Methampethamine: Stories of Abuse and Renewal

            In this paper, we are tasked to search for three real stories of people who have used or and eventually got addicted to meth and how they decided to change and found the courage to.  We are also tasked to discuss how the people specifically the person’s family and those around them reacted and were affected by their addiction.

Methamphetamine is a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol and is taken orally, intranasally (snorting the powder), by needle injection, or by smoking.  It is a very addictive stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system.  It has very high potential for abuse and is available only through a prescription that cannot be refilled. (NIDA website, 2008)

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The three cases I found about meth abuse are from the website of The Partnership for Drug-Free America.  The stories were about Eric Stone, Katy Knutson and Jennifer Romano.

Each has a story to tell and a lesson from which we can learn.

            Eric Stone (now 21) grew up in a small town in South Dakota, USA.  As a child, Eric did normal things, play soccer, go to school, he tried to live a normal life until he tried drugs when he was in his freshman year in high school.  The first drug he used was marijuana.  He said it was the greatest release of his life and it somewhat fulfilled an innate teenage curiosity.  At the same time, he became alcoholic and used cocaine and cough syrup among the others.  He said it served as an escape for him from reality.  It was as if whatever happens to his life, when he was high everything he feels goes away.  One day he saw his friend, he was smoking crank using a light bulb, he became curious and wanted to try it too.  When he first tried it he said that it does give out effects that much it just gave you energy and alertness.  He thought that he was not addicted but he realized that he was the first time he tried.

There came a point, as he said that he cannot get high anymore like he used to instead he had paranoia, he found himself in and out of juvenile detention centers.  He thought that something was wrong about him because his other friends are using the drugs and are just fine.  He thought that maybe he was not using it right or maybe he was not using the enough amounts and he felt that quitting is impossible.  His mother’s reaction to addiction was to kick him out of the house and file a restraining order that left him alone and homeless.  He dropped out of school but found a new home in jail.  When he went out after a few years, he was able to live clean for a while but got hooked again.  But one day he felt that he was sick and tired of his addiction and tired of hurting all the time, and that there was already too much pain in his life and that meth is no longer a pleasure. Today, Eric is already a changed man. He is been living clean for more than two years now.  He has graduated from college and is working in an adolescent drug treatment center.  His mother has accepted him back to their home and their relationship has been repaired.

            The second story is about Katy Knutson, the article was written by her mother Moira and it is about how their lives have been changed by Katy’s addiction to meth.  Katy is the third of three children form a family living in Plymouth, Minnesota.    Her mom described Katy as outgoing, friendly and spirited, willing to try new things and one who loves her family and friends very much.  What her family did not know is that Katy has already been experimenting with marijuana and alcohol since eighth grade and they never found out until much later.  What they only noticed is the kind of friends she’s been with is changing and she started wearing more provocative clothing and make-up.  She also stopped doing activities she used to do.  She seemed depressed and tired of life so we took her to counseling.  Her parents also found out that she was also addicted to other prescription drugs. In Katy’s junior  year is when everything really went to worse.  She stopped attending classes and got kicked out of the varsity team.  Katy’s parents put her again to rehab and when she went to college everything were as if back to normal.  That is when they found out that she changed her preference and started using meth, which she learned from a girl she met in the rehab.  Her parent’s first reaction was they were terrified and worried at the same time.  One day Katy went home all wet that we had to bring her to the hospital’s emergency room; they thought they would loose her; fortunately she was able to survive. They re-enrolled her into a rehab.  She was able to graduate from rehab and went back to school.  Now her parents believe that they have their daughter back.  And now Katy is studying college and is a changed person.

            The third story is about the life of Jennifer Romano.  She started her story with the effect of meth in her life, she said “Meth destroyed me — it cost me my marriage, my relationship with my children, and my friends’ and family’s trust. Worst of all, it almost cost me the life of my youngest daughter”.  She started using drugs in February 1999.  She said it felt good in her system the first time she used it and she remembers it as if it were yesterday.  But on April 1999, she discovered she was pregnant so she stopped using drugs for a while but resumed using it after she gave birth.  Her family looked for a house and that is where she started working as a drug pusher.  In May 2000, she discovered that she was pregnant again, she had labor 6 weeks earlier and she thinks that is because she used meth the night she was brought to the hospital.  The baby stayed in the hospital because she was weak and could not keep her body weight.  Jennifer thought that the baby would not survive but luckily she did.  After that, her relationship with her husband grew sour, she used drugs again but soon realized that it was no good for her and so she stopped on her own.  Now she has been clean since November 2004   She thought that she had to live not only for herself but also for her kids.

            At this day and age of teenage curiosity and peer pressure, we are sometimes pushed to the limits on deciding what to try and how we should live our life.  In the stories mentioned, a drug addict in the family really affects the way the family lives their life.  Though each react in a different way in each case, it has the same effect, suffering and further pain that the users of meth thought that the drug would take away.  They have been not only a burden to their families but also a burden to the society. They are what they call “the living dead of society”, unproductive and useless.  If I were in a family with a meth user, it would really be hard because it will always be a source of problem within the family.  Meth does not only rob the user’s being but also eats the away the strong bond of a family.  The will to change can be shaky at times.  An addiction can never be an easy ting to live without.  But if we want a better life ahead of us not only for ourselves but our family as well, meth will not take us anywhere but in the streets, in jail or even in the claws of death.  Change can never be too late like in the case of our three cases.  It just takes faith, the support of the family and the unwavering will to change for the better.

Meth Addiction Stories       6

References

Knutson, Moira (2005, August 30). My daughter and meth. Retrieved October 10 2008, from

The Partnership for A Drug-Free America Web site:

http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/DrugIssue/MethResources/moiras_story.html

Romano, Jennifer (2005, August 24). Demon of choice. Retrieved October 11, 2008, from

The Partnership for A Drug-Free America Web site:

http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/DrugIssue/MethResources/demon_of_choice.html

Stone, Eric (2005, August 24). The meth trap. Retrieved October 10, 2008, from The

Partnership for A Drug-Free America Web site:

http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/DrugIssue/MethResources/eric_stone.html

Anonymous, (2008). NIDA InfoFacts: Methamphetamine. Retrieved October 11, 2008, from

National Institue for Drug Addiction Web site:

http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofacts/methamphetamine.html

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