Meth is destroying communities - page 4

I am originally from a small town in southern West Virginia. I have lived away from the area for about 8 years now, but I continue to go back 3-4 times a year to visit family and friends. I have... Read More

  1. by   loriannlpn
    Quote from mtnmom
    A lot of it is due to their compromised nutritional status...they can go for days without eating or sleeping when on a meth binge.

    Also, chronic meth users pick at their skin compulsively. I recall one woman that came into our rural ER who, besides having sores all over her body, believed that there were glass shards in her feet. Never mind that she was barefooted on arrival - she was completely delusional as to there being foreign bodies in her skin.

    Good point on nutritional status. Another reason the teeth decay, is the corosive ingredients in meth. BATTERY ACID, can you imagine?
    Have a blessed day
  2. by   mommy2boys
    We have a huge meth problem in the town next to us (we also have a big problem in my town. The town was know for being the meth capital of the state (possible in the US) back in the 90's.

    My husband is a correctional officer for our county and sees the daily problems associated w/ meth (crime, hiv/ hep, child abuse/ neglect, etc) This drug is completely out of control because of the cheapness, ease of making it, and ease of finding the material for making it. One of the main ingredients for making it is an OTC decongestant. Almost anyone w/ a little chemistry knowledge can make it which makes it that much more dangerous.

    One of the things that stores/state laws are starting to do in our area is to limit the amount of the OTC drug (2-3 boxes at a time) that you may buy at one time and locking up the med so it is harder to steal.

    If you are truely worried about the town you grew up in maybe you could contact the local police dept or mayor and see what you can do to help. There are different groups that go out and try to help the community. It is so sad to say, but meth is here and it is killing more and more of our citizens.

    Erin (who has seen what meth can do to a community first hand)
  3. by   Roy Fokker
    A few thoughts:


    * Addiction is more than just "craving for a hit".
    * No one becomes a raging alcoholic after their first drink. The same is true for any drug - legal or illegal.
    * There are plenty of people who take recreational drugs but don't let it control their lives. There is a world of a difference between "use" and "abuse".

    I believe that a good chunk of addiction lies with psychological desire. The physiological dependence makes quitting harder - certainly. But if the psychological desire lesses, the physiological dependence can be overcome.

    I'd also like to thank WillowBrook for his/her posts.


    cheers,
  4. by   WillowBrook
    Quote from WVUturtle514

    Willow,

    Perhaps you can enlighten some of us as to the thought processes of meth users. Especially those that manufacture the meth in their homes. As they are making this concoction do they not look at the ingredients that are going into it and think, "Hmmm.....I don't know if this is such a good thing for me to be putting in my body." Or is the need for a high so great that it completely overcomes all rational thought a person might have? Also, do you believe it's more of a physical addiction or a mental addiction, or a combination of both?
    Well I just have to make clear that I am talking from the point of view of someone who used and came close to having a major addiction to it but never quite crossed the line with that particular drug, although I do always maintain that my drug of choice was Meth my drug of addiction was Heroin.

    Anyway with regards to peple manufacturing at knowing what they are putting in there bodies, well the fact that they do know exactly what is going into the mix for some people makes them feel safer. It's not like they're buying off someone and not knowing if it's been cut with god knows what or if it has been made properly and so on. Also there is a sort of illicit thrill that goes along with cooking meth, it's fairly easy to do (I've seen it done but never participated myself) and it becomes almost a sort of status thing amongst meth users if you are a cook. It's part of the whole culture and lifestyle surrounding Meth, feeling invincible, cool, above the law etc (all of course fueled by the effects of Meth).

