THE BLOG

The Madness of Meth

10/28/2011 04:49 pm ET | Updated Dec 28, 2011

I have often heard my clients say, "At least my loved one is an alcoholic and not a drug addict." Out-of-control behavior, irresponsible actions and the ability to substantially screw up one's life knows no boundaries between the use of alcohol or drugs. Because alcohol is legal it seems to warrant a different prospective, as many more people drink than use illicit drugs. Though neither visuals are pleasant, most images of a drug addict are that of an unkempt person who may do anything from stealing to prostitution for a "fix"; a drunk may conjure up the same image, but it can also be someone who is slap-happy, not too coordinated at that moment and the wry smile of saying that that person is feeling no pain.

As a substance abuse counselor, I have always thought that the addiction to either drugs, alcohol or both is considered "same soup, different bowls." Remember that the gauge is mind-altering, reckless, out-of-control behavior whether it is alcohol or drug induced.

So what is meth? Meth is part of the family of amphetamines. A few common nicknames for these amphetamines are known in various circles as "uppers," "speed," "meth," "crank," "crystal," "ice" and "glass." These are all powerful synthetic stimulants with effects similar to cocaine, but longer lasting and cheaper to use. The route for ingestion is orally, injection or snorting.

Meth users can find themselves going on binges or runs, staying up for up to 10 days straight. This obviously puts a severe strain on their cardiovascular and nervous system, not to mention checking out of life and its daily responsibilities or routine.

This enormous amount of energy can have users cleaning their house with unbridled intensity at midnight, dancing or exercising feverishly. In addition, the meth user experiences great levels of paranoia.

When I was a treatment counselor at the Salvation Army, I had a client that told me that he took apart a television set while emptying all the dishes in the kitchen in addition to constantly peeking out from behind the curtains looking for anything from cops to monkey's in the trees. He was amped up, paranoid and couldn't focus on anything, from cleanliness to eating to sleeping.

His addiction was so strong that when even though he was now practicing a clean and sober lifestyle, the memory was so intense, so vivid that he literally started salivating and having palpitations during his recanting.

Like with any addiction, the desire to encompass a clean and sober lifestyle has to start with the addicted person. If your loved one is desirous of regaining control of their life, together investigate residential treatment centers that focus or specialize in Meth recovery programs. Of course, starting with a safe, professional detox center is the first step toward the hopes of a successful journey.

Though difficult to read, this anonymous poem was circulated in the counseling center. I read it often to my clients as a wake-up call on the harsh reality of driving 100 miles an hour straight for a brick wall!

I Am Meth

I destroy homes, I tear families apart; I take children, that's just a
start.
I'm more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold, the sorrow
I bring is a sight to behold.
If you need me, remember I'm easily found; I live all around you -- in
schools, and in towns.

I live with the rich, I live with the poor, I live down the street, and
maybe next door.
I'm made in a lab, but not like you think; I can be made under your
kitchen sink;

In your child's closet, and even in the woods; if this scares you to
death, well it certainly should.
I have many names, but there's one you know best -- I'm sure you've
heard of me, my name's Crystal Meth

My power is awesome, try me, you'll see -- but if you do you'll never
break free.
Just try me once, I might let you go, but try me twice and I'll own
your soul.

When I possess you, you'll steal and you'll lie. You do what you have
to, just to get high.
The crimes you commit for my narcotic charms will be worth the
pleasure you'll feel in your arms.

You'll lie to your mother, you'll steal from your dad; when you see
their tears, and you might feel sad.
But you'll forget your morals and how you were raised; I'll be your
conscience, I'll teach you my ways.

I take kids from parents, parents from kids; I turn people from God
and separate friends.
I'll take everything from you -- your looks and your pride; I'll be with
you always, right by your side.

You'll give up everything -- down to the bone; and then realize you're
surely alone.
I'll take and take till you have nothing more to give; when I'm finally
done with you, you'll be lucky to live.

If you try me, be warned, this is no game -- if given the chance, I'll
drive you insane.
I'll ravish your body; I'll control your mind. I'll own you completely;
your soul will be mine.

The nightmares I'll give you while you're lying in bed, the voices you'll
hear from inside your head.
The sweats; the shakes, the visions you'll see -- I want you to know
these are all gifts from me.

But then it's too late, and you know in your heart that you will always
be mine and we'll never part.
You'll regret that you tired me; they always do, but you came to me,
not I to you.

You knew this would happen, many times you were told, but you
challenged my power and chose to be bold.
You could have said no and just walked away; if you could live that
day over, now what would you say?

I'll be your master, you'll be my slave; I'll even go with you when you
go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do? Will you try me or
not... it's all up to you.

I can bring you more misery than words can tell; come take my hand,
let me lead you to hell.

Anonymous

If can be of service, please explore my website www.familyrecoverysolutions.com, where I am offering a holiday counseling special about boundaries and communication.
In addition my new book "Reclaim Your Life - You and the Alcoholic/Addict" can be found at www.reclaimyourlifebook.com or Amazon.