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Letters from Crystal Meth Users

  • Mar

    A Tale From Down Under

    I guess I will start with the easy topics first. Albany is located on the western side of Australia. I live 400 kilometers south of a capital city by the name of Perth in West Australia. The drug scene here is made up of four categories. The first is the heroin addicts, which we have many of, just two weeks ago a shipment of about 10000kgs of heroin was busted of the coast of Eastern Australia!! We have a very large population of Asian-Australians in my side of the country who import a lot of our drugs. The second categories are the 'ravers'. You know all the hallucinogens, most popular being ecstasy. However, in my part of the country we have a small area which is home to a very potent magic mushroom and it grows wild in huge amounts here. The third category is the 'pot heads'; I think we have statistics like every one in three people of the general public smoke cannabis on a daily basis. The last but definitely not least category is the speed freaks or tweakers as you guys call them. The problem has become huge in my area. A lot of the clients I deal with on a daily basis are suffering the effects of psychosis, a big problem that we as service providers have to deal with. I am sure you understand.

    My role is to work with individual clients as a support for all the different stages of addiction, including; detox, rehab, staying clean, and when they are still using also. I do a lot of community based work, managing a program I have named 'Get A Grip'. It is a drug awareness program based on my personal experiences with drugs (which I will tell you about soon). It is also based on the research I have taken part in for the last eight months with clients and in conjunction also with actual physical/mental studies being done here on the permanent effects of amphetamine. Our organization is government funded.

    Okay, How Me Personally?

    Well I am 23 years of age. I have been clean for 12 months now. Some of the work I have done I was still using drugs on the side, but, not anymore.

    When I was a child, I had quite a traumatic up-bringing. Sexual, physical and mental abuse, you get the picture. When I was 10 I started smoking cannabis and drank alcohol on a weekly basis. I then graduated to solvents at the age of 12, whilst still smoking/drinking. When I was 13 I started also using acid/mushrooms on a weekly basis. I first tried speed/meth at 15 and loved it however at that stage I only used it as a recreational thing. At 16 I started on heroin and morphine and was hooked. I remained addicted until I turned 17. I went through many detoxes because I had found that I was pregnant, and made the choice to change my life. Six months into my pregnancy and after about 16 attempts, I finally did it. My mum dropped me off in the bush with all my camping gear for three weeks with no drugs.

    I managed to stay off it and had my daughter, Amber. I was 18. When my daughter was three months old, some friends of mine asked me to take them to Perth, the drug capital of West Australia. They told me that they were buying a car. I had kept my nose clean and my daughter's father agreed to let me go with them for a day trip.

    So off we went. Got to the city, and to cut a long story short found out that we were actually going there to buy drugs. Nice mates huh? Anyway, so here was I trying to keep my nose clean and there was $8000.00 worth of drugs in my car. I had never injected amphetamines before and tried it. The first time I shot it I was addicted. Four months later my daughter was removed from my care by the court system here. She went to my mother and ex-partner.

    I Used Speed Every Day for 3.5 Years

    Imagine the walking time bomb I had turned into. The last 8 months of my run with amphetamine was the worst. My brain had become completely re-wired and I was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. I only ended up quitting because I had to (that's not to say I am extremely happy for that today). My sanity and my body just could not take it anymore. The last straw was 3.5 grams in a day. Apparently I collapsed, tried to stab my mother with a spear gun, trashed my house till there was nothing left and then woke up in hospital from a mini-stroke. My brain stem had formed a tiny clot in it, but it was enough to render me helpless for five days. Came out of hospital physically detoxed, but it was just the beginning. I have been in and out of the hospital since that day for physical and mental problems. More mental than anything however.

    Here is a list of the things I have suffered because of the AMPHETAMINE USE ALONE!

    • Psychosis
    • Permanent nerve damage in my left side
    • Paranoid delusions
    • Violent outbursts leading to physical harm to myself and others
    • Loss of muscle control similar to that of Parkinson's Disease
    • Suicide attempts
    • Manic-depression
    • Schizophrenia
    • Hepatitis C

    Even today 12 months on I still suffer with massive anxiety, the nerve damage, Hepatitis and involuntary muscles spasms ALL due to the meth and none of the other drugs I have used. So you can have an understanding now of why I am willing to help anyone going through the same thing.

    I hope that is enough for you except to say I am willing to answer any type of question people may want to ask. These days I do not even smoke cigarettes because it is not a good thing for my liver. I am only 23!! C.

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