Minnesota Channel – Life After Meth

people applaud] (man) "LIFE AFTER METH" IS A COPRODUCTION OF TPT'S MINNESOTA CHANNEL AND HAZELDEN– TREATING THE WHOLE PERSON AS WELL AS THE ILLNESS SINCE 1949 [bass, drums, & acoustic guitar play light rock] ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ WHEN I FIRST STARTED USING DRUGS, I WAS 13, AND THEN I STARTED DRINKING WHEN I WAS 14

I STARTED OUT JUST SMOKING POT AND DRINKING ALCOHOL, AND THEN AS THE YEARS WENT ON, MY DRUG USE CONTINUED TO PROGRESS, AND I STARTED TO USE OTHER THINGS, ABUSING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS, COCAINE, HALLUCINOGENS, AND THINGS LIKE THAT I WAS ABUSING PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS THAT DOCTORS WOULD PRESCRIBE TO KIDS WITH ADHD, SO I WAS ABUSING THOSE AND THAT THEY WERE UPPERS AND THEY GOT ME HIGH AND KIND OF THE SAME EFFECT THAT METH GAVE ME SO I REALLY ALWAYS LIKED THE UPPERS AND COCAINE AND STUFF LIKE THAT, SO I STARTED USING METH, AND IT WAS ALL OF THOSE THINGS TIMES 10 I MEAN IT WAS REALLY JUST LIKE YOU FELT LIKE YOU COULD WALK THROUGH A WALL, AND THAT'S WHAT I WANTED, THAT'S WHAT I ACHIEVED WAS THAT FEELING SUPERIOR AND FEELING POWERFUL, AND THAT'S WHAT METH GAVE ME METH LASTED A LONG TIME, AND SO THAT'S WHAT I LIKED ABOUT IT, AND THAT'S WHAT LED UP TO IT IS THAT OTHER THINGS WEREN'T WORKING ANYMORE

THE DOWNSIDE OF IT IS THAT IT MAKES YOU DO EVERYTHING THAT A HUMAN BEING IS REALLY NOT SUPPOSED TO DO YOU WILL STAY UP FOR DAYS, EVEN WEEKS AT A TIME WITHOUT ANY AMOUNT OF SLEEP SOMETIMES YOU COULD SHUT YOUR EYES FOR 5 MINUTES AND WAKE UP AND BE ON THE BALL AND GOING AND GOING AND GOING TALK FOR HOURS NONSTOP; YOU WOULDN'T EAT FOR DAYS WHEN I PUT MYSELF INTO MY 2ND IN-PATIENT PROGRAM, I WEIGHED 92 POUNDS BECAUSE I WOULDN'T EAT, AND I WOULDN'T SLEEP, AND IT JUST MAKES YOU FEEL AFTER AWHILE WITH NO SLEEP AND NOTHING TO EAT, AND BEING ON THIS DRUG WILL MAKE YOU ANGRY

AND SO I WAS ALWAYS REALLY ANGRY, AND I WOULD CRY WHEN I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE LAUGHING, AND I WOULD BE MAD WHEN I SHOULD BE HAPPY I MEAN IT WAS JUST ALL THESE WEIRD EMOTIONS I MEAN, IT REALLY MESSES WITH YOU PSYCHOLOGICALLY NO MATTER WHAT MY PARENTS DID, I GOT HIGH BECAUSE I WANTED TO I KNEW IT WAS HURTING THEM, AND I JUST WANTED TO, SO I DID

I MEAN THERE'S NOTHING ELSE THAT I CARED ABOUT THINGS WERE REALLY, REALLY BAD WITH MY PARENTS ESPECIALLY I MEAN MY MOM REALLY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH ME AFTER AWHILE, AND MY DAD HE SAID THAT IT WAS THE HARDEST THAT HE HAD CRIED IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE BECAUSE OF WHAT I WAS DOING TO THE FAMILY SO WHEN I WAS 16 I WENT TO MY FIRST TREATMENT CENTER, AND AFTER THAT I CONTINUED MY USE, AND I COULDN'T STOP USING, AND THEN I STARTED GETTING INTO METH, AND THINGS GOT PRETTY BAD FOR ME, AND SO I PUT MYSELF INTO ANOTHER IN-PATIENT TREATMENT PROGRAM AND THEN AFTER THAT I WENT DIRECTLY TO A HALFWAY HOUSE FOR 3 MONTHS

