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Meth Stories from Addicts Themselves: How it All Started
‘Joseph’ finds trouble, finds peace, then takes a dive
Joseph grew up in a small town with his mother, father, and four sisters. When he was seven, he was diagnosed with ADD. It wasn’t until he was 14 that he was correctly diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. His disease made it challenging for him to make friends and communicate with others. He never quite felt like he fit in anywhere.
Joseph started drinking at age 11. By age 12, Joseph had been expelled from school due to violent offenses he had committed on school grounds after an alcohol binge.
After he got kicked out of school, Joseph’s spent his time drinking, playing golf, and bull riding. These activities helped Joseph control some of his anger issues and helped him to relax.
He did this for five years until he met his girlfriend. Later, they would find out that she was pregnant. Joseph says, “It was early in her pregnancy that we knew something wasn’t quite right with our child and these suspicions were confirmed within days after our daughter was born.
“She was born with an extremely rare, painful disease that had no known cure. Most of the next couple of years were spent going from doctor to doctor, hospital to hospital, state to state trying to keep our daughter alive. But sadly, on May 5, 2009 she passed away.
“That day I can remember clear as anything I walked into her room to check on her and she wasn’t breathing, I resuscitated her, successfully bringing her back to life for all of 40 minutes. But she died again on the way to the hospital.
“I took this extremely hard and I phoned one of my friends at the time knowing she used Crystal every so often and I wanted some. I was 19.
“I asked her to get me some and she told me NO (I should have listened to her).”
Joseph called her again the next day. This time she said “okay.” From the first time he used, Joseph began using daily. He would struggle with his crystal meth addiction for the next six years, during which he had another daughter. But even this didn’t convince Joseph to stop using.
Joseph says, “I would take her to my dealer’s place from the day she was let out of the hospital through to the day I stopped using.”
‘Minnesotapolis’ was ready to die after all the trouble his meth use had caused him
A Reddit user by the name of ‘Minnesotapolis’ tells his meth addiction story:
“It’s not like I woke up one day and was like, ‘oh yeah, I’m just gonna shoot meth and destroy my entire life.’ It’s a sick and ugly progression…”
‘Minnesotapolis’ had a friend who used meth. One day, this friend asked if he wanted to try it. This would be the beginning of a five-year battle with a nasty crystal meth addiction. ‘Minnesotapolis’ describes his physical condition at the time of his use:
“My facial hair was so depleted because I never ate, so my body lacked the nutrients to properly grow hair. It also [the reason for] the open wounds and scars on my body now…’
“I was homeless on and off for the last four years. I got into a slew of legal trouble – multiple felonies and misdemeanor charges…
“I finally had just had enough one day and I was going to jump off the Smith bridge in Saint Paul. But the police stopped me and brought me to the psych ward.”
‘Sarah’ had a wonderful childhood—what went wrong?
“I grew up in a good home with a great family. I was always a high achiever which unfortunately nurtured a huge ego. In my 20s my life was on the up-and-up but then I started drinking more than most people and life started to splutter a little bit, then I finished university and was progressing up the corporate ladder when I started getting drunk even more and then life started to stall, then I started using drugs and life started going down the gurgler real quickly and I found myself in a very scared, lonely, isolated and dark place.
“My life had gone from very big to very small. I’d gone from a billion possibilities to a billion impossibilities.”
Meth Addict Stories: Trapped in Denial
‘Joseph’ thought he had it all under control
“Throughout my addiction, I was always able to put food on the table, a roof over our heads and be there for the people who mattered to me. So I didn’t think I was an addict because addicts couldn’t do that (or so I thought).”
‘Minnesotapolis’ mistakenly thought he could handle his meth use
“I kept doing it thinking I had some type of special and unique self-control that other people don’t have when it comes to meth. It didn’t take long and I was addicted.”
‘Sarah’ explains how her meth addiction narrowed her world view
“My big world and everything in it…bit by bit, everything that causes me fear, is jettisoned from my life, and my life becomes smaller and smaller and smaller until it fits into this little tiny box.
“And the life in that box isn’t a life worth living but I like that tiny box because it feels like I can control my life better. And the illusion of control is very comforting to me.”
Meth Addiction Stories That End in Recovery
A doctor’s appointment brings ‘Joseph’ his moment of clarity
“It wasn’t until I came into recovery that I realised I was an addict.”
