Monday, June 25, 2007

Flavored meth: truth or fiction?

Is there really such a thing as strawberry-flavored methamphetamine? Several months ago, the Carson County (Nev.) Sheriff's Department reported seizing a quantity of what was described as strawberry-flavored methamphetamine, dubbed "strawberry quick" after a container of Strawberry Quik drink mix was reportedly found at a meth lab.

Both the Nevada Department of Public Health and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) followed up with warnings about strawberry flavored meth, and reports spread about meth being flavored with chocolate, cola, and more.

Local and national media began picking up the story as well as another about "cheese" heroin, a mix of black-tar heroin and Tylenol PM that has become popular in the Dallas area and is linked to a number of overdose deaths among adolescents.

Only problem is, it seems that no other law enforcement agency has actually found and identified strawberry-flavored meth in their community. So maybe it’s just the rumors that are spreading and not the stuff itself.

Have you heard of this in your community? It was news to me, but then, I’m living in the mid-Atlantic area where meth has not traditionally been the drug of choice. Not like it is in the West and Midwest. Well, at least not yet.

You can read more online about the controversies around flavored meth and “cheese” heroin at Join Together, a program of the Boston University School of Public Health. Since 1991 Join Together has been the nation's leading provider of information, strategic planning assistance, and leadership development for community-based efforts to advance effective alcohol and drug policy, prevention, and treatment.

Thanks for the great work you're doing.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Thoughts in circles

This is one of those days when the thoughts just keep going in circles.

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks and a while since I’ve had a chance to write. So many thoughts, so little time.

I was able to see my son and his family last week, and my greatest concern was how the baby was doing after these chaotic months that happened to be key ones in her development.

The joy: she seems to be a healthy and happy about-to-turn-one-year old, and I was so blessed to get to see her really start to walk. After putting one or two steps together, she moved on to four, five and six steps at a time before falling. By the time I left, she was walking across the room without falling. Yay!!

The heartbreak: wondering if she is really getting the nurturing, hugs and kisses when she needs them. Wondering how long it will be before she can just go to sleep in her own bed for a whole week, then two, then permanently.

Seeing her took me back to her daddy’s first birthday and how cute and sweet he was as a child. It boggles my mind to try to understand how he went from that child to become the addicted person he is today. How could it happen? I know it wasn’t a path he deliberately chose, although the choices he made since then have taken him down a long road of pain and problems.

As recovering alcoholic Bill Webb said in a recent blog post, “Perhaps it might help to remember that no one wakes up one day and says, ‘Hey! It’s a nice day today—I think I’ll become an addict!’ All of us thought we could control it to begin with, and all of us were blind-sided by its power.”

It helped to read his words that followed: “I tell sponsees over and over that when we’re using we suffer from chemically-induced insanity—that we were literally not in our right minds—and still they are often unable to forgive themselves for what they have visited on themselves and others. How much harder it must be for those who have not experienced the power of drugs and alcohol first hand to understand the mindless compulsion that shapes every minute of an active addict’s life.”

Yes, it is so hard to understand. And the saga continues.

Hopefully, THIS will be the week my son and his wife decide to walk away from the insanity they’ve been living for months now. Before immediate consequences extend into lengthy ones. Or their baby is left with life-long scars.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

More ups and downs

The very same day I received some exciting personal news this week, life came crashing in on my son.

Another ride on that emotional roller coaster. But for some reason, maybe because we've been prepared for this, or maybe because I'm doing better at taking each day--each hour--as it comes, it hasn't been so devastating for me. I've also chosen to look at the positive side of the situation.

First of all, I'm grateful he's still alive. Whatever he faces in the coming months and years, I know God has granted him mercy and will give him the support he needs. I know the man my son is deep down and can just imagine the man he will become when he's not using drugs.

I'm grateful for my family and that my daughter is able to support her brother in a way that's healthy, with boundaries. I'm glad that the baby can spend some more time with her daddy when he's clean and sober, and hope she will realize and remember, even at her early age, that he loves her deeply.

And above all, we do hope this will be the beginning of his recovery that will last the rest of his life.

Then just when I needed another good dose of hope and encouragement, I found this story in Sober 24 Highlights. Take a moment and read it. Come back and let me know if you were as moved by it as I was.