Mother Says Daughter's Meth Use All-Consuming, Hastened Death

For more than a decade, an East Texas mother has been living with heartache, and a desire to tell how she lost part of her family to drugs. This month we've been telling you how many East Texans, and many children, are in the grip of Methamphetamine.

"I want the parents to wake up to what the kids are doing. I want them to listen," says Peggy Dudley.

The smiling face of her daughter only looks back from photographs now, and from within Peggy's still-grieving heart.

"If I can save anybody or any family from the heartache my family's been through, it'll be worth every bit."

It was a long fight, trying to keep her daughter, Becky, off drugs.

"When she started shooting up, she was 17," Peggy recalls.  Becky was a light in the family, but she too got hooked so young. Her mother says her use of marijuana started in early high school, it then progressed.

"My daughter, she didn't like cocaine. She didn't like crack. She prefered meth."

Following a stay at a rehabilitation hospital, Peggy says Becky looked the best she ever had.  Mom hoped these were just the problems of youth -- something to outgrow.

"She stayed off drugs about three months, and went back to old habits. She was 18."

At that point, Becky was an adult, and all this mother could do was pray. The years passed by, and photographs show what appears to be a happy healthy woman, but what was really happening was frightful.

"She stayed up two or three days at a time. She didn't care. She didn't care about anything."

Following a car crash, physical pain drove her addiction to new heights.

"All I can give her credit for is that she was truthful to me. She never hid it," Peggy says.

Becky died in June of 1994. The wounds are still raw, and this mother wants everyone she can to listen to what Meth can do.

"They are committing suicide in the long run, because there's no way you can do meth and continue and continue," she says.

Peggy says there can't be any ignoring it, and she wants to speak to schools, churches, and anyone else who'll listen.

"All I ever heard from [other parents] was 'It's not my child,' or 'Oh, my baby wouldn't do that.'  I've got news for them: some of their babies were at my house. They came to my house. I know what they were doing," she says.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.