All human beings possess some degree of inherent complexity. That fact is simply intrinsic to our species. In a given moment, we’re capable of experiencing dozens of emotions and diametric thoughts. We can think critically about the world, ourselves, and each other – all of which allows us to learn and grow.
This is especially true of Amber. She is a rare sort of person, one of perseverance and clarity – the two qualities her name so fittingly implies. She’s the type of warrior woman that will push herself to the limits where most buckle and fall, a truly indomitable spirit. And yet, behind her diamond-tough will lives the soul of an intuitive and insightful healer. Indeed, Amber gives her all to help others, sees into the depths of your heart, and stands up for what is right. Her life has been full of challenges and loss. Still, her loved ones describe her as an unerringly kind and gentle soul, and one made of raw strength and compassion.
She is also a survivor of meth addiction.
Thank you for joining us for the conclusion of this series. As we bring these interviews to a close, we wish to thank each of the people who spoke with us. We are so grateful to them for opening up their history and sharing their insight into this dangerous substance. We hope that their journeys will offer help to someone in need, provide real-world examples of meth use, and bring attention to the prevalence of this drug (and the associated contamination).
Interviews With Former Meth Users: Part Three
Amber – 6/05/2020
How long did you use meth, and why do you think you started using it?
Ah, that’s hard to say. I think it was about escaping emotions since I had a lot of childhood trauma. I was sixteen, and I was willing to try anything that would numb out some emotional conflict. As I continued to use, there was a lot of grief and loss – which made it even harder to quit. You know, meth puts you in dangerous situations, because there’s so much chaos. So it’s this ever-increasing storm of pain and getting high to escape it, which only leads to making decisions you regret – and more pain.
I used on and off for twenty-two years – most of my life. I’ve had relapses here or there at varying levels, but nothing like what it was. My continuous use stopped two years ago.
What made you decide to quit?
It was very dark. The darkness consumed me, and I didn’t like that feeling. It was like having the devil right on my shoulder. You know, you do things on meth that you would never do sober, and I have a lot of guilt about that. I’d end up hurting myself, and a lot of people. I have regrets that I think about all the time. Eventually, I didn’t want to be that person anymore, and I didn’t want that life. That chaos takes over everything, and it’s so intense. It’s all you can think about, and it stopped me from being who I want to be.
If you know, did you typically buy from dealers who cooked meth themselves, or had it transported into the state? (If not from a dealer, who did you buy it from?) Also, did you ever use the “Shake and Bake method?” (A method of combining chemicals and pills in a canister or bottle to produce a small batch.)
Both, and then some. It’s everywhere, you know? You’d be surprised how easy it is to find it. No shake and bake, though. But I did have it liquid in a baggie where I had to let it air out so that it would crystalize, but that wasn’t the same thing.
People often assume that because they don’t use, no one else could have ever used meth in their home (or business). Did you ever use meth in someone else’s home, school, car, or business?
Oh, all of the above and then some. I felt horrible about it, and I knew it was wrong, but I couldn’t help my addictive behavior. I had to get high wherever I was.
What, if anything, would you want the general public to know about meth?
As alluring as it may seem, you lose yourself way quicker than anyone ever wants to admit. And the ability to quit is, I don’t even know what words to use, it’s so difficult. It’s so difficult to quit. It consumes you. It’s not worth it. Please, just don’t do it. The toll it takes on your body, mind, and spirit – you pay for it for a long time. Even after you’ve stopped. It takes over everything and drives out all the light.
A Note To Our Readers
Amber is a dynamic and gleeful music lover, and one eager to continue her healing and share what she has learned. She says she is ready to see what the future brings, and to fulfill her purpose and potential. In speaking with her, she often mentions the joy she finds in her partner, pets, adorable god-daughter, and friends.
In this interview, she describes how meth nearly robbed her of her true self. And in this way, her story is not unique. Meth is notoriously addictive, having negative impacts on the function of dopamine in the brain. Quitting is difficult, and the need to use is incredibly persistent. That is why many individuals need help from outside sources.
From the contamination perspective, however, we must also acknowledge another trend (and one present in all three interviews). Each of these individuals stated that they used their drug of choice in many different locations (often without the property owner’s knowledge). And remember, that dangerous residue lingers. That is largely why we recommend testing before you buy or sell your home or property. For help with that, we recommend calling a Certified Decontamination Specialist in your area. If you’re in Utah, you can call us for a free consultation at (801) 888-6698.
To Amber, Steve, and David,
Thank you for helping us spread information and awareness about meth, recovery, and contamination. May all our readers find inspiration and hope from your courage and truth as we have. Thank you again, and may each of you reach your goals and continue to thrive in your recovery.