Methamphetamine’the diary of a user

‘I have spent two birthdays in jail.’ The somber words of 19-year-old “Sally”, who is currently in the McCulloch County jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance. ‘I already had a charge against me in Mason on possession when I was busted,’ she said. She tells of how she was busted on her 18th birthday. Then again, several days ago on her 19th birthday, she found herself in jail once again for possession of methamphetamines’meth, the drug that seems to have the nation in its grasp’ including Brady and McCulloch County. A pretty and personable young lady, Sally says she is not addicted, but in her own words said that toward the end of her using, ‘I had to have some just to get out of bed on some mornings.’ ‘I was in the eighth grade when me and some friends began to smoke marijuana,’ she said. ‘We enjoyed smoking a little weed whenever we could. It did not seem to bother us too much. “When I was a freshman, we went to get some grass and one of the others came back and said that the dealer had speed. We decided to try some; it was crank. It was a pink powdery stuff. You can smoke it, eat it, or snort it. The first time I snorted it. After that, I smoked it.’ Sally said she was a good student, but found very little parental supervision or guidance at home. ‘Both my parents were alcoholics. My father died two years ago, and my mother is back in jail on DWI charges.They did not care what I did. I could have done it in front of them.’ Left to her own devices, she said that she began to run with an older crowd. ‘Most of them were older, and most were boys.’ She said she tried to enroll a few of her friends in the use, but they either tried it and left it alone or just did not try it. ‘I heard of people cooking it, but I was never around when they were doing it. “Soon, I found out about ‘ice’. It is a crystal and purer form of meth. I think it is made in Mexico. I met a dealer who was just out of prison. I really don’t even know how he was out’ he was a three- time loser. ‘I never had a job. I didn’t have any money to pay for it. Once I met that dealer, I did not ever have to pay for it.’ Saying she got a fantastic high the first time she used meth, Sally said that she became a daily user. ‘I would stay up for days. The longest I stayed up was about six days. I was going to school under the influence. I don’t know how my teachers did not recognize it. I was breaking out in horrible scabs. “I dropped out of high school my senior year. It just wasn’t important anymore. Toward the end, I was really frying my brain. I began to have problems with my vision. I could feel myself turning into an animal, but I just did not care. The dealer I was with would use with me, and at times he did some awful weird stuff. He would tell me to look at the worms coming out of his face, and he would start cutting or scratching the sores on his face. I would scratch at the ones on my face until they were horrible. I had a thing about tweezing my eyebrows totally off. “I began to see things and when I was driving it was very bad, I didn’t know what was real or what was not.’ She said she wound up in the hospital once after having been up for numerous days without eating and barely functioning. She said that the local hospital wanted to keep her 10 days, but instead she was taken to the Brownwood Hospital. There she said the doctors told her they were aware she had methamphetamines and marijuana in her system. Down to a mere 70 pounds, she said they also diagnosed her with ovarian cysts. When her two cases for possession came up in the court system, Sally said’ the Mason case was dropped because it was for a lesser amount. In the Brady case, she received three years probation with six months in a Court Restricted Treatment Center (CRTC). Currently, she is in jail so that she can be clean when she goes for treatment. She has been in jail for over nine weeks now. Saying she is ready to go, but she also says she is a little apprehensive about change. She is, however, looking forward to possibly getting her GED while she is in treatment. She feels that when she gets out, her best bet would be to go elsewhere for a new start. ‘Coming back here would throw me back with the same people, and I would not stand a chance,’ she said. Her face is basically cleaned up, but she has what appears to be a rash on her forehead. She says it is not from the meth use. She said she feels much better and healthier now that she has come down from some of the worse effects. ‘I had a lot of anxiety in coming down. I had a lot of bad dreams.’ Asked what she would say to a group of students the age she was when she started, she thought seriously; then said, “I would tell them to run from it. Don’t take it. Life is going to go wrong, and it will catch up to you. Your only way out will be jail, institutions or death’that part is from the book, Narcotics Anonymous.’ ‘I have lived to regret I ever started. I wish I could take it all back. No one has been by to see me. I had no friends, just drug buddies who range in age from 17 to 60. There were a few younger ones, but mostly they were older boys. There were very few girls.’ ‘(The names in this article have been changed to protect identity. All other information is from a face-to-face interview.)

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