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True Stories of Addiction

Mary  |  Lori  |  Steve  |  Sandy  |  Steven  |  Cynthia  |  Lisha  |  Sarah  |  Poem: "I Am Meth"

One Woman’s Journey Out of Meth
By Nancy Stidham, Faith-Based Community Representative, Navajo County Coalition Against Drug Abuse

As a schoolteacher in the White Mountains for 35 years, I knew that many of my students were using drugs or alcohol. They talked about their parties in class and even recorded them on video to share with their classmates. It was hard to watch talented students from “good” families get trapped in the drug life, their families, friends and futures destroyed. Their names and pictures often appeared in the local crime reports. There was very little help for them and they often fell back into the drug life as soon as they were released from custody. But occasionally a success story came my way. 

My husband, Clay Stidham, is the pastor of Cornerstone Community Church. Mary (not her real name) came to our church one Sunday morning and began her journey out of meth. My recent interview with her produced the following story told from her perspective.

Mary’s Story

In the Valley, a person has to go and find drugs but here in the White Mountains, drugs come to you. My story begins there but doesn’t end there. I found drugs and drugs found me but I also found a way out of drugs. I am telling my story because so many people in this community need to hear about hope. There is a way to leave the drug life. It’s not an easy way. At least it wasn’t easy for me. But, I will never go back and I want others to know how I got where I am today.

I was living in Scottsdale and attending school in the seventh grade when I started smoking pot with my friends at the age of 12. At 14 I used meth for the first time, to lose weight. Other girls were using it to stay thin so that’s why I began to use it. By 16 I was fully engaged in the party lifestyle and injecting meth. By the age of 19 I was dating my future husband. He was more into pot and alcohol so I left the meth life to marry him. Our marriage was all about drinking and smoking pot so it had little chance of success. We divorced after four years and two children. 

I moved to the White Mountains to live with my parents where I became fully engaged in doing meth, pain pills and drinking. Over the next four years I reached my lowest point. My parents often took my children away from me. I was too busy with my drugs to take care of them.

When I lived in Scottsdale, I had to go find my drugs but when I moved to the White Mountains, the drugs came to me. All I had to do was talk to a couple of people and I was connected to the entire supply network. It was easy. It was everywhere. People came to my house and offered me anything I wanted.

Then I saw the movie, “Passion of the Christ.” That had a profound effect on my thinking. I began to ponder what this man, Jesus, had suffered to pay for my sins. Not long after that, a friend invited me to church. The pastor gave an altar call after his sermon. The pastor’s words went something like this: “He (Jesus) drug that cross down that road for you. Can you not walk this aisle for him?” I remembered what I had seen in the movie. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I just got up out of my seat and walked down that aisle. I prayed with the pastor for Jesus to come into my life. 

Something changed inside of me but my life needed time to work it out. I tinkered with drugs for the next year, but every time I used drugs I had such a sad feeling inside my self. I went to my pastor for counseling and he explained that because I now belonged to God, I was grieving the Holy Spirit whenever I used drugs. I was set free that day. I never used any banned substance again.

I am now 34 and I have been a Christian for four years. I have been completely clean and sober for three years. I have a great job. I can pass any drug test. I can take care of my kids. This didn’t happen without a struggle.

When I left meth, I had to get all new friends. I spent a lot of time transitioning to a new life. I couldn’t talk to my old friends. I didn’t feel like I belonged with them any more. But I didn’t feel like I belonged with my church friends either. It was a very lonely time.

When thoughts of drugs came to mind, I went to talk to my pastor. People in my church loved me and prayed for me. My parents began to come to church with me. They enabled me to let go of my old friends and my old life. 

I wanted to die at the age of 18 because I had no hope. I’m so glad I’m alive today. I have two children that love me and I have a job that provides for us. Anyone who wants to leave the hopeless life of drugs should call out to Jesus. He has transformed my life.

The Challenge of Faith

As a member of the Navajo County Coalition Against Drug Abuse representing the faith community, I encourage people to explore faith based resources. Mary is not the only person I know that has made the life changes necessary to maintain sobriety. Rehabilitation is a very personal path. When friends and family work together to support those seeking sobriety, faith can help provide the answers they need.

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First Person Recovery Story

My name is Lori Holland and I am from Springerville, Ariz. In high school, I was very active in 4-H, FFA and played volleyball and basketball. I graduated from Round Valley High in 1989. My dad was a school teacher and my mom also worked at the schools. I went on to Cochise Community College where I had had both athletic and agricultural scholarships. This is where my experimentation with drugs really began, other than the occasional high school party.

While I was at Cochise, I began drinking pretty hard and heavy. There were times that I don’t even know how I made it home. I hooked up with a guy, who was several years older than me, and I began using Cocaine. Before I knew it, I was missing classes, my grades began to drop, and eventually I was kicked off the volleyball and basketball teams. I can recall at one time, I was blindfolded and driven across the Mexican border. I was told not to ask questions, and to keep my mouth shut. I remember peeking out from under the blindfold and seeing heavily armed guards walking back and forth in front of this huge hacienda. After this night, I sobered up for about three years.

During those years, I married and had two children. In 1993, I was introduced to Black Beauties when it was called Crank. At first, I was an occasional user, just here and there to keep up with being a young mom and trying to keep the house cleaned. In 1996, I started using pretty hard and ended up walking out on my two young boys and my husband. My life did nothing but spiral downward from there. In 1997, I had my third son, and started working in Greer. I was working crazy hours at a sports bar and being a single mother, I needed an extra boost, so I then turned to meth. 