    And then of course yes there is the component where people are just so addicted that the only thing they care about is where there next hit comes from. I experienced this very much so with Heroin, when your addict you tend to almost have tunnel vision where you just cannot focus on anything but the drug and how to obtain it. It's not like you just feel like doing it, when you are an addict you crave the drug, you can't think of anything else and it's like you feel as if you will go crazy or breakdown and not be able to cope if you don't get it. I know people who were addicted to Meth who would scrape their carpets with a knife in order to hopefully be able to pick up just a few loose remnants of the drug that they could then inject, and I remember when I was addicted to Heroin there were times when I was craving the drug so badly I could literally taste and smell it everywhere I went. When addiction gets to that level you really feel almost animalistic, it's a real sense of just absolute desperation.

    The difference between Meth and Heroin though is that with Heroin once you do have your hit you tend to be instantly filled with remorse and just hate yourself for what you have become, whereas with Meth this doesn't happen so much because of the nature of the high and the false confidence it instills in you. There can be a physical component to Meth addiction if someone is a longterm or heavy user, but the main focus with Meth addiction is psychological, that does not make it any less powerful though. Unlike Heroin, where you know if you don't get X amount of the drug X amount of times a day you are going to be suffering some serious pain, with Meth you know that if you don't have it for a couple of days you're not going to suffer that much physically. I think this does make it hard for people to accept when they have a problem until things become really desperate because it's not like you can think "I'm only taking this drug now to stop myself from being sick from withdrawal, something isn't right here", there's not that sort of warning sign of physical addiction that really lets you know that "hey you know I think things have gone too far". And then also like I said before, there is the whole invicibility, false sense of control and confidence and so on that Meth induces in people and the fact that Meth is seen by many people as just being a recreational party drug, another form of Speed and nothing to be concerned about. I mean it's not like your taking Heroin and then sweating and writhing in pain when you don't get your hit, so a lot of people don't take Meth use as seriously as they should.
  5. by   traumaRUs
    I have watched this thread since it started. I started to post several times and deleted it. However, I just want to say that addiction and the problems that it brings ruin families which is the basic unit of our society.

    My husband and I have been married for over 26 years. Our youngest son (21) is an addict. It happens even in good families: we are upper middle class - we planned the pregnancy and were so thrilled when it was determined that we were having our second son. We were scout leaders, Sunday School teachers, we spent lots of time with our son. We had the resources to help him too and we have spent literally thousands of dollars trying to get him help over the years. One of his friends died two years ago from a heroin OD.

    We have had no contact with him (by his choice alone - he won't return any phone calls) for a month. My husband and I know (in our hearts) that the next time we hear about him will be either from the police or the coroner.

    Drugs stink! (I write this with tears because I am so afraid for him). We do love him very much.
  6. by   WillowBrook
    TraumarUs - I'm very sorry to hear about your son's situation. It's good that you spoke out about it though because so many people just don't think it can happen to "people from a good home". One of my best friends is battling an addiction to Heroin, he comes from an upper middleclass home, his father is a very well respected member of the community, he was sent to Private School for his education, was involved in Tennis and other sporting + community group, just to give you an idea of the sort of background he has. The stereotype of the typical drug user leads a lot of people to believe that it couldn't possibly happen "in our family". Look around you, your co-workers, friends, family, people on the street etc, anyone of them could be a Drug addict. Drugs don't discriminate.
  7. by   WillowBrook
    Quote from Roy Fokker
    A few thoughts:


    * Addiction is more than just "craving for a hit".
    * No one becomes a raging alcoholic after their first drink. The same is true for any drug - legal or illegal.
    * There are plenty of people who take recreational drugs but don't let it control their lives. There is a world of a difference between "use" and "abuse".

    I believe that a good chunk of addiction lies with psychological desire. The physiological dependence makes quitting harder - certainly. But if the psychological desire lesses, the physiological dependence can be overcome.

    I'd also like to thank WillowBrook for his/her posts.


    cheers,
    Your welcome and btw it's her :wink2: . With what you said about addiction being more than just a craving for the drug, that is very very true. It's probably hard for someone who has never been an addict to understand, but it's not just the drug you are addicted to it's everything surrounding the drug. You become addicted to the act of scoring, having the drug in your possession and feeling somehow above the constraints of societies expectations, the thrill of the needle (or whatever other method you are using), the ritual of preparing a mix for shot and so on. The actual drug itself is only one part of a much larger picture when it comes to addiction.

