Category Archives: World News

From Meth Addict to Olympic Silver Medalist — in Less Than Two Years

2016 Olympic Silver medalist Luvo Manyonga.  Takes the Gold at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. Another Gold at Australia’s Commonwealth Games in 2018. And, now, all eyes are on the 2020 Olympics.

Here’s the best feature story I’ve found on Luvo. Next time someone says you can’t come back from meth, tell ’em about Luvo…

Continue reading From Meth Addict to Olympic Silver Medalist — in Less Than Two Years

In a Meth Addicted World, Silence Still = Death

 

It was one of the earliest lessons from the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, especially for those of us who were affected by the disease: we had to break our silence. At first, the shame associated with this mostly sexually transmitted illness had been so overwhelming, a silence had settled in. But as we watched our friends and neighbors die by the dozens, and then hundreds, that silence itself became shameful.

In the days of epidemic, we quickly learned Silence = Death.

No less is true today with the epidemic of crystal meth addiction. In 2010, it was estimated that more than 350,000 people in the United States used crystal methamphetamine. Worldwide, the estimate came in at a cool twenty-five million.

If we have a moment of clarity, we see it is not just “those people” in the inner city skid rows who are addicted to crystal meth, nor merely the partying youth of the gay culture. We see beyond those well-meaning public ad campaigns that depict the average meth addict as some street-person derelict with a sunken, scabbed face and rotted teeth. The reality is, this is only a fraction of the meth-using population.

Yes, it is where many of us will eventually end up once the drug takes its final toll, but that may be years away, if ever. In the meantime, meth use is the quiet little secret of housewives across middle America who have to raise the kids while holding down two jobs, or the overstressed college student who is pushed to stay up night after night studying, or the white-collar father who must work 60 plus hours a week to support his family.

Who’s addicted? 25 million of our neighbors, cousins, aunts and uncles, sons and daughters.

And if you don’t think crystal meth addiction is stigmatized on the level that AIDS was in the late 1980s, you haven’t been paying attention. The medical community considers methamphetamine addiction to be a “chronic disease,” just the same as high blood pressure or asthma. The difference between meth addiction and these other diseases is the location of the malfunction.

With addiction, the malfunction is in the brain—so the illness affects feelings and behaviors. Because of this, those who don’t know any better still view addiction as a moral issue, a matter of willpower or character. They are wrong.

According to evidence-based science, the truth is: addiction is a biological process in a brain that is malfunctioning.

We don’t blame someone with high blood pressure or asthma for the physical malfunction happening in their bodies. And we certainly don’t shame them for seeking treatment.

Why is it different for the meth addict? It shouldn’t be.

From the likes of tennis star Andre Agassi, singer Amy Winehouse, and super church evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, crystal meth addiction has proven itself to be epidemic across all social, economic, racial, gender and national boundaries. On the planet Earth in 2013, Europe, Asia, even Afghanistan, are being overwhelmed by growing numbers of new meth addicts. Indeed, crystal meth use is not only epidemic, but pandemic.

A crucial step toward combating this great tragedy in today’s culture is to come out of the closet, especially those of us who have fought the addiction and lived to survive.

We may call ourselves former, or recovered, or recovering crystal meth addicts — or, perhaps, we don’t like the term “addict” and refuse to define our entire lives by a few years of drug abuse. As with most addictions, recovery begins with an admission that we’ve had a serious problem with crystal methamphetamine.

We are your neighbors, friends, family, and coworkers. It’s time to speak the truth. When you hear from us, try not to rush to judgment and condemnation. Instead, try to open your mind and heart to the courage it must take for your friend, family member, or neighbor to admit to you that he or she has a problem with meth.

Recovery is an ongoing lifelong journey back to one’s authentic self. It’s never an easy road, but the alternative of silence is simply not sustainable in today’s world.

In the days of epidemic, silence still equals death.

World Meth News: Hitler Slammed, Iran Jacks Up Its Suicide Bombers on Meth

 

I couldn’t resist these two “new” facts — new to me, at least.  Money quote from the first:

“Hitler himself was given intravenous injections of methamphetamine by his personal physician, Theodor Morell.”

www.theatlantic.com
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And if that doesn’t blow your skirt up, try this. The money quote:
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 “Law enforcement has noted the use of meth by suicide bombers bringing the circle of meth and terror to its natural conclusion. Meth and crystal meth were first synthesized in Japan where they were eventually put to use on Kamikaze pilots. Today there are Iranian drug labs in Japan and meth is trafficked to fund terror and distributed to suicide bombers.”