MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (8/30/13) – In week 7 of an ongoing series of informative meth-related articles supplied by Muhlenberg County Sheriff Curtis McGehee, the topic for discussion this week is the long-term consequences and the hope for those leaving this drug behind.
First, I should explain that the purpose of these articles each week is to help the community become aware of meth and the consequences that accompany it. We must be well educated in order to know how to address the issues related to this drug.
However, it is true that helping those who are addicted can be a part of prevention efforts. We must also realize that many of the people that are addicted to this drug are not bad people, but methamphetamine is a bad drug. As I have been reiterating over the past weeks, this drug is the most evil and unforgiving of all drugs. One-time use almost always means addiction and only a select few find that they are able to pull away from the tight hold that meth takes on their life.
This does not mean that recovery is not possible; certainly people are recovering, and leading a very productive life. For example, I was recently speaking in one of our churches about the dangers associated with meth – during the program; a woman asked me if she could speak, I acknowledged her and she shared her story of meth addiction. She stated that meth had stolen her soul, but her faith in God had helped her become sober and remain sober. She continued by stating that she had been “clean” for 5 years.
She is not alone in her thoughts about faith; it is common to hear recovering addicts claim that their faith was what helped them to overcome their obstacles. I have the opportunity to talk to law enforcement officers, social workers, counselors, and others who work with or around recovering addicts that feel faith can be a very important part of the healing process.
Family and friends can help meth users as well, but it is important that we use great discretion when reaching out to those that we love. For example, a parent may think that when they bail their child out of jail on meth related charges that they are standing by their child. I would ask parents to reconsider this option. Because meth is such a powerful drug it is likely that once your child gets out of jail, he/she will be determined to get to the drug as soon as possible. This complicates things even more because the addict will be feeding their habit, and may possibly; face additional charges as they are subject to being caught with meth. It is not uncommon for meth users to be charged with drug related charges while out on bond.
Because meth affects both mind and body, anyone that has used meth should see their physician for a medical screening. Be honest with the physician and feel free to ask about any concerns you might have.
Those that are recovering should also consider counseling as part of their recovery plan. A counselor may prove of great value in helping the addict to develop a strategy that will be useful in the road to recovery. The Pennyroyal Center has substance abuse counselors that are available; you may contact the center at 270-338-5211. There are other counselors in the area that are available to help with substance abuse issues as well.
I am often asked about rehab and treatment centers. This may prove helpful to some individuals, but please keep in mind that because of the nature of this drug, the recovery will most likely be a slow process. Some experts predict that it can take a year or longer to overcome meth addiction. While one may find tremendous encouragement in 30-90 day rehabs, it is unlikely that they will be healed during this time. While short term treatment may be beneficial; it may prove helpful for anyone struggling with meth addiction to consider long term treatment programs.
I do not claim to be an expert in the area of recovery, but feel that these suggestions may help anyone that is addicted to realize that “yes, there can be life after meth.”
For additional information on recovery please check out http://www.samhsa.gov/
To report illegal drug activity please call 1-888-9ky-tips or online at www.muhlenbergcountysheriff.com
Information provided by Sheriff Curtis McGehee (Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Office)
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