The Pain is disguised
Methamphetamine is a very powerful drug and is sooooo dangerous because it only takes one time to become addicted. The reason for this is not a simple one because it has many tricks up it's sleeve. The first one (which it does right from the get go) is making you feel like it has improved you and your whole life immensely. It has you believing that you are a much better person than you were before taking it. It makes you feel happy and you enjoy doing everything, and life is grand. For some people, it takes a little longer to be convinced and then others won't be convinced at all - but not many.
Trick number two will be convincing you that you don't need anyone or anything else but it. Nothing is more important than it. It will very quietly sneak up behind you and start manipulating situations so you start spending more and more time doing things for it. At the same time, without you realizing what's happening, it starts to alienate you from your friends and family. There is no room for them in your new and improved life nor do you have the time to really worry about it. You'll be so preoccupied and detached from your feelings that you'll even be somewhat glad that everyone you know is staying away from you. At least you won't have to deal with them for awhile.
Now you are no longer in control and still believe that you could quit doing it at any given time. There is no connection between it and the fact that you've lost your job or the reason you've broke up with your loved one. It's not the reason why your friends are trippin and don't call or come by any more. By now, your body has also become dependant on it so when you do try to stop doing it, you can't because your body is unable to function. Before you know it, you'll need it just to just get through the day. And since your body is not functioning properly, neither is your mind and pretty soon, nothing will make you feel good or even semi-normal. The little things in life like taking your kids to school, mowing the lawn, calling a friend or relative, won't bring you pleasure anymore. Nothing will until you get off the dope and until you've given your body enough time to heal. This takes an average of 1- 3 years from the time you stop.
February 11, 2002
Hi, it's been since Feb of last year since I've last used this board. I have wrote something that I found everyone that has used meth before agrees with it. It's actually bit and pieces taken out from a much larger thing that I wrote. If anyone disagrees with it, then please reply with a reason. Thanks and stay away from the dope.
Meth, every time I hear that word, I'm instantly overwhelmed with a surge of old memory's and thoughts from my past. It's nearly impossible to overcome the horrid and loved images, events, and times that seem to have been the building blocks of what has become of me, who I am today. About eight years of my life, mostly my teenage years, had been more or less destroyed, leaving me now with a bunch of complicated mysteries and questions about how and who I became. Many of my thoughts still seem to contradict each other. It's now been about four years since I last used but I'm still faced with many opposing feelings that seem to never go away. It's like a battle within pertaining to something that I had once loved more than anything including myself, my family, my children, career, friends, and altogether my entire life. So now that I'm not using this drug anymore, why does is still affect me and how did this drug do such a damn good job at covering up or preventing me from experiencing or better yet realizing what was going on. It was a power so great that I would have kept perusing even in the face of death.
My respect for Meth and the potential it carries is incomprehensible. This addiction is unlike anything imaginable and must be distinguished from the addictions of other drugs. The way that this addiction can overpower someone, hidden without any warnings or signs while engulfing them with its rapid triumph is indescribable. It happened to me and was unlike anything I've ever dreamed of. It does this in a way where the victim is unaware of and has no defense capability whatsoever. By filling you pride, well-being, happiness, determination, and a huge self-esteem that the person is willing to protect by all means more than ever before. Mainly this is what meth has attacked you with. While you are feeling better then ever before, not realizing that you actually falling, and in a sense becoming a different person, with a different personality, a whole new character, while the true you is still present, but being locked up behind a barrier that prevents any and all of your former morals, personalities, and beliefs from playing any roles within this new person. Like a glass wall leaving you at times able to see thru and sometimes feel from what you used to be, but never able to penetrate. It's when you have your first experience with the feelings of your former self, which rarely happens, and for some, may never happen, that you first realize you are addicted. By that time, my friends, it is too late! Since whatever you may have experienced is so brief and is quickly attacked and taken down by your new character's protected self-esteem in a fast, unnoticeable, and happily acceptable way, you are left with something that you have already forgotten. Soon after it all becomes just another example of how extremely well your new personality can protect itself from any threats to the truth, the fact that you are under control of this power called crystal. All advice, care, suggestions, or observations from other people will be denied and angrily refused because of this entirely different person that you have became and are totally unaware of. This is why people that are actively using the drug are more or less helpless, they are a robot being controlled by crystal and they hold a shield that will prevent any person from coming close to them and that keeps outside help far away since the person filled with false security and are 200% convinced that nothing at all is wrong.