MY LIFE TODAY, I WOULD NOT TRADE A MINUTE OF MY LIFE TODAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE USING IF I COULD USE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I WOULD CHOSE NOT TO IF I COULD JUST HAVE A MINUTE OF TODAY BECAUSE IT IS SO AMAZING THE FRIENDS THAT I HAVE WOULD WALK THROUGH FIRE FOR ME BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT I'D DO THE SAME FOR THEM, AND YOU KNOW, ALL THE PEOPLE IN MY LIFE JUST TOUCH MY HEART EVERY DAY AND THE FACT THAT I GET TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE HAVE SOME HOPE AND THAT MY FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS ARE AMAZING TODAY I'M LOOKING AT COLLEGES, AND I'M GOING GET AN APARTMENT WITH MY GIRLFRIENDS, AND THINGS ARE JUST DIFFERENT

MY SISTER IS GETTING MARRIED, AND I GET TO BE THE MAID OF HONOR SHE NEVER WOULD HAVE ASKED ME TO EVEN BE IN HER WEDDING IF I WAS STILL USING, AND SO MY FUTURE IS LOOKING REALLY BRIGHT FOR ME I WAS TOLD THAT TO JUST WAIT BECAUSE IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND IT JUST NEVER STOPS GETTING BETTER, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT I'M EXCITED TO BE SOBER TODAY

¶ ¶ I MET A BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHERE THEY ALL USED DRUGS, AND AT FIRST IT WAS JUST MARIJUANA ON A REGULAR BASIS AND THEN LATER ONE OF THE PEOPLE THERE SAID HEY MAN, I CAN GET SOME DOPE I WAS JUST LIKE, I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT AT THE TIME, BUT I LATER FOUND OUT THAT IT WAS METHAMPHETAMINE, AND HE INTRODUCED ME TO THAT, AND I STARTED USING IT THEN I WAS AT THE BEGINNING OF MY 11TH GRADE YEAR I LIKED THE ENERGETIC FEELING THAT IT GAVE ME

IT'S A REALLY STIMULATING FEELING IT'S–I DON'T KNOW, IT'S A GREAT FEELING THE FIRST TIME YOU DO IT, IT JUST SUCKS YOU IN THE FEELING THAT IT GIVES YOU WHEN YOU'RE COMING DOWN IS JUST, IT'S TERRIBLE YOU FEEL DEPRESSED, YOU KNOW

NOTHING REALLY MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD ANYMORE LIKE YOUR FAVORITE SONG MEANS NOTHING TO YOU YOU DON'T CARE TO BE AROUND ANY OF YOUR FRIENDS, YOU KNOW YOU JUST WANT TO GO OUT AND USE MORE METH, I SUPPOSE WHEN I STARTED USING REGULARLY, MAYBE AFTER THE 2ND MONTH, AFTER THE 3RD MONTH, THAT WAS WHEN I KNEW I HAD A PROBLEM

IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT NORMAL PEOPLE DON'T DO THIS EVERYDAY IT WAS A JUDGE THAT ORDERED ME TO GO TO TREATMENT, AND HE TOLD ME I COULD EITHER SPEND THE REST OF MY TIME OUT IN LIKE, A JUVENILE DELINQUENT CENTER OR I COULD GO TO TREATMENT I DIDN'T KNOW HOW LONG IT WAS GOING TO BE AT THE TIME, BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE A 3-MONTH PROGRAM THAT WAS THE LONGEST TREATMENT I'VE EVER BEEN TO BECAUSE ALL THE OTHER ONES I HAD EVER GONE TO BEFORE WERE ONLY A ONE-WEEK IN-PATIENT AND THEN OUT-PATIENT FOR THE NEXT MONTH SOME OF THE THINGS THAT DEFINITELY HELPED ME STAY SOBER HAVE GOT TO BE AA– GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM

SOBER FRIENDS PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN ME STAYING SOBER I DON'T THINK IF I HAD THE SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT I HAD TODAY, I WOULDN'T BE SOBER BECAUSE YOU JUST GOTTA HAVE PEOPLE– YOU GOTTA SURROUND YOURSELF WHEN YOU WANT TO STAY SOBER, YOU HAVE TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE THAT ARE SOBER THEY KNOW HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS YOU GOTTA HAVE A GOOD ENVIRONMENT FOR YOURSELF

