February 7th, 2014 by Jan

With more news going around about Phillip Seymore Hoffman’s death, my work at the O, and life in my head – I have such a curiosity, so, here I go talking about addiction again.

I just finished reading a book I got at the library titled, Iced: The Crystal Meth Epidemic by Jerry Langton.

I will right off the bat say how grateful I am that this drug was not around when I was 18 years old and if it was – I am so grateful we never crossed paths.

In the last few years there has been so much advanced research done, not only on drugs and their affect, but on the brain and how it is affect by so many things. This interests me. I’ve read several books on how the brain changes itself. My comprehension of scientific matters is not great, but in the moment when I read about this – I am fascinated by it all.

My work at the O also shows me so much and after reading Iced – I understand more and more.

This book shows every aspect of the meth epidemic for the general reader. From the perspective of experts in drug addiction and doctors, law enforcement, and stories from addicts and former addicts, Iced is a scary but compelling portrait of a seductive killer.

A seductive killer. Think of the absolute BEST feeling you’ve EVER had. Got it?

According to Iced, how meth affects the brain is that when a person takes it — it explodes and provides the user with a 100 times greater feeling than the best feeling you’ve EVER had. One hundred times better than the BEST ever! Doesn’t sound so bad right? But, what it also does is kill the brain cells that take pleasure in say, a nice meal, or a pretty sunset, or the smile of your partner. Meth truly is the all or nothing drug, and that is why recovery from it is so rare.

Everyday life becomes dull and depressing to anyone addicted to meth who quits using it. The brain cells that accept everyday dramas, traumas, joys and celebrations are GONE!

I learned that people don’t usually die from using meth — suicide kills most meth users who actually go off the drug, because life just isn’t worth experiencing any longer.

It is all just too much.

I am so very grateful I have the ability to take joy in the ordinary things in life, and my heart goes out to those who have lost the ability.

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