Michelle's Story Of Meth Addiction Part 1 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/15/06-Dallas

Michelle's Story Of Meth Addiction Part 1

It's estimated 1 out of every 20 people between the ages of 18 and 25 have at least tried methamphetamines. Many of them are now completely hooked, and it could be someone you love.

Now, a Dallas doctor says he's found a medical treatment to break the cycle of meth addiction.

To understand the broad-sweeping implications, you have to first understand how bad the addiction can be.

Many of us have an image in our mind of what meth users look like. In part 1 of our 2 part series, KLTV 7's Lindsay Wilcox introduces you to Michelle, a successful business owner, who was a far cry from the stereotypical addict.

Looking at Michelle today, you'd never guess she was a recovering meth addict, but for more than 12 years, the 31 year old's life was defined by the drug.

"I smoked pot, probably when I was 16, and then, I started hanging around with an older crowd, and I started using ecstasy. Then, I did coke, and then one day a friend of mine  said 'try this," says Michelle.

Since that first hit of meth, Michelle was hooked.

"It just gives you an incredible burst of energy. It's like nothing you've ever had before. For you to be able to get focused on a task, and clean and make lists and get organized, it's just a feeling that you've never had before," says Michelle.

"I started out using just a little bit here and there.  You know, I'd go through a 'quarter bag'  every two weeks. Then, once I started smoking it, it just all went down hill from there."

In the beginning, Michelle was living the party life. Getting high with her friends and pulling all nighters at clubs and parties.

Then, one night, she says her long time boyfriend was arrested in a Dallas drug bust. He's now serving a 10 year sentence in federal prison for making and selling methamphetamines.

"When all that happened, I just kind of went into hiding about doing meth, because I was afraid I was going to get in trouble.  So, I started using it in the privacy of my own home, and nobody knew."

Michelle says that's the case with a lot of meth addicts.  They don't all morph into the images of people whose teeth are rotting and who pick at their skin.

Just a few weeks ago, influential evangelical pastor Ted Haggard admitted buying methamphetamines from a gay prostitute, although he denies using it.

It was just another reminder that no one is immune to the drug.

"It affects everybody, all walks of life. I mean, I've known people that are at the bottom of the barrel, all the way up to the people who have jobs.  Like I said, I owned my own business for four years and none of my clients, my vendors, my builders, nobody, friends, family, nobody knew."

Michelle says she was able to hide her addiction, in large part, by alienating the people who were closest to her.

"It was just very difficult for my family to be around me. They didn't know why, or what was going on. I just had these outbursts of anger or you know, get upset about the smallest little thing, or make some big deal about some small thing that probably wasn't even an issue," says Michelle.

Toward the end of her meth addiction, Michelle was spending about 300 dollars a week on her habit. She says she wanted to quit, but never could.

"I would maybe stop for two or three.  I think the longest I ever went was a week. That's probably lying to myself. It probably wasn't ever that long.  I guess my body became so physically adicted to it that I had to have it to function."

It was Memorial Day of last year when Michelle decided she'd finally had enough, and decided something had to change.

"This one particular night, there was an afterparty.  I brought a bunch of people back to my house, and I just remember walking into my living room and thinking 'What am I doing? What are these people doing in my home? I've just got to stop.  This is just not the kind of life I want to live," says Michelle.

That's when Michelle called a treatment center in Dallas. They were doing a clinical study on meth addiction. 

Tonight, on KLTV 7 News at ten, the cutting edge treatment Michelle says cured her meth addiction. You'll hear from the doctor who conducted the study. He's a leading addiction specialist who says this is the first viable treatment he's seen in his 15 years of dealing with meth addiction.

We'll even tell you how patients can get in on the treatment for free. It's a story you won't want to miss.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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