LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — National statistics show 24 million Americans abuse some illegal drug. And among the most dangeropus and addictive is methamphetamine. Experts say few drugs destroy individuals and their health — along with their families.
And despite tough law enforcement and legal measures, it remains a serious problem in Mississippi.
“You’ll never hear of one successful meth story. Not one.”
Those are the words of a former crystam meth addict whose rebuilding his life after 10 years of addiction.
The Columbus native knows firsthand the dangers and addiction of methamphetamine.
“I became a total, reclusive hermit. Nobody knew I was addicted except for the people I was using with,” he says.
The former addict used meth for 10 years, getting a sensation every morning.
“It was an escape for me. When I started using it, I didn’t have a job, was not divorced, but separated heading to a divorce. Why not!? I was doing it so much and so often that when it came to a point in time when I didn’t do it for whatever reason, whether I couldn’t find it, didn’t have the money to afford it, my mind was consumed with it,” he says.
Reality finally hit when he lost his freedom and was sent to jail.
“I was on my way to prison, and they stepped in and gave me drug court as an option,” he says.
Drug courts and therapists help addicts fight the urge.
“Bath salts and meth create that sense of euphoria. Hyper activity, the ability to be able to stay up and feel productive. You would see generally a person who’s lost a lot of weight. You sometimes see people who look quite disheveled; ufortunately missing teeth. Individuals who have had a meth addiction or any type of addiction can feel confident there’s opportunities for them to find recovery,” said Chiquita Long-Harris, outpatient therapist at Community Counseling in Starkville.
The former addict is a far different man from where he was a year ago and he plans on keeping it that way.
“I’ve got God in my life and one day at a time he has not given me the urge to use it. I know that might change the next day or the day after that, but all I’ve got is today and today I’m clean. Life sober is way better than life on meth, I guarantee it,” he says.
There are mental health addiction treatment programs throughout Mississippi. You can find community counseling or department of mental health centers in your area if you’re looking for help.