According to the 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 1.6% of 8th graders, 2.8% of 10th graders and 2.4% of 12th graders admitted that they had abused methamphetamine at least once in their life. The drug, chemically produced through dangerous home meth labs throughout the country, has taken many lives.
Although some parts of the United States have seen improvements in areas which were previously rampant with amphetamine-related devastation, the powerful stimulant drug continues to ruin the futures of many bright young adults.
Former addict Justin and his mother, Janice, recall their family’s substance abuse journey which began with marijuana and led to abuse of powerful amphetamines.
A Successful Recovery From Amphetamine Drugs
“My son started out like any other child did,” says Janice T., the mother of 18 year old Justin. Her son was a straight “A” student who loved to play football. “He was a very social person all through junior high and the beginning of high school,” says Janice, “but in the beginning of his junior year it all changed.”
Justin had started hanging out with some people outside of his normal crew who were considered “a little rough around the edges.” He started experimenting with drugs like marijuana and pills. He enjoyed the high and eventually found that these drugs weren’t enough. His substance abuse progressively became more severe until he was regularly using drugs like cocaine and ecstasy.
“I noticed a change almost immediately,” says Justin’s mother. “He had always been such a sweet person, and then he just did a complete 360 and suddenly he was this angry and aggressive person.”
When Janice observed these sudden changes in her son, she stared research options for drug treatment. She tried to talk to him, but like so many parents who struggle with a son or daughter’s substance abuse, the response Janice got was far from positive. “Justin stormed out in the middle of the talk,” she recalls. “He said he hated me and that he never wanted to talk to me again. I hated to watch him leave, but at that point I knew there was nothing I could do,” she says.
The next day Janice got a early-morning phone call from the county jail where Justin had wound up the previous night. “The officer told me they found Justin in the middle of the road acting crazy, so they took him in,” says Janice. “They said that his pupils were as big as a dime, and that they knew he was on some kind of stimulant drug.” Justin had been abusing methamphetamine, which explained his erratic behavior and mood swings.
Janice went and picked Justin and took him straight to treatment at Narconon. Two years later, Janice says she is very happy with her choice.
“I have the son I once had, and it is all because of Narconon,” she says. “I am very thankful for what Narconon did for my family.”
Warning Signs and Symptoms of Meth Use
If you see warning signs which look to you like indications of drug use, the next step is to look more closely. Sometimes, isolated incidents may appear to be drug-related when they are not. If you observe any number of the following red flags in the proper context, experts would advise you to act quickly to get the person help.
Some of the signs a person is using meth include:
- Odd or eccentric behavior; “tweaking”
- Inability to sit still
- Obsessive, repetitious activity
- Paranoia and extreme fear or anxiety
- Decreased appetite and sudden weight loss
- Dental problems; rotting teeth, infected gums
- Skin sores
- Rapid heart rate; excessive sweating and hyperthermia
- Severe mood swings and mental instability