and I looked sick! Well, the reality of that is, I was sick! When I finally realized that I was getting absolutely no where, I hit my knees and I prayed like I have never prayed before! I begged God to help me overcome my addiction and to deliver me from this awful drug that had such a stronghold on me. He answered my prayers and kept me from going through the withdrawals that most people go through. So in that aspect I have been very lucky. However, I haven’t been so lucky with my health. I now have C.O.P.D (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and I have a hole in my heart. This is all due to using Meth. I have to use a breathing machine 4 times a day. I take 3 pills a day just for my lungs in addition to 4 other pills for various other problems. My health will never get better, but by the Grace of God I am living a very happy, productive life! I am a youth leader in my church, I am on the Board of Preventions for the White County Meth Task Force and I am the Secretary for the Nar-Anon Family Support Group. So, as I close this, let me be the one to say to you; PLEASE, if you are using Meth…..STOP! Stop now before it’s too late! If you know someone that is using, try to get that person some help! Don’t let them or yourself end up in my situation with a terminal illness! God answers all prayers; in His time! All you have to do is ask Him for help…..He always delivers!