    For interests sake to put into perspective how addictive Meth is compared with Heroin, and I'm not trying to say that Meth is not something we should be concerned about because obviously it is, out of a group of roughly 40-50 people who were Meth users only 3 people could have really been considered full blown addicts. Compare that to when the same group of people began to use Heroin and only 2 people in that group escaped a full blown Heroin addiction.

    Marijuana as a gateway drug was also mentioned before. I live in a state where Marijuana has been decriminalized and is easily accessible, so with the theory of Marijuana leading to harder drugs we should be overrun with Drug problems. Not the case, South Australia's drug problem, with regards to Meth and Heroin, is no greater than any other city of Australia....regardless of easy access to Cannabis.
  8. by   Asklepios
    TraumaRUs - sorry to hear about your situation. I can't imagine how difficult it must be for your family.

    As for the discussion about things like needle exchange programs - I'm torn over that issue. While I hate to see people catch diseases, I also feel like social programs that cater to addicts almost make drug use look acceptable. I mean, the same government that's supposed to enforce the law also hands out needles to people so they can do more illegal drugs.

    Perhaps the message isn't strong enough. Maybe tougher penalties are a better answer. Mandatory minimums have been disputed when a first time offender selling one joint has to go to prison for 10 years, but there must be some fear of punishment. The poster who said they are taking away children of drug addicts - that's about the worst punishment I can imagine dealing out to a parent, but if they are choosing drugs over the well-being of their children should society really let them keep custody?

    It's so confusing. The drug epidemic has many more questions than answers.
  9. by   WVUturtle514
    Trauma - So sorry to hear about your son. I've seen what drugs have done to my cousin and it is indeed devastating. You will be in my thoughts.

    Willow - Thank you for your input into this thread. You have given me a good look at the flipside of the coin.

    I got into a discussion with my fiance about the needle exchange program and he is totally against it. He believes that by offering needles to users you are providing them with a means to use. His way of thinking is that if a person is considering using, then they will be more likely to do so if they know they have clean needles available to them. He thinks that if people who are contemplating use don't have clean supplies available, then they will be not as likely to get started. I'm not sure that I agree with him. But his solution was to spend more money on drug educational programs in order to try to prevent from the start, rather than intervening later on.
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Thanks everyone. Like I said, I truly debated posting to this thread. I so know how hard it is to watch a loved one disintegrate slowly. If nothing else, the compassion that we have for these folks only makes us better people.

    In the ER, I was known as the nurse that would take all the OD's, do all the psych patients, drunks, no matter how obnoxious, dirty, nasty, aggressive, etc. I always said a prayer for these folks because I remembered that it could have just as easily been my son and I would always want someone to care for him with empathy and compassion.

    So...just please remember that these addicts, drunks and mentally ill are someone's brother, sister, son or daughter.
  11. by   chuchie
    Well, I have never used the s*** myself, but my brother had a very troubled time overcomming his addiction. I grew up in the suburbs of Minnesota and even though my high school wasn't that huge in terms of population it was one of the high end of list for the most drug users. Many barns and old farmhouses have been destroyed by meth labs and I have seen many of my friends that I went to high school with become addicts. What is surprising is that most of those people were girls because they were attracted to the drug for it's ability to make them lose a lot of weight really fast.

