As a Baby Boomer my earliest memory of a drug that steals people’s consciousness was LSD: Lysergic acid diethylamide. I was living in Philadelphia at the time. I heard that someone living close to me had jumped out of a four story building “while on LSD”.
Later, the smoke from marijuana, “pot”, smokers seemed to fill the blue light illuminated rooms at party’s. Time seemed to come to a standstill as people passed a “joint” from one person to the other; their minds everywhere except in the room.
Today, there seems to be an entire culture that doesn’t hesitate to take anything that displaces them from true reality.
The worse: methamphetamine, “crystal meth” “meth”. Meth steals people’s souls. Meth is incredibly addictive and difficult to walk away from.
The National Institute of Drug Abuse, over 10 million people in the United States have tried methamphetamine at least once. It is one of the fastest drugs to become addicted to. It is a stimulant drug that affects the central nervous system and can significantly change brain functions. This insidious drug not only leads to devastating medical, psychological, and social consequences to individuals, it is also devastating to society in terms of increased crime, unemployment, child neglect and/or abuse, and other social costs.
Methamphetamine requires as much as two years of abstinence treatment in order to have some of the physical changes reversed. Research is ongoing to find more effective treatments for methamphetamine abuse. What is clear is that, in addition to support groups, additional long-term cognitive treatment needs to be part of the recovery plan, as well as medical intervention to address the recovery process.
Long term meth users are easily identifiable. Faces that were once normal and attractive, metamorphose in just months, into gaunt, pitted, even toothless wrecks, the gums shrink as they do in old age. The teeth that remain can become discolored and black.
Women often take meth to lose weight. Because of the effect on the brain, the woman doesn’t really see how much weight she has really lost. Many get below 100 pounds.
A few years back a woman was referred to me as a client; she was a living, breathing, long term meth user that was about fourteen months clean and sober, AND, wanted to stay that way. I broke my rule of not treating meth users. Today she is an excellent alcohol and drug counselor with more compassion than I can find in myself. I am very proud of her perseverance and courage to change. She changes lives just by being her. HER story gives hope. see Healertoday.com
I am just too old to fight the devil for people’s soul. But, there is always hope.
THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!!!
Glad we talked about this. Of course, it is just my opinion.
“Ask MAx” is published weekly in the Springfield Times, Springfield, OR. You can subscribe to the Springfield Times at http://www.springfieldtimes.net/.
This column is reprinted on the internet at HealerToday.com. You can comment on this article and make suggestions for future columns, at maxfabry@HealerToday.com.
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