There are few people on the face of this planet that understand authenticity as thoroughly as Steve. When he speaks, you can sense a level of earnest intention that has become all too rare in our society. He is a deep feeler and possesses insight into the fundamental makeup of the human spirit. Remarkably, he manages to embrace this candor without sacrificing his sense of play or fun. To those that know him, he is a voice for the voiceless, and the ringleader of schemes. He also happens to be a former meth user.
Thank you for joining us for the first of a very special series. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing three incredible people. Each is a survivor of meth addiction, and each has allowed us to share their stories. We are honored to have that privilege.
Interviews With Former Meth Users: Part One
Steve – 5/29/2020
How long did you use meth, and why do you think you started using it?
I used meth for about half a decade. From the time I was a freshman in high school up until the summer after graduation, I was a regular user. Before freshman year, I had done it a handful of times, but it had not yet become habitual.
I started using meth as an appetite suppressant. When I was younger, I had a lot of body image issues that wound up forming a rather aggressive form of body dysmorphia and bulimia. My mother, who has also always had an eating disorder as long as I have been alive, encouraged me to do things such as smoke cigarettes and use ‘uppers’ to encourage me to eat less. In her own way, I think she thought she was being helpful. What was occasional use grew to be nearly constant when I started high school. The group of friends that I fell in with had a few users among them. The supply became readily available and also part of a social norm. Not only did it curb my appetite and made me start losing weight, but my friends were also doing it.
What made you decide to quit?
When I was eighteen, almost nineteen, I had an experience that ended badly. My friends and I were waiting at a park to pick up, waiting on a phone call for the okay to stop by a house to grab our stash. A few cops pulled up and questioned us because, go figure, a lot of people wait in that park to buy drugs. We ended up getting released without incident after spinning a story of waiting for a friend’s address for a party, and then we ended up going to pick up anyway. This situation did a few things to me. It raised my blood pressure from the adrenaline of being stopped by the cops, and because of my really unhealthy lifestyle at that point, put me in a danger zone. Then, I did meth on top of that. It raised my blood pressure further and set off a chain reaction that ended in a brain bleed that hospitalized me. It became clear that if I continued on the path I was on that I was going to die very young. I put it down and have not touched it since.
I have been clean for ten years.
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.)
I tended to not ask many questions about where or how people were getting their stash. Those kinds of questions can get a person killed. As long as it looked more or less clean, it was good enough for me. Mostly I bought from middle-men with code names that got their stash from someone else.
I never did the shake and bake method. I know folks that did, and it blew up in their faces. Literally.
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?
I did. It is not something that I am proud of. But oftentimes, in many of my friend’s homes, I would use in the bathroom. I also would use in school.
What, if anything, would you want the general public to know about meth?
Don’t. Just don’t do it. It is alluring. It is enticing. And once it gets you, it will not let you go. It will destroy your life, and it is not worth it.
A Note To Our Readers
Steve is a bright young man in his late twenties with a successful career. He is the father of an adorable little girl and has a dog and cat. He works in technical support and loves creating art in a variety of mediums. Leaving meth behind helped him take steps towards building the life he loves.
His meth use brought him face to face with his mortality. And, in that way, his story is not unique. Meth is a terribly addictive and dangerous substance. Even as a user watches their body erode, the urges and cravings persist. We are so grateful to Steve for discussing his use with us and for taking the time to answer our questions.
If you or someone you love is struggling with meth, please seek out a licensed addictions counselor or rehabilitation facility today.
For our part, we hope these interviews will help our communities stay clean. From a decontamination perspective, that means recognizing that meth can enter homes and businesses without the owners realizing it. In that area, at least, we can offer some assistance. If you are concerned about meth in your home, call a Certified Decontamination Specialist. If you’re in Utah, call us for a free consultation, at (801) 888-6698.