At some point, Joseph also became addicted to painkillers. After a bull riding accident that left Joseph with three fractured ribs, Joseph went to the doctor seeking something to relieve his (this time, real) pain. His wouldn’t give him anything stronger than acetaminophen because he knew Joseph would either sell it or abuse it. This was the point at which Joseph realized he needed help.
After this doctor’s visit, Joseph decided to call a rehab center. They said they would have a spot for him in two weeks. The day after he made the call, he quit using crystal meth. While in rehab, Joseph found out about CMA (Crystal Meth Anonymous). After leaving the recovery center, Joseph started to attend meetings on Fridays…and then more often. He was finally starting to feel like he belonged somewhere.
“In recovery, I have faced hurdles. I didn’t see my daughter for 12 months, I have had family members die, I have had friends die from this disease and another friend was murdered just two days after I last saw her.
“But in recovery, I can face these hurdles. The one consistent thing that has been there for me has been CMA – whenever I needed a friendly ear, a meeting, or people who just get what I’m going through.
“I am now over 16 months clean and wouldn’t change anything that I have been through because it has helped me become the person I am today. Today I belong.”
Treatment finally seems to be sticking for ‘Minnesotapolis’
Even though ‘Minnesotapolis’ has gone through treatment before, and relapsed, he says he is just happy now that this time, it seems to be working.
Although he’s happy to be clean and sober, he says that he has tried many times before – and is just pleased that this time it seems to be working.
“I go to AA and NA meetings. I also just hang around other people who are in recovery.
“I’m so happy to be sober. It’s very rewarding. One of the greatest things about being clean is that I got to be sober to see my sister have her baby girl. I’m so excited to be an uncle and to be around again. It’s so sweet!”
‘Sarah’ needs proof — and finds it
If Sarah has learned anything from her recovery, it’s that getting over an addiction “takes some serious repair work before freedom from active addiction can happen.”
When she first entered recovery, Sarah didn’t want to do anything her counselors were suggesting. She would go to meetings here are there, but she make any connections with other addicts, she didn’t consult her sponsor, and she wasn’t trying to complete any of the 12 steps; she was not an active participant in the program.
For the first 18 months of her “recovery,” Sarah relapsed over and over again until finally, “I found myself in that place that our literature talks about where we just felt deep down… ‘enough,’ I’m done. For me, it was at a busy Central Train station on a Tuesday morning heading to work and I remember seeing around me the sea of humanity with all this energy and colour but feeling so alone and grey in my heart…”
Once she reached this point, she gave the 12-step program a second look.
Sarah classifies herself as an extremely “evidence-based” person. In her opinion, “If you’re gonna tell me that by working those 12 steps and this program that miracles can happen then you’re gonna have to prove it first. Otherwise, you’re just talking shit.”
Eventually, after so many months of people telling her, she began to see the miracles for herself:
“I have a friend who’s lost someone very special to them and they went through a hell of a lot of pain but they got through it without using. That’s a miracle.
“I have a friend who was told in grade 9 that they were too stupid to continue high school, so they dropped out and became a drug addict, then got clean and is now kicking goals at university. That’s a miracle.
“I have a friend whose professional life fell apart in addiction, then they go clean, faced some serious fear and completely changed their career and now they’re working in a field they never thought possible. That’s a miracle.
“I have friends who were told they would never, ever have their kids back in their lives, then they got clean long story short and now they are. That’s a miracle…
“I have received many gifts in recovery.
“Now when I take that leap, I don’t so much fear the fall as long as I can at least say I tried.
“Where the old me would choose to run, more often than not I choose to stay.
“I have fallen in love with someone I consider my equal and not my hostage, and it is as terrifying as it is marvelous.
“And I have people around me today who can celebrate all my joy, and who’ll be with me though any of my pain.
“I have friends, family, career, and love all because I’ve allowed this program to take that little box and explode it into something amazing and I think I do a great disservice to myself and to my higher power if I treat my recovery as anything less than the miracle it is.”
- Brecht M. L., Herbeck D. Methamphetamine Use and Violent Behavior: User Perceptions and Predictors. Journal of Drug Issues. 2013; 43(4): 468–482. doi:10.1177/0022042613491098. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4651438/.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Families and drug use: "I feel so helpless against his addiction." https://easyread.drugabuse.gov/content/families-and-drug-use-i-feel-so-helpless-against-his-addiction.