I ALSO GO TO SOBRIETY HIGH IT'S KIND OF A 12-STEP-BASED SCHOOL AND WHAT IT IS, I GUESS IT'S ROUGHLY BASED ON THE 12 STEPS BECAUSE WE PRACTICE THOSE AT SCHOOL WE HAVE A GROUP ONCE A DAY I HAPPEN TO HAVE IT IN MY 4TH-HOUR CLASS, AND IT'S A TIME FOR– WHEN PEOPLE ARE HAVING PROBLEMS, OR THEY NEED TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT'S REALLY BOTHERING THEM, THEY CAN TAKE THAT, AND THEY CAN JUST, THEY CAN USE THAT GROUP, AND THEY CAN TALK ABOUT WHATEVER THE WANT AND JUST GET INDIVIDUALIZED FEEDBACK FROM ALL THE OTHER GROUP MEMBERS

THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING SOBER IS JUST– MAYBE IT'S BEING HAPPY, YOU KNOW, NOT WORRYING ABOUT WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO GET THAT NEXT FIX IT'S A RELIEF NOT HAVING TO GO OUT AND DO THE SAME THING THAT YOU ALWAYS DID AND I DON'T BELIEVE ANY ADDICT IS HOPELESS I THOUGHT I WAS HOPELESS FOR AWHILE I KNOW PEOPLE THAT HAVE TOLD ME THAT I WAS HOPELESS

I'M NOT HOPELESS– I'VE 11-1/2 MONTHS OF SOBRIETY NOW I'M HAPPY, I JUST FOUND MYSELF A JOB I HAVE A LOT OF FRIENDS I THINK I'M DOING ALRIGHT ¶ ¶ I GOT STARTED USING METH

UMM, PRETTY MUCH BY MY FRIENDS MY FRIENDS WERE ALL USING IT AROUND ME I WAS USING MARIJUANA AND ECSTASY AT THE TIME, AND IT WAS JUST SOMETHING ELSE TO DO I WAS KIND OF CHASING THE HIGH OF, YOU KNOW I WANTED TO FEEL HIGHER THAN WHAT I WAS SO, YEAH I TRIED IT, AND I GUESS FROM THAT POINT ON I JUST THOUGHT THAT WAS THE BEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD I THOUGHT IT WAS THE ONLY THING THAT KEPT ME GOING IN LIFE

I WAS 13 WHEN I STARTED USING METH I LIKED THE PART WHERE I GET SKINNY I WAS LOOKING AT THE SCALE SEEING YOU KNOW, HAVE I LOST ANYMORE WEIGHT I LIKED THE FRIENDS ALSO THAT I GOT WITH IT I HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS

THE WEIGHT LOSS FOR ME WHEN I STARTED USING METH WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE BIGGEST PART OF ME USING MY BEST FRIEND WAS SUPER SKINNY, AND I WANTED TO BE JUST LIKE THAT AND THAT WAS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST RUSH FOR ME WAS JUST LOSING ALL THAT WEIGHT IN SUCH A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME WHEN I WAS USING, I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE A GOOD IDEA WITH 2 OF MY FRIENDS TO RUN AWAY FOR FLORIDA, AND WE WERE GOING TO GO FROM THERE TO TEXAS TO A METH, OR AT THE PLACE WHERE THEY WERE COOKING METH I GOT PULLED OVER BY THE POLICE FOR NOT WEARING A SEATBELT, AND THEY SEARCHED MY CAR, AND I HAD A GRAM OF METH AND A METH BONG, AND IN TEXAS THEY TAKE THAT VERY SERIOUSLY SO I WENT TO WOMEN'S PRISON, OR WOMEN'S JAIL FOR 5 DAYS

MY PARENTS BAILED ME OUT AFTER THAT I STILL DIDN'T QUIT I WENT TO TREATMENT, BUT LOOKING AT THAT NOW, LIKE THAT WAS PROBABLY ONE OF MY LOWEST POINTS I THOUGHT I WAS ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS, AND I WOULD NEVER RECOVER FROM THIS ADDICTION I'VE BEEN TO TREATMENT 3 TIMES

MY FIRST TREATMENT WAS 12 MONTHS, AND THEN I HAD ONE FOR 3 MONTHS, AND THEN I HAD ONE FOR 21 DAYS THE LAST TIME I WAS IN TREATMENT, THE TREATMENT WAS BASED ON THE 12 STEPS, AND IT REALLY SHOWED ME THAT THERE'S SOMETHING MORE TO LIFE THAN USING DRUGS, AND YOU HAVE SOMETHING BETTER TO LIVE FOR, THAT I CAN ACHIEVE MORE, AND I'M NOT HOPELESS IN LIFE, THAT I CAN AMOUNT TO SOMETHING I'M SO HAPPY NOW I THOUGHT I WAS HAPPY WHEN I WAS USING DRUGS, BUT COMING OFF OF DRUGS IS JUST LIKE, LIFE JUST SEEMS A LOT BRIGHTER WHEN I WAS USING, IT WAS JUST SO DARK

