This single word, this single substance has brought woe to many families. Becoming addicted to meth is like welcoming a slow suicide. Meth not only robs you of a “normal” life, but it affects all those around you as well. Once you become addicted to this stuff, your family no longer recognizes you. You become a liar, a thief, and somebody who can’t be trusted in any circle. It’s just plain evil.

The other day, I posted a blog that made fun of a Gummy Bear addiction. I received a message from a reader that thought I was being insensitive to actual drug addicts. Trust me, it was only an attempt at humor, something I believe many of us are missing in our serious hectic lives.

I have spent many years helping veterans and some non-veterans deal with addiction. I can honestly say, I hate meth and I dislike meth-heads. Once they are addicted, they are no longer people that can be dealt with on a personal level. It’s the meth I hate, not the person…that’s why I devoted so many years to try and help meth addicts…so I can like them again. Not only me but their families as well.

Now, before you go judging me because I said I dislike meth-heads, understand that when one is addicted to meth, they are no longer the person they were. They have become a walking talking living zombie. They will steal jewelry from their favorite grandma. They will raid their child’s piggy bank. They will walk around thinking they look normal, but everyone knows they’re on something. They will often be in full denial that they have a problem. Worst of all, they will cease to love anything but the meth.

The question often asked as well as greatly misunderstood is why they became addicted in the first place. Everyone knows that it’s one of the most stupidest things in the world to try meth, but it also can be considered stupid to abuse alcohol or pills, yet so many do. I once heard a alcoholic drunk say, “At least I’m not on meth.” True, but you’re still stupid and an addiction is an addiction and often ruins many more lives than your own. But I was talking about the causes for meth addiction…

It is true that some people try it and get hooked just because they wanted to. There are also the cases where people feel so hopeless, they are constantly looking for an escape from what has become their horrible realities. I know a few that turned to meth when their pain pills were taken away. I’m not talking about the malingerers, but rather people that are actually in so much pain they’ll do anything for relief. We filled them with legal opiates and then yanked the opiates away because they’re addictive…really? Take away the thing that helps? Take away the thing that was created to help? Of course, they’re addicted. That’s the trade off to try to have a close to normal life for these people.

I understand that the opiate crisis is real, but like true government without a clue, we just yank the medication from everybody, even the people who truly need it and deserve it just because there are people who don’t deserve it that are abusing it. Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol and it won’t work with opiates. People will find a substitute and oftentimes it’s meth or heroin. Our harsh methods have contributed to heavier addictions.

What’s the answer? I don’t claim to know, but what I do know is that mass punishment might work in the military, but it doesn’t work on the streets. There are too many other options. We should not be guilty in driving good people to those options.

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