For me to try and successfully go further into the details of methamphetamine addiction would be a waste of my and it probably would never end. There are certain things in life that are impossible for a person who has never experienced them, to be able understand and comprehend what they're being told, no matter how good it's described. There really is not anything I can think of that would give a person even a slim idea of what my life has been thru or what it would be like to be in this situation and is one thing that can't be judged since there's absolutely no way of putting yourself into that life. It's like a real fantasy, a fatal one, that seems to have magically possessed me and has left me in a long, intense, slow and f**king LOVED process of dieing!!!
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Date Posted: 15:50:51 01/31/02 Thu
"" Methamphetamine: A potent high that kills your brain cells
To understand how methamphetamine works on the brain is to understand a cruel joke.
At low doses the drug can block hunger, focus attention, steady the heart and boost endurance.
That's why virtually every major military power this century has tried giving methamphetamine or amphetamines to its soldiers in battle.
But try to tell a battle-weary soldier not to take too much of a good thing.
"They ended up with troops confused, making bad decisions and going psychotic," said
psychiatrist Mark Broadhead."That was a stupid mistake."
And so it goes today in virtually every neighborhood.
Every day there are desperate people making the same mistake: smoking, snorting and injecting
high doses of a drug that briefly makes the body feel good, but kills the the brain along the way.
Methamphetamine works like this: it sends a message to brain cells to fire more dopamine, a feel-good chemical that is also critical to normal brain functioning.
Hours after it's ingested, cell receptors begin to turn off to slow the flow of dopamine, and here's where methamphetamine differs from other stimulants, such as cocaine.
While other stimulants allow brain cells to capture and repackage the dopamine, methamphetamine doesn't. The brain cells respond by releasing an enzyme to knock out the extra dopamine. With repeated use, those enzymes eventually kill the dopamine cell, and that leads to a chemical change in the way your brain works.
"Ever heard of Parkinson's Disease?" asks Broadhead."That's what you look like.
"You lose things like motivation, you become apathetic. You eventually lose interest in pleasurable things ... If you liked to go fishing, well, fishing just doesn't excite you anymore."
This methampetamine-induced brain damage has been proven in animals, but no humans have ever been tested because it would require dissection of the brain.
"It's neuro-toxic, and the other (stimulants) aren't," said Broadhead.
And even as the drug's doing its damage, the brain begins to crave more as it becomes better at shutting off its effects.
"It's kind of like listening to loud music. After a while, it doesn't seem so loud," said Broadhead.
"You need a hell of a lot more of the drug to maintain the high."
Abusers follow a classic pattern of consuming more and more of the drug before something happens like a car accident, arrest or family fight that scares them into quitting, but it doesn't last.
"Most addicts don't constantly use," said Broadhead."It's not the fact that you can't quit. It's the fact that you can't stay quit ... You get back into it and it's off to the races."
Doctors aren't sure why, but one-third of heavy users will develop bizarre, paranoid behavior and suffer hallucinations and voices in the mind that are "as real as real gets," said Broadhead.
Individuals who seek treatment have a rough time kicking the drug, and can still suffer from psychosis for up to a half-year. Cravings, irritability, nightmares and depression are also common for months after someone goes cold turkey. The cravings eventually wane but sometimes the damage is irreparable but won't show for years.
"This is one of my big worries, it really is," Broadhead said."As we get older, we lose neurons.
Let's say between the age of 16 and 23, I did a lot of meth and then I stopped. Still, I knocked out 30 percent of my dopamine neurons. I might still have enough dopamine to function now, but what happens to me when I'm 65 - I'm looking like I've got chronic schizophrenia."
Broadhead pointed out that amphetamines in low doses are considered safe by physicians, and are still prescribed for children with Attention Deficit Disorder.
But it's not uncommon for illegal users take doses so strong they would kill a normal person.
Broadhead recognizes drug and alcohol use is a common rite of passage for adolescents. As a physician he doesn't differentiate between what's legal or illegal, but he does say kids who grow up with crank are taking a bigger gamble.