    As for the whole pot issue going on, I don't ever think our country will legalize it because of the health effects that it can still cause to the body. I remember when I was little and my brother was addicted to meth how he could be laughing and talking on the phone to screaming his lungs out and then to finally bawling his eyes out. It makes me so sad to think how a nice guy who got good grades, had great friends, and was great at sports go to a high school drop out, having an 85lbs girlfriend (who is also addicted) and working at a grocery store in his mid-twenties. It truly breaks my heart.
    Last edit by chuchie on Aug 31, '06
  12. by   loriannlpn
    Willow,
    Can you please comment on how one gets approached on these drugs? What may be the reason for someone to try these drugs, knowing the effects that it has on a persons life? Party? Losing weight? self esteem? Sense of family with other users?
    I have a son, and I have friends that have children. I want to know what are the signs of someone that is using.
    As a former user, what is your thought on knowing if your child is heading down this path?

    Trauma,
    If you dont mind:
    Can you add how you found out that your son was using?
    How long has he been using?

    Thank you both for your very brave and informative responses to this post. My thoughts are with you both.

    Have a blessed day
  13. by   WillowBrook
    Quote from loriannlpn
    Willow,
    Can you please comment on how one gets approached on these drugs? What may be the reason for someone to try these drugs, knowing the effects that it has on a persons life? Party? Losing weight? self esteem? Sense of family with other users?
    I have a son, and I have friends that have children. I want to know what are the signs of someone that is using.
    As a former user, what is your thought on knowing if your child is heading down this path?
    First of all the myth of the evil pusher luring innocent people onto drugs is just that a myth. I'm not saying that these sorts of unscrupulous people don't exist but in the 15+ years that I took drugs I never met one person that could even remotely be considered a pusher. I think this is one of the hardest things for parents to accept, that their child has chosen to take a particular drug. Most people are introduced to Meth through friends or family...the scenario might go something like this, the person is out at a club/concert/rave *insert other party venues* and they see a few people who are really confident and happy and full of energy. They find out that these people are taking Meth and then perhaps someone in the group mentions that they know someone's brother who takes Meth to help him study and so he can party all night. The following week the same group of friends get together but this time one of them has gotten some Meth of the brother and asks who wants to take it with him, some decline others say yes. This of course is only one scenario out of many possibilities but in my experience it is generally the same way all the time, somebody's friend or family member takes it and they are lead into it that way. I know you'd think that with a family member, especially if they have a real problem with it, that it would put the person off of using the drug, but you have to remember nobody ever expects to be a drug addict. It's always the case of "it won't happen to me" as if somehow they are so different as to be immune to addiction.

    As for why people do it, well all of the reasons you gave plus the fact that it feels good. People do drugs because they make the feel good, better than any natural or normal high could ever give. When you first start taking Meth you feel fantastic, just so energetic and confident and clear headed...it's hard to describe and a lot of people in the early stages of use don't exhibit signs of being messed up or acting like the stereotypical image of an addict so a lot of people might know the risks, but of course like I said before they're always going to be different, they won't overdose, they won't have a heart attack, they know how to control the drug. I said exactly the same thing with heroin, I knew the risks but of course I was going to be different, I knew how to handle the drug so I didn't develop a problem...hah famous last words.

    As for signs someone is using drugs? well there are a few dead giveaways...with Meth the persons pupils will be dilated and there jawline will appear tensed (same with Coke and E's), with Heroin the person will tend to itch, rub their noses, their voice will be croaky, they may nod off periodically, their pupils will be constricted and the colour of their eyes changes slightly (looks lighter and cloudier). With Meth apart from the dilated pupils and tensed jaw the person does not neccessarily look like their messed up on drugs, I have visited my own parents whilst on Meth and had them tell me how wonderful it was to see me so bright and healthy looking, so if you're looking for someone who looks messed up you probably won't see it in the initial stages at least.

    I don't know what advice I can give to drug proof anyone's kids, just keep the lines of communication open, never exagerrate the effects of a drug, don't only go on about the negatives but give a balanced and honest account of drugs and their effects on people (when people first try a drug that they have been told all these horror stories about and they feel great on it, but not only that nothing neccessarily bad has happened that first time, they tend to then dismiss all warnings they have ever heard about said drug), make sure you know who there friends are and instill in them a sense of confidence and self esteem so that they will be more likely to say no to drugs.

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