I HAVE MY FAMILY BACK NOW I HAVE FRIENDS THAT CARE ABOUT ME ACTUALLY, ARE THERE TO SUPPORT ME I GO TO SOBRIETY HIGH IT'S A SOBER SCHOOL I HAVE A LOT OF SUPPORT FROM THERE

I JUST HAVE PRETTY MUCH BASED MYSELF AROUND FRIENDS THAT ARE SOBER I CUT ALL CONTACT WITH EVERYONE WHO WAS USING BEFORE, ALL MY OLD FRIENDS MY FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT I'M GOING TO GO TO COLLEGE I HAVE SO MANY MORE PLANS

WHEN I WAS USING, I THOUGHT THAT I WAS JUST GOING TO USE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, BUT I HAVE LIKE, EVERYTHING– I CAN CONQUER THE WORLD RIGHT NOW ¶ ¶ I WAS INTO COCAINE A LITTLE BIT, JUST DABBLING WITH IT, AND A FRIEND OF MINE INTRODUCED ME TO METHAMPHETAMINE I STARTED DEALING IT, YOU KNOW, STARTED PLAYING AROUND WITH IT, SELLING IT TO MY FRIENDS, KEEPING US GOING I WAS IN THE NIGHT LIFE I JUST TURNED 21 AT THE TIME

I WAS GOING TO THE BARS IT WAS SOMETHING TO DO WHERE I COULD GO TO THE BAR, DRINK AS MUCH AS I WANT, NOT WORRY ABOUT BEING DRUNK, AND STILL BE IN CONTROL OF WHAT'S HAPPENING I LIKE BEING IN CONTROL VERSUS OTHER THINGS THAT I'VE USED, OTHER DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, THERE'S ALWAYS, I KIND OF LOSE MYSELF IN THAT BUT WITH METH IT'S LIKE, IT'S LIKE A CAFFEINE BUZZ YOU KNOW, I'M AWAKE

I CAN STAY AWAKE THE DAY NEVER ENDS YOU CAN GO 24 HOURS AND NO PROBLEM THAT'S PRETTY MUCH IT– STAYING IN CONTROL PARANOIA IS A BIG PART OF IT

I WAS ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT WHAT MY FRIENDS WERE DOING I WAS PARANOID OF THE POLICE BUSTING ME I WAS PARANOID OF JUST EVERYBODY I WAS PARANOID OF MY FAMILY I WOULDN'T GO AROUND MY FAMILY

I WOULD ISOLATE MYSELF, BUT YET IN THE SAME RESPECT I HAD TO GO SEE PEOPLE BECAUSE I HAD TO MAKE MONEY TO SUPPORT MY HABIT THE STAYING UP HOURS AT A TIME, THE DRAMA, THAT'S THE BIGGEST THING, THE DRAMA THAT GOES WITH THAT LIFE IT'S CONSTANTLY SOMETHING'S GOING ON YOU'RE EITHER INVOLVED IN THE DRAMA OR THE DRAMA'S ALL AROUND YOU, AND IT GETS TO THE POINT WHERE IT'S JUST, IT'S CRAZY AND AFTER TALKING TO A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO DO COOK METH, IT'S A CURSE

ONCE YOU LEARN HOW TO DO IT, YOU'LL DO IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN I CHOSE NOT TO GO DOWN THAT ROAD THE FIRST TIME THAT I TRIED QUITTING WAS ABOUT A YEAR AFTER I FIRST STARTED USING LIKE I SAID, I MOVED TO NORTH DAKOTA TO GET AWAY FROM IT, AND THAT LASTED FOR AWHILE, BUT IT STILL– WITHOUT GOING TO TREATMENT OR WITHOUT KNOWING WHERE MY ISSUES WERE, MY PROBLEM ISSUES, I WENT RIGHT BACK TO USING THE 2ND TIME THAT I DECIDED TO QUIT, WELL, I DECIDED TO QUIT BECAUSE I GOT CAUGHT

THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS STEPPED INTO IT AND GAVE ME A PRETTY HEAVY SENTENCE THAT WAS A TOUGH ONE TO DEAL WITH, KNOWING BECAUSE OF MY ADDICTION, I'M LOOKING AT 7-1/2 YEARS IN PRISON I ENDED UP DOING 2 YEARS, ENDED UP DOING A BOOT CAMP PROGRAM WHICH ALL THE WAY UP TO THE BOOT CAMP PROGRAM, I STILL HAD THE DESIRE TO USE, STILL HAD THE DESIRE TO DEAL DRUGS, STILL HAD THE DESIRE– METH WAS ON MY BRAIN THE ENTIRE TIME, BUT AFTER GOING THROUGH A BOOT CAMP PROGRAM WHICH IS PRETTY INTENSE TREATMENT, I LEARNED HOW TO DEAL WITH CERTAIN THINGS, THE PROBLEM ISSUES IN MY LIFE WHEN I FIRST GOT TO PRISON, YOU REALIZE YOU MESSED UP WHEN THOSE DOORS SHUT NOW THAT I'M OUT ON THE STREET, I DON'T DESIRE ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH METH

I DON'T DESIRE ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH ANY CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE IN PRISON, YOU KNOW I KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ISSUES THAT ARE GOING ON IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW IN A POSITIVE WAY WHEN I WAS USING, IT'S A FOG YOU'RE IN ONE DAY IS THE SAME AS THE NEXT I'VE ALWAYS HAD IN THE BACK IN MY MIND THAT I'M GOING TO STOP, AND I WAS GOING TO STOP TOMORROW

BUT TOMORROW KEPT GOING TO TOMORROW, KEPT GOING TO TOMORROW, KEPT GOING TO TOMORROW AND KEPT GOING FINALLY WHEN I DID GET CAUGHT AND ALL THE CONSEQUENCES CAME TO ME, NOW I CAN ACTUALLY LOOK AT WHERE MY FUTURE IS I'VE BEEN OUT OF PRISON NOW FOR GOING ON 10 MONTHS, AND MY LIFE'S A LOT BETTER, I MEAN, I HAVE A FUTURE I DON'T HAVE TO REVOLVE MY LIFE AROUND METHAMPHETAMINE I ATTEND NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS, ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, AND ALSO CRYSTAL METH ANONYMOUS ON A REGULAR BASIS

I TALK AT TREATMENT CENTERS, I SURROUND MYSELF WITH SOBER FRIENDS WHO ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT ME AND NOT ABOUT WHAT I CAN GET THEM AS I GO ON, IT GETS EASIER, AND DEALING WITH THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS THAT I HAVE AND TALKING WITH THEM ABOUT IT, IT MAKES IT A LOT EASIER ON ME ¶ ¶ THE FIRST TIME I SMOKED POT, I THINK I WAS 13 I THINK I DRANK FOR THE FIRST TIME WHEN I WAS MAYBE 12, A BEER I DIDN'T REALLY START DRINKING TILL I WAS 19, AND THEN AT 26 IS WHEN I WAS INTRODUCED TO METH

SO I TRIED IT, AND I LIKED IT FROM THE FIRST HIGH, I LIKED IT MAYBE 6 MONTHS AFTER USING IT WAS LIKE MY CUP OF COFFEE GET UP, SMOKE A FOIL, YOU KNOW, SNORT A LINE BY THAT TIME I HAD BEEN SNORTING IT, AND IT WAS JUST OVER THEN

THAT'S WHEN I WAS LIKE, IT WAS AN EVERYDAY THING I LEARNED HOW TO MAKE METH WHEN A FRIEND OF MINE CAME OVER AND ASKED ME IF HE COULD USE MY GARAGE TO MANUFACTURE METHAMPHETAMINES, AND IN RETURN HE WOULD PAY ME DRUGS AND I SAID SURE, FREE DRUGS, YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'RE ADDICTED, YOU GET THE DOPE WHERE YOU CAN GET THE DOPE SO WE WERE OUT IN THE GARAGE, AND I WATCHED HIM MAKE IT