"Philosophically, I see no difference between alcohol and methamphetamine, but to me it's the difference between playing mumblety-peg or Russian roulette." "
The pain is horrid, The life of degradation is tragic.
But that is how normal people see it. The addict doesn't see anything from a normal perspective. I'll tell ya how it felt for me and perhaps others will do the same.
Meth, as terrible as it is - makes the user feel good.
Not just good, but super. It gives confidence, happiness, self-assurance, pleasure and more. Everything is interesting - too interesting, hence the tweaking. Hope and joy are brought to such high levels. Anything, every action, evry activity, is just so much fun. It feels so wonderful to just be in existence. Then the sex part, another life entirely.
Within a short period, perhaps a month or two, THE ADDICT realizes how terrible life is without meth and how wonderful it is when doing meth. It doesn't take much to decide that feeling good is preferable to feeling terrible. Many of us got to the point of choosing meth over everything else, including life. The brain of the addict says, "I'd much rather die than live in the hurt and pain I feel without my speed."
The only way that will change, is when the user recognizes the meth lie, and decides for himself to quit. He won't do it for money, spouse, parents, children, lovers, fame, career, reputation, morals, values, or anything else.
Is this too harsh sounding?
I guarantee that the meth addict can take this message and multiply it a dozen times and not think twice about doing his next hit.
The meth relationship pt.1 (to non-users)
Posted by: Reason - 2/24/2004 (5:19 a.m.)
While reading the messages here I regularly see posts from people who have not used meth, but know someone who does, typically a relative or friend. Often they are looking for information about the nature of a users relationship with meth, their empathy stymied by a lack of knowledge. In this post I will explain best I can the psychology of meth usage. I want to get a little deeper than blanket attributes, and hopefully provide some little windows into the personal, internal side of addiction to this particular drug. I am not a psychologist or a doctor.
This is not a diagnosis, only my opinions. Nothing should automatically be accepted as accurate or as describing any specific person, and everything is for information purposes only. I haven't planned this out, so excuse my wandering. This is written for the meth non-user, and I want you to please really think hard about the points I raise, if you can make sense of any of them. I'm trying to only examine the more profound aspects. Imagine the implications, and the possible influences on the mind and behavior. Imagine if you were the person I was describing. The user I describe here has an active professional and personal life, and a healthy number of interests and hobbies. Over time, meth has become more regular and frequent. While this does not represent all users, it might represent anyone with responsibilities and destinations that finds to their surprise that meth has much more significance than before, and difficult to do--to even consider doing--without.
A significant aspect of meth usage crucial to understanding the user is that over time, it becomes part of ones fundamental lifestyle. By that I mean so much a part of daily life that decisions of whether or not to use are mostly nonexistent. It is the same of any lifestyle behavior. If healthy eating is a cardinal value, few instances of pondering over whether to buy groceries at 7-11 or at Health-Rite Organic Foods will occur. Not many mental debates between Ding-Dongs or a Soy Protein Shake for a snack. Our fundamental lifestyle values operate automatically and thoroughly, shaping our desires and actions on a subconscious level, freeing us to focus on the particulars of life.
Long-time health nuts will not accidentally find themselves in a McDonald's. Perhaps a more recent convert to healthy eating would, because old habits fade, not blink off, and new ways of thinking take time to soak in deep. In time habits become fundamentally part of our character, enough to influence a broad sphere of our life, and we seldom have to think how to apply them; we just do.
Meth insinuates itself into the fabric of a life, and can do so rather quickly. It may seem odd, that all the effort necessary to purchase or acquire a drug and to regularly "get high" could be almost subconscious in nature, but that's the second thing I want you to realize: the meth user is not "getting high" in the way smoking grass gets you stoned, or alcohol, drunk, or LSD, tripping. Sure, its effects can be used recreationally in order to augment some occasion, in the same way LSD might be taken before seeing the Lord of the Rings trilogy (in your theatre of course). But that's not the kind of usage I'm referring to here. I'm talking the regular, habitual user.
