When I was googling Thanksgiving eve for apple pie baking times at the bottom of the page I was on was an advertisement that kinda caught my eye. I actually went to the ad for The Colorado Meth Project, it had vivid PSA's showing the varying phases of methamphetamine addiction, http://www.methproject.org/View_Ads/index.php the ad that caught my interest was a john leaving a room and paying the girls boyfriend with a baggie of meth, it shows the boyfriend entering the room and the girl and he, both relieved that they have their high for the time being. WOW was all I could think. The next PSA I clicked on shows a son returning to his mothers house and him stealing from her, she catches him in the act and let me tell you I was flooded with emotions of sadness and anger and hate. Hate for the drug that has played an integral part of my families life. I was very naiive about drug use, and only ever tried marijuana a handful of times and rarely drank, even as a teen and young adult. So when my love became addicted to methamphetamine in 1993 I was not prepared for the fallout that would happen. He never did his drug use in front of me and never even offered it to me, which I thank God for. It would have been very easy to get high with him and become addicted instantaneously as he did. The catch phrase for the Meth Projects which exist in a handful of states is "Not Even Once" the target for these PSA's are teens but these should be seen by everyone. I tried to find out if one existed in California, Central Cali where I live is synonomous with the phrase meth capital. Sadly as of yet these PSA's are not shown in California and no Project exists here but it should.
Children of meth addicts have a high rate of becoming users themselves and in California that is doubled. Kids think meth will make them happy or loose weight, or that they don't really see it as a harmful drug. What they don't realize is that it makes you an addict the first time and that you are more likely to participate in more risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex, violent behavior and higher instances of getting into trouble with the law.
My children have witnessed their Dad when he was high in state of paranoia, saw him as he was hiding out from his family with other users, watched as he became someone they did not want to know anymore. They have seen his violent comedowns and they have seen him take his paycheck when he had jobs or valuables from us so he could get high. I think that because I did not use their chances of getting involved in drug use although high, are also lessened by the fact that they despise the drug and what it has done to them and their family. We talk more openly about things also, not all families do. I know the reality is that my kids will and have experimented with illicit drugs and or alcohol but I do believe that having an open and honest relationship is key when talking to your kids about anything.
My love is a newborn at being clean and sober and has suffered a lot of the effects of long time use. I know he became an IV user within the first year of his addiction.We have discussed his addiction numerous times through the years. He tried to quit numerous times and this time may not be his finale with the drug but it is the closest he has ever been to success for any lenght of time. I am proud of him, many are doubtful that this is the end for him and understandably so. I can only have hope that it is the end for him because it is for me. I will not sit by again and watch it destroy him. I will move on and just yesterday someone told me I needed to let him go. But that is my issue I am addicted to him. I have given up trying to fix him, he must fix himself and I must continue the positive work that I have made in my life. We do want the same things and we do want our family to heal, is he scared, am I? Of course we are scared, will we let that fear control us? I won't, I cannot speak for him. I always asked why he could not just quit, and I have asked former users that I know well now about their use and they all said the same thing. They don't know why, but it was an indescribable high that kept them coming back for more. Through info provided by The Meth Project I can see why; http://www.methproject.org/Meth_Info/education.php methamphetamine creates higher dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates functions for attention, cognition, movement, and also for pleasure. Meth users experience12 times higher dopamine levels than sex alone would stimulate in your pleasure transmitter. Now that is a tangible example to me.
I will not ever give up on someone I love as I have said in prior posts, but I won't let someone destroy my spirit again either. It is a high wire that I walk, being in love with an addict and most people tire of the same old story. My story is not finished. Neither is his.Will we write it together? Statistically speaking NO is the answer. But speaking from my heart, I hope so. There I go again with Hope the most powerful invisible force in the world.
If you or someone that you love is addicted to methamphetamine educate yourself to the reality that is addiction. Check out these sites, http://www.methproject.org/ and http://www.nar-anon.org/Nar-Anon/Nar-Anon_Home.html. I would also urge that if you live in a state hit hard by the meth epidemic send The Meth Project link to you government representatives. Taking action creates change and change creates hope for the future.