AND HE WAS JUST– HERE HAND ME THE WATER, HERE HAND ME THIS, HERE HAND ME THAT AND WHEN ALL WAS SAID AND DONE YOU KNOW, HE GAVE ME THE DRUGS, AND HE LEFT WITH HIS, AND THERE WAS ALL THIS STUFF STILL SITTIN' THERE THAT STILL COULD BE USED TO MAKE IT AND I THOUGHT ONE DAY, I CAN DO THIS, AND I DID IT I WENT OUT THERE, AND I MADE MY FIRST BATCH OF METHAMPHETAMINES ON MY OWN, NOT KNOWING WHAT I WAS DOING, NOT KNOWING WHAT WOULD TURN OUT, BUT IT DID THE DAY WE GOT BUSTED, THERE WAS 2 GUYS IN MY GARAGE THAT DECIDED THAT THEY WERE GOING TO GET RID OF ALL THE EVIDENCE THAT THEY COULD, THEN THEY BLEW UP THE GARAGE

THEY BLEW IT UP, CAUSED A BIG FIRE I WALKED OUT OF MY HOUSE, AND THERE WAS ALL THIS BLACK SMOKE JUST BARRELING OUT, AND I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT IT WAS LIKE MY WHOLE WORLD CAME TUMBLING DOWN I MEAN, I LOST THE HOUSE I WAS RENTING, I LOST MY DAUGHTER, I LOST MY FREEDOM, VEHICLESJUST EVERYTHING IT WAS LIKE SUCH A REALITY CHECK THAT LIKE JUST ONE BIG GREAT BOMB WELL, GETTING BUSTED IS WHAT REALLY MADE ME GET THE TREATMENT AND ACTUALLY MADE ME GET SOBER I DON'T THINK I REALLY WANTED MY SOBRIETY UNTIL I WENT THROUGH THE CHALLENGE INCARCERATION PROGRAM IT'S A PROGRAM WHERE YOU CAN GET TIME CUT OFF YOUR SENTENCE, BUT IT'S LIKE A BOOT CAMP IT SENDS YOU THROUGH TRAINING

YOU DISCIPLINE YOURSELF, YOU GAIN COGNITIVE SKILLS IN THINKING, STUFF LIKE THAT YOU GET CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY CLASSES IT GETS YOU IN PHYSICAL SHAPE AND MENTALLY IN SHAPE, AND IT STARTS GETTING YOU EMOTIONALLY BACK IN SHAPE TOO BUT I DON'T THINK I WANTED MY SOBRIETY UNTIL I WENT THROUGH THAT, BECAUSE THE WHOLE ENTIRE TIME I WAS IN PRISON, I THOUGHT I'LL JUST GET BACK OUT AND DO WHAT I WANT TO DO I MEAN, I'LL GET ALL MY STUFF BACK

YOU KNOW IF I HAVE TO GO OUT AND SELL DOPE, MAKE DOPE, TO GET MY MATERIAL ITEMS BACK, THAT AIN'T NO PROBLEM YOU KNOW, I KNOW PEOPLE WHERE I CAN GO TO DO THAT BUT THEN WHEN I WENT THROUGH THE PROGRAM, IT WAS LIKE SOMETHING JUST CLICKED IT WAS LIKE, YOU KNOW, I'M DONE WITH THIS I'VE LOST EVERYTHING I COULD EVER IMAGINE HAVING IN A SPLIT SECOND, AND I WANT THAT ALL BACK, AND I DON'T WANT TO LOSE IT AGAIN

I LIVE IN A SOBER HOUSE, AND WE HAVE IT LIKE A 10:30 CURFEW WHICH IS PART OF THE PROGRAM YOU HAVE TO BE IN BY 10:30 YOU HAVE TO HAVE SCHEDULES, YOU CAN'T GO ANYWHERE UNLESS IT'S ON YOUR SCHEDULE, AND YOUR AGENT APPROVES OF IT BECAUSE YOU HAVE AGENTS THAT CHECK ON YOU ALL THE TIME MY LIFE NOW COMPARED TO WHEN I WAS USING IS AWESOME FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT WHEN I WAS USING, I EXCLUDED MY FAMILY FROM MY LIFE TOTALLY, AND BEING FROM A FAMILY THAT IS ALSO IN RECOVERY, MY FOLKS ARE JUST HAPPY AS CAN BE WATCHING ME GET THIS WORLD OF RECOVERY I MEAN, I TALK TO MY FAMILY ALL THE TIME

IT'S A PART OF MY LIFE THAT I DON'T THINK I COULD EVER IMAGINE WITHOUT ANYMORE I LIKE THE FACT THAT I GET UP, I GO TO WORK I MEAN, I HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE WHERE BEFORE WHEN I WAS USING, YOU DIDN'T GET UP FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT YOU NEVER WENT TO BED YOU DIDN'T KNOW IF YOUR PHONE WAS GOING TO RING, AND YOU'RE GOING TO RUN OUT THE DOOR TO GO MEET THIS GUY TO MAKE SOME MONEY, OR YOU JUST DIDN'T KNOW AND IT'S PEACEFUL, IT'S QUIET, MY MIND IS CLEAR