As an observer, to consider their meth fix as the means to a temporary high, like something to do at Friday night's party, is to completely misunderstand the nature and effect of this drug. The meth high is not an entity in and of itself, like the alcohol high is. The liquor buzz can be felt forming. Inside, increasing and expanding up and out through your body until it spreads to your surroundings and the walls are bright, and you in the center of this aura, one with the buzz. Its enjoyable there, and it better be -- you can't do much of anything else BUT enjoy it, you're so incapacitated. And then it can be felt weakening, and things are less shiny, until you re-up your blood alcohol content, then it's back again and off you go. Repeat as needed.
Instead, meth is amplification. It does not move you from sober into a non-sober state; it zaps every atom of whatever state you were already in. It jacks into your mental energy and shoots it a crackling shot of juice that somehow doesn't fade like power surges are supposed to. Unlike alcohol inebriation, you've not lost capacity -- you've gained it. Whatever you could do before, now you can do it better, and enjoy it more. What interested you before now fascinates you. What used to lose your interest after doing a while can now be done indefinitely, and you won't even notice the hours speeding by. The basic becomes profound. The good, brilliant. The staid, vibrant.
Your confidence, fearlessness. Your desires, yearning. Anger, rage.
So it's not a matter of "getting high" and grooving on that high, it's a matter of recharging energy and then grooving on your life. The meth effect is not a destination, it's an acceleration. Which of course doesn't last forever, and of course leaves you with less mental energy than you began with, which means you gotta do a bit to get back to even, and in that case why not a little more to perk up a little?
Do not wonder why the user is getting high all the time. They're not. Just putting a little gas in the tank. Which is another lifestyle function we do without barely thinking about it, gassing our cars. Why, I've arrived home with a full tank and not even realized I'd stopped at the station, it's so automatic a routine. Eating is another autopilot routine. I probably couldn't remember every single thing I ate yesterday either, since I eat often and without question, deliberation or particular fascination. This from habit, because I lack energy if I don't eat, and my body gradually increases in discomfort until I do...
... the same, which can be said for an interruption in meth consumption. When it becomes an addiction, there is no question about if to do it, only when. It serves such a basic need that the question whether or not to do it arises about as often as the question whether or not to brush your teeth in the morning, or wear socks to work. Do not be surprised if theft or some other moral compromise is committed to obtain meth. The desire to feel at least OK with the world is far too fundamental a need to be deterred by the passing guilt resulting from immoral acts. Which brings me to my third point: why is it so hard to quit? What does the body and mind go through? What kind of issues does a user consider when thinking about quitting? What are his options, alternatives, and consequences?
The reason why it becomes part of a lifestyle is not the same reason it was taken in the first place. Initially, doing it was an upper. Eventually, simply not doing it, is a downer.
I guess this will be part I, since I can't continue right now. Hope at least some of it is vaguely intelligible. :)
[Part 1 is at http://pub6.dream-tools.net/tools/messageview.mv?view+kcimeth+26459+index]
This article is written for anyone personally unacquainted with meth but familiar with a habitual user, and curious about the dynamic between the two. It's impossible to comprehend by observation alone, and the users themselves are unlikely to be exactly forthcoming. But comprehension is what you need, because every bit of understanding
will produce that much more opportunity to aide your friend in need. I will attempt to explain some of the real essence of a user's relationship with meth, and for your part, go slowly and immerse yourself in the bits of life I present. Imagine they are yours. Speculate on the emotional toll. Ponder the implications. I'll deal with concepts
more than behavior, so adopt each one as true, then explore the implications. If some effect seems without cause it's just something you've not experienced. Search for possible reasons, but it's not a necessary discovery -- by being wise to end result, noticing the actions which lead there can suddenly shed a little light on someone’s behavior.
Little piece, big puzzle. This entire process requires rapt attention to a person’s most subtle behavior. It's not easy intellectually ascertaining the effects of a drug never imbibed. If it was, doing the drug wouldn't be necessary, we could just learn about it to get high! LOL. Other people's experience may be the best teacher, but it sure ain't the easiest.
