Former Methamphetamine Addict Says Drug's Grip Can Be Beaten - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/23/06-Longview

Former Methamphetamine Addict Says Drug's Grip Can Be Beaten

"I'm sitting in the middle of my bed and I just screamed out to God, 'Please, please do something,'" says Linda Bischoff of the beginning of the end of her Meth use.

The seemingly normal wife and mother had been headed down a path not even she expected.

"I had been president of the PTA and room mother for years but I could no longer do that because I couldn't function adequately."

As she built a life and a family, she says she still felt not quite right about appearances -- both inside and out.

"I thought I could use just a little [Meth] for a time and lose the weight I wanted to lose, and then I would feel better about life if I lost the weight."

Like so many that take Meth just a few times, life spiraled out of control.

"I did a lot of things to my husband.  I neglected my family, ended up having an affair, moving out of my home."

All her father Melvin Rowland could do was watch his little girl fall so fast.

"it was something that was going on in her life that was affecting us and we really could do nothing about it," he says.

"I became very reclusive and just buried myself at home under piles and piles of lies, deception, and manipulation," Linda adds.

"The one thing I never imagined is that I would go to jail."

But in 2003, life came crashing down. Linda was found with a large amount of Meth and was charged with a first degree felony.

Her parents put up $30,000 to bond her out.

"We didn't know what was going to become of Linda for a while," Melvin says.

After she got out, she went right back to using.  Melvin then made the hardest phone call of his life.

"We finally decided it was for her own good that she needed to go back [to jail]."

He had her bond revoked, and Linda went to jail for four more months. In her cell, she thought of what she might have lost.

"Having a good life, being here for my kids when I grow up," she recalls of the thoughts of what she lost.  "All because I can't let go of this drug."

Linda says relapse is part of every addict's recovery, and after she once again got out of jail, it was back to Meth.

"You know you're going to get drug tested at some point in time," she says.

It didn't take long for her to be busted again -- sent to a prison drug treatment facility for more than a year.

It was more than a year without her family or her daughter Shannon.

"I knew that she could do it, that she could regroup herself, rebuild herself to get stronger," Shannon says.

Melvin agrees.

"She came back from there a new person," he says.

It was a long, hard year behind bars, but she's now been clean for two years.  Linda's putting her life back together. She's with her husband again, and she's going to school to be an addiction counselor to help other users and their families.

Linda explains her philosophy as, "Accepting the addict for themselves but not for their behaviors. Respecting them as a person, but don't respect their actions. But give them hope, and let them know you have hope."

She says she's living proof Meth can be conquered.

Finally, Two numbers where you can find help if you or a family member is addicted to Meth.
  The East Texas Council On Alcohol & Drug Abuse: 903-753-7633
  The Woodbine Treatment Center: 903-758-0596

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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