living with meth

Byline: | Category: Uncategorized | Posted at: Thursday, 29 December 2005

I don’t normally like to post long excerpts of other people’s work, but what Dr. Tony posted is powerful stuff.  He’s an ER doctor in a community hospital in Tennessee. 

I’ve recently done a construction project for another rural county hospital.  I learned then that meth is the number one problem they deal with–and it’s getting worse. 

Please visit Dr. Tony’s  site for more on what it’s like to live with meth:

An interview of AR by ST.

AR is a 14 year-old girl who was brought to the ER by EMS after the Sheriff’s Drug Task Force raided a home with a meth lab. ST is a counselor with Child Protective Services.

ST: Do you know why you are here?

AR: My mother was arrested and the cops said I had to come here.

ST: Do you know why your mother was arrested?

AR: The cops say she was making meth.

ST: Was she?

AR: My mom said to keep my mouth shut.

ST: What we discuss today is going to be used to help you, not to hurt your mother. I need to know what chemicals you may have been around.

AR: I don’t know what kind of stuff I been around. Lots of stuff.

ST: Do you feel safe at home?

AR: I guess I do. But I been worried about my Sissy and Bubba.

ST: How old are they?

AR: Sissy is 10 and Bubba is 3.

ST: What are you worried about?

AR: Well, them chemicals you talked about. And the people that come over.

ST: What about the people?

AR: They always have guns. My momma has a rule that you have to leave you guns and knives at the door. There’s always a big pile on the floor at the front.

ST: Do you touch them?

AR: No. But Bubba got ‘hold of one once. A gun, I mean. I don’t know what kind. But Sissy and me had come out to clean and found him in the front hall waving a gun around. He wouldna shot it, I mean he don’t know how. But we were afraid of an accident. Sissy and me was real scared until we got it from him.

ST: Why didn’t you get your mother?

AR: She was asleep and we couldn’t wake her up.

ST: How often did your mother have people over?

AR: Oh, there was people over all the time. But sometimes she would have these parties and lots of people would come over. The would use drugs and drink and have sex. Everybody would end up naked on the floor of the living room.

ST: And you and your brother and sister were part of this?

AR: No, ma’am. I mean, we would watch TV in momma’s room. When everything would get quiet, me and Sissy would come out and pick up all the needles so as Bubba wouldn’t get into them. That was scary.

ST: Scary?

AR: Yeah. You know you can get sick from them needles. That’s why we can’t let Bubba get ahold of ‘em.

This story is a typical meth story.  The guns, the sex, the needles, the abuse–they are nearly always present in meth cases.  Tony argues that these byproducts of meth aren’t a function of the drug’s illegality, but a function of the mind-altering nature of the drug.

So let’s talk about drug legalization . . .

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9 Responses to “living with meth”

  1. SayUncle Says:

    ‘So let’s talk about drug legalization’

    Ok, let’s. Did prohibition work?

    Obviously, drugs are problematic. No one with any sense about it would claim otherwise. But is this supposed war on drugs worth it?

    The drug war costs billions and billions and billions of dollars. Many innocent, peaceable citizens have been needlessly killed by a police force that has been essentially militarized and happens to no-knock on the wrong door. People are not secure in their homes because of no knock warrants and search warrants issued based on the frequently false testimony of criminals. Property is taken and lives are destroyed over a few minuscule amounts of drugs. Is it worth that price to confiscate an infinitesimally small fraction of a percent of the drug supply in this country?

  2. SayUncle Says:

    Steppin in da poo poo

    Bob Krumm details a heart-wrenching interview of a child who lived in a meth house by a counselor. Read it all. Then come back. He ends with:
    So lets talk about drug legalization . . .
    To which I said:
    Ok, lets. Did prohibition wo…

  3. JeremyR Says:

    The meth problem is actually caused by a legal drug: viagra. As the article indicate, most people do meth so they can have sex for hours and hours. Viagra is a key to this.

    But they aren’t going to do anything about Viagra, because it makes a ton of money for the legal drug companies.

    There’s a big double standard here. Some recreation drugs are okay (Viagra), some (meth) are not.

    Also, no offense, but most kids in rural areas probably own their own gun. They’re not going to appear magical or something they will play with, even a 3 year old. I also was under the impression that you smoked meth, not used needle.

  4. Terry Says:

    I can’t believe Jeremy nor SayUncle aren’t horrified by what the complete narcissim of Mom is doing to them–not only physically, but emotionally.

    Since SayUncle is in to number crunching, just exactly what is the cost of one life? I mean, if he is going to argue against fighting drugs based on what he believes is a cash loss to the taxpayers, then we can’t really debate unless he provides the cost of one life. Otherwise, it’s just talk–or theory.

    Even if we argued that Momma should be allowed to retreat to her own island and smoke, screw, shoot, and snort her way to the grave, there will still be a cost in this case–and that is society’s job to care for the three children she brought into the world.

    I’m not willing anyway to throw the Mom’s life away. Knowing women who have managed to escape the life of crime, drugs and homelessness, makes me all the more secure in my position that a war on drugs is worth fighting for.

    That’s not to say SayUncle isn’t entitled to his own opinion.

  5. Terry Says:

    I guess I should have said “children” when I referred to “them” in the opening sentence. Sorry.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    Terry, type something of substance then come back. Because I say there are other issues doesn’t mean that I’m not horrified by the girl’s treatment.

  7. Terry Says:

    Uncle, something of substance? How about your claims of “many, innocent peacable citizens…killed” and your claim that people aren’t secure in their homes?

    Are we just taking your word for it? Says who? SayUncle?

    Talk about lacking substance. You made blanket claims with no facts, figures, or numbers. You make a claim of billions and billions of dollars. And I’m correct to ask you the value of one life.

    According to your equation, you have conjured up some numbers that saving lives isn’t worth the supposed collateral damage that has been inflicted.

    Many folks are for legalizing drugs, but I think you should be honest and just say you don’t think doing drugs should be anyone’s business. Don’t try to act as if it is concern about balancing taxdollars and life vs.life.

    If we applied your logic here (that we shouldn’t fight a war on drugs because “innocents” are harmed)to your sacred gun argument, then we would all be siding with the Brady gun-grabbers. But I don’t agree with that and I don’t think you do either.

  8. SayUncle Says:

    ‘Uncle, something of substance? How about your claims of “many, innocent peacable citizens…killed” and your claim that people aren’t secure in their homes?”

    try google. Or feel free to search my site for as many stats as you’d like since i’ve written about the issue for a few years now. Or go here for a list of victims:

    http://blogs.salon.com/0002762/stories/2003/08/17/drugWarVictims.html

    I never said don’t fight it because innocents are harmed, i said the number of lives destroyed wasn’t worth the cost.

    ‘Don’t try to act as if it is concern about balancing taxdollars and life vs.life’

    Why? That’s my reason. The collateral damage in this thing is freaking huge.

  9. xgt Says:

    There’s a reason we fight wars. It’s because the life of many is more important than life of a few. Therefore, human life can be measured, and anything of value can have a price tag on it.

    Putting a price tag on human life is not thought-crime.