Part 1 of this post addressed the level of the relationship between meth and a regular user. Eventually it becomes second nature, rarely challenged or alternatives considered, subtly re-arranging and -scheduling what over time become lesser priorities. Never mind how this comes to be. Don't question the process; don't wonder about foresight and accountability (or sowing and reaping for you religious types). That particular squirmy journey defies easy description, and would pass undetected even were you told what to look for. It's over and irrelevant. The context you must fit yourself completely into is, meth is a fundamental part of a lifestyle. Fundamental like your house, which is part of most waking moments and a daily destination. Once having made a home, it's an integral part of ones life, and over-night hotel stays just to take a break from it are rare. Fundamental like parenting, attention to which subsumes everything else. You live and die by the tear or twinkle in their eye. The Halo level doesn't get finished after the phone-call that they missed the bus and are stranded alone at school... you Spy Hunter it there
and arrive before they've even hung up the pay-phone. Little debate takes place regarding fulfilling top-level values -- their success implicitly becomes the virtue of the lesser ones. Yet even so dear as home and kids are, how many times has meth trumped them both? Place yourself there, full knowledge of the damage being done to things you value, without stopping what's doing the damage. Until those things are lost. How is that possible? What insanity struck your nightmare life? What are you thinking?!
Why is the meth habit so hard to kick? The health and lifestyle havoc alone should be enough to convince the most stubborn user it's bad news. This issue has been discussed and studied quite thoroughly, from all different angles, and I don't know if I have anything new to offer that hasn't been dissected already, but since I have a singular goal maybe I'll get lucky, lol. Put on your thinking caps, non-meth-users, and follow me.
The second most important thing you should know about the addict who's considering ending his habit: he doesn't think he can. Taking everything into consideration, all considerations explored, after tests, studies, and exhaustive experiments, all things being equal, his professional, scientific conclusion is: can't be done. Not by a long shot.
Wasn't even close. Everything pointed one way. He recalls a previous occasion when fleeting thoughts of possible success were experienced. Hah, he smiles to himself. I must've really been high. He still occasionally considers it, but each time the preponderance of evidence is so overwhelming that eventually he rarely even bothers, turning instead to what has become a regular topic of consideration: how could my meth
habit be configured in such a way to fuck up less shit, thus allowing a few more needs to be met? Now that's a good question. Because it shouldn't take that many adjustments, and with the added benefits taken into account... why... I think, I think I might just be able to work this thing for... uh... a long time! Straight up. Shouldn't be that hard, I'm not a fucking moron after-all, no reason it can't be worked out.
But things get busy and the considerations are put on hold, for, a bit, until a little while later--3 years to be exact--it occurs to him again... shouldn't be that hard to figure out... after all, if I'm not gonna be able to quit, I better figure
SOME way to co-exist with this thing.
You, non-user. How's your impetus to try things you know you can't accomplish? Are you generally really excited about beginning hopeless tasks? Would you work up the energy to give it a shot once a week? A month? How about after a few attempts that seemed ok fail? Nothing like hopes dashed to lift the human spirit, eh?
And the most important thing you should know about the addict, often thought but rarely voiced, his dirty little
secret, both uplifting and terrifying:
I DON'T WANT TO QUIT! I DON'T WANT TO QUIT! I don't CARE about all the shit, I don't CARE what I had, I don't care because it doesn't matter anyways, because I don't want to quit this drug. I like it. My life isn't going to completely fall apart; I'll figure it out more as I go along. Sure it sucks a little I lost that, and them, but you know what, it's par for the course. If I can be like this for the rest of my life, that's worth a little sacrifice. Everything worth having requires sacrifice, and this... this is worth having. I mean, really! If it's this way for 25 years more or that way for 50, that's not even a question. Those words don't even make sense, LOL.
But who, non-using reader, is he gonna say that to? All those discussions where you felt he wasn't really engaging in, those times whatever he was thinking was inscrutable? In hindsight the truth may seem obvious, but at the time who would seriously even consider such an evil sentiment was possible? Can you imagine how alone they feel, thinking such ultimate, immense thoughts, unable to share it with anybody, even their loved ones, their family, or you? The meth addict not only feels alone in their experience, but separated from the people they love the most by a gulf of infinite size. It is a tortuous, absolutely crushing struggle. See, it's not just physiological symptoms, which bring on mental instability, it's the overwhelming significance of these decisions the poor souls finds themselves making.
Chew on that for a while. That all things being considered, with the entire rest of one's life in hand... they don't want to quit. They've not gone insane. To them, it makes perfect sense!