Methamphetamines Meth 101 Ice
     

Jennifer's Story

[And, Jennifer's Mother's Story...]

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 clamed 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 husbands 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 new 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 Moms 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.