MY BODY'S HEALTHY, AND I LOVE IT I DON'T THINK I'D CHANGE IT FOR THE WORLD ¶ ¶ MY DRUG OF CHOICE FOR 25 YEARS WAS MARIJUANA, AND I WAS AT A POINT IN MY LIFE WHERE I COULDN'T FUNCTION ON THAT SO I NEEDED SOME STIMULANTS TO FUNCTION IN MY LIFE, AND METH WAS THE DRUG OF CHOICE IT WAS RELATIVELY CHEAP, AND IT LASTED A LONG TIME I THINK I WENT THROUGH TREATMENT TWICE, AND I HAD SHORT PERIODS OF SOBRIETY AFTER THAT, BUT THEN I WOULD START SMOKING THE POT AND THEN THE METH, AND I WOULD RUN ON THE METH UNTIL SOMEONE OR SOMETHING INTERRUPTED ME

IT HAD A TOTAL GRIP ON ME IT WAS MY GOD, SO TO SPEAK I HAD TO HAVE IT– WHATEVER IT TOOK I DON'T KNOW I DON'T KNOW WHAT ELSE TO SAY

IT WAS WHAT I LIVED FOR, AND IF THERE WERE A FEW TIMES THAT I COULDN'T GET IT, IF MY DEALER WAS OUT OR WHATEVER, I COULDN'T FUNCTION, I HAD TO SLEEP, BECAUSE I WOULD GO FOR DAYS, WEEKS WITH NO SLEEP, AND I USED EVERY DAY MY WIFE, WE HAD BEEN HAVING PROBLEMS DUE TO MY USE I DON'T KNOW IF SHE WAS TOTALLY AWARE OR NOT, BUT SHE SUSPECTED I WENT IN FOR A CHEMICAL EVALUATION AND HAD THEM TALKED INTO OUT-PATIENT TREATMENT WHICH WAS JUST A BIG SCAM I MEAN, I WAS USING IN THE PARKING LOT BEFORE I WENT IN TO TALK TO THE EVALUATOR

AND BY THE TIME I GOT HOME– IT WAS PROBABLY A 20-MINUTE DRIVE FROM MY HOUSE TO WHERE I WAS EVALUATED AT THE EVALUATOR HAD CALLED MY WIFE AND TOLD HER TO GET ME INTO DETOX BECAUSE I WAS GOING TO DIE HE COULD JUST TELL BY LOOKING AT ME, AND THAT'S PRETTY MUCH WHAT HAPPENED I GOT HOME SHE SAID GET IN THE CAR, WE'RE GOING TO DETOX

AND I REALLY CONSIDERED BOLTING AT THAT POINT, BUT I THINK I HAD HAD ENOUGH I KNEW THAT THINGS WERE REALLY CLOSE TO THE END, THAT IT JUST WASN'T GOING TO LAST MUCH LONGER I WASN'T GOING TO LAST MUCH LONGER I WAS IN TREATMENT FOR 5 MONTHS, INTENSE IN-PATIENT TREATMENT FOR 5 MONTHS I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THAT'S WHAT SAVED MY LIFE

MY LIFE NOW COMPARED TO WHEN I WAS USING IS SPECTACULAR I DIDN'T HAVE A LIFE WHEN I WAS USING I WAS CHAINED TO MY ADDICTION I HAVE A FUTURE IN A MONTH, I'M GOING TO BE CLOSING ON A DREAM HOME THAT MY WIFE AND I HAVE DREAMED OF FOR MANY YEARS

THAT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE WHEN I WAS USING WE WERE FINANCIALLY BANKRUPT I'D RUN US STRAIGHT INTO THE GROUND SO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEN AND NOW IS HUGE I GO TO AA MEETINGS ALL THE TIME

I JUST CELEBRATED 4 YEARS OF SOBRIETY LAST WEEK–2 WEEKS AGO UMTHINGS ARE LOOKING GOOD

¶ ¶ IF YOU'RE STRUGGLING WITH METH RIGHT NOW, THERE IS HOPE FOR YOU OUT THERE THERE'S PEOPLE THAT CARE ABOUT YOU AND THAT WANT TO SEE YOU SUCCEED IN LIFE, AND YOU CAN DO IT IF YOU TRY I WOULD SAY TO SOMEONE WHO'S STRUGGLING WITH METH RIGHT NOW THAT THERE'S REALLY NOT A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR THEM I DON'T THINK IT'S POSSIBLE TO USE METH SUCCESSFULLY, AND I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD GET HELP WHEN THEY CAN BEFORE THE PROBLEM JUST GETS WORSE I FEEL YOUR PAIN

YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY IT'S HARD AND THAT IT'S SO MUCH FUN AND THAT YOU JUST HAVE TO FEEL THIS HIGH, BUT BEING SOBER IS A DIFFERENT KIND OF A HIGH, AND IT'S A HIGH THAT YOU CAN BE HIGH WITHOUT BEING GUILTY OH, YOU KNOW, THERE'S SO MANY WORDS THAT YOU CAN CHOOSE TO DESCRIBE LIFE BEING SOBER AND THAT THERE'S HOPE FOR ANYBODY THERE'S HOPE FOR ANYBODY YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AT THE POINT WHERE YOU'RE SLEEPING UNDER A BRIDGE AND PROSTITUTING YOURSELF TO GET THIS PROGRAM I MEAN YOU CAN DO IT JUST BY BEING WILLING TO STAY SOBER AND TO DO WHAT IT TAKES, AND SO THERE'S HOPE FOR ANYONE

IT'S NOT A DEATH SENTENCE, YOU KNOW, TO HAVE A CHILD THAT'S ADDICTED TO ANY SORT OF SUBSTANCE THERE'S HELP OUT THERE, AND OUR FAMILY IS MUCH BETTER OFF, OUR WHOLE FAMILY, OUR OTHER 2 CHILDREN INCLUDED NOW THAT WE'VE COME THROUGH THIS PROCESS, I MEAN, IT WASN'T EASY I WOULDN'T WISH IT ON ANYONE, BUT WE'RE BETTER OFF WE'RE A MUCH HEALTHIER FAMILY AND HAPPIER FAMILY BECAUSE OF THE GROWTH AND RECOVERY THAT WE'VE ALL DONE AS A FAMILY DON'T PUT IT OFF, DON'T PUT OFF HELP TILL TOMORROW

I MEAN IT CAN STOP TODAY ALL YOU HAVE TO DO– THERE'S PLENTY OF WAYS TO GET HELP WHETHER IT'S CALLING A 12-STEP PROGRAM IN THE PHONEBOOK, WHETHER IT'S GOING TO TREATMENT, WHETHER IT'S GETTING A RULE 25 THROUGH THE STATE, ANYTHING– YOU CAN STOP, YOU KNOW IT'S EASY TO DO ONCE YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO DO IT IN ORDER TO GET THE TOOLS TO DO IT, YOU NEED TO GET HELP IF I CAME ACROSS SOMEBODY THAT WAS ADDICTED TO METH, AND THEY REALLY WANTED OUT OF THE ADDICTION, I WOULD DEFINITELY TELL THEM TO GET SOME HELP, TALK TO SOMEBODY BECAUSE THERE'S A WAY OUT

I MEAN, IF YOU REALLY TRULY WANT OUT OF THE ADDICTION, THERE'S A WAY OUT AND THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE WILLING TO HELP YOU, I MEAN, HELP YOU GET OUT AND HELP YOU STAY OUT IF YOU CAN'T DO IT YOURSELF, GET SOMEBODY TO COMMIT YOU TO DETOX THAT'S WHERE YOU'VE GOT TO START YOU GOTTA STOP USING IT FIRST AND GO RIGHT FROM THAT INTO SOME KIND OF TREATMENT

I THINK THAT TRADITIONAL TREATMENT METHODS WORK GREAT IF YOU FOLLOW THEM I DON'T KNOW THAT METH ADDICTION IS ANY DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER ADDICTION I'VE BEEN ADDICTED TO COCAINE AND MARIJUANA AND ALCOHOL– ALL OF THEM, AND I THINK IT'S NO DIFFERENT IT'S AN ADDICTION, AND IT CAN BE TREATED AS SUCH, AND THERE IS HOPE ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ ¶ CC– ARMOUR CAPTIONING & TPT (man) "LIFE AFTER METH" IS A COPRODUCTION OF TPT'S MINNESOTA CHANNEL AND HAZELDEN– TREATING THE WHOLE PERSON AS WELL AS THE ILLNESS SINCE 1949

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