Until this point, I had never really been in trouble with the law. That seemed to change really fast. I was managing an apartment complex, where I met my second husband. Before I knew it, I was using meth on a daily basis. I was calling in to work sick, and I was dealing to support my own habit.

I ended up getting fired from that job, because I had used someone’s rent money for my habit. I also ended up going to jail with charges of theft and fraud. This was another beginning of a life of hell. I was totally out of control for the next six years. I was in and out of jail for either a dirty UA, or for committing more crimes. My oldest son had cancer and instead of being with him during his surgery, I was at home hitting the pipe thinking that everything was going to go away. My three boys were physically and mentally abused by my second husband, my daughter was sexually abused by the time she was four years old. It’s not that I didn’t care that this was going on; it’s that Meth made me a different person. All I cared about was getting my next high and where it was going to come from. Meth turned me into something evil. I lost 80 lbs in 30 days. I was staying up for days, and days on end. I was up for 14 days at one time.

January 13, 2005, is a day that I will never forget. I was arrested for the last time. The charges this time were going to send me to prison for a very long time. When the officers came to my door, I had just finished a great big line and getting ready to hit the pipe. I ended up running from them, not very far though. I had been stealing water and electricity, stealing from my parents and my children. I was using up to 3.5 grams of meth per day. I was doing anything and everything possible just to get my high. I went to county jail for six months, while I was waiting to be sentenced to prison. That was the first time I had ever been away from my daughter for more than a night or two. I was sentenced in July 2005 to 3.5 years in prison. 

That was the scariest day of my life. But that was also the day that my life changed forever. That was the day that I decided my family and my children were more important to me than anything or anyone else in the world. I did nothing but work the program the entire time I was in prison. I came home with eight certificates, and only did eight months in prison. I was locked up a total of 13 months and let me tell you, it was the hardest 13 months of my life. I only talked to my two younger children for 10 minutes a week on the phone. I had no contact from my two older boys. I would write them and send them cards, but with no response back. Thankfully, my parents were awarded temporary guardianship and I was able to write my two younger kids.

I have now been clean and sober for 3.5 years. I am a totally different person today, than I was. I enjoy spending time with my four children and the rest of my family. I am very active in my children’s lives. I am able to attend football games and wrestling matches. I am proud of my boys and all that they have accomplished. There are 12 years of R.K. and Justin’s lives that I missed and can’t make up. All I can do is pick up and support them and be the best that I can be from here on out. I have a wonderful support system in Apache County. I have an AWESOME job, that allows me to educate the public, kids, and adults of all ages, about this ever-growing epidemic…….and include my personal story about METH. 

Lori Holland is the previous Coordinator for the Apache County Drug-Free Alliance.

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They Threw Garbage on the Grave
By Nancy Stidham 

Thirty-two stab wounds were not enough humiliation. They threw garbage on the grave. She cleaned it off. They came back and threw garbage on the grave again. She cleaned it off again. He was young. He loved to have fun. And he was her son. But his killers threw garbage on the grave and on her grief. The message was clear. Her son was no better than the garbage insolently strewn across his grave. How can a human being be reduced to nothing more than garbage? Steve (not his real name) left the sobbing mother at the grave and turned away.

It was the grave of his best friend, Michael, and he was turning away from the gang life they had led together. It seemed like a long time ago when Steve left home. His parents were preoccupied with their own problems. He was restless, acting out, sniffing paint. School held no promise. Might as well go where someone would care what he did. Someone would notice what he did. His cousin was the president of a gang. It was a powerful gang. Connections with organized crime insured a steady stream of income and a never-ending party.

They danced with the angel. Angel dust, PCP—the drug of choice. It was the lifestyle. To be in the gang was to be high. Steve’s first paying job was to answer the door of the three-bedroom house the gang rented for their business. When customers asked for credit, he checked with the boss, his cousin. Then he delivered the answer or the drugs. He was 15, packing a gun, and it felt big. “We got joy out of causing pain to other people. It’s how we slept good at night,” Steve says of those days.

Steve started through the revolving door from juvenile detention to county jail to state prison. It was a cycle—drugs, death, jail. Back on the street. Then start again.

Gang life is dangerous. As time went by, casualties mounted until half the gang was in jail and the other half was dead. His cousin was killed. Steve was given his jacket. The jackets were especially designed for the gang’s use and carried their signature emblems. It was an honor. But it got old.

Then Steve watched his best friend die and he knew Michael was going to hell. Steve knew he was on the road to hell also. They had done so much together. Bad things. Very bad things. They were serving Satan because they wanted to. Dancing with demons. Worshipping death skulls. Longing to be in the box. The grave. End it all.

Life was a two-edged sword—drugs and crime. The two go together. Where there’s one, there’s the other. But after his best friend Michael died, it was no longer fun. The game was over. Steve wanted something real.

He found himself in a hotel room and opened the drawer by the bed. There was a Gideon Bible. Maybe it was real. He took it and he began to read it. As time went by, Steve got a job, a wife, a house and a family. But the Bible did not talk to him. It was just so many words. It was all so boring.

The drugs came back. Or Steve went to them. It’s hard to say, when you have no direction or purpose in life. Before long, the job was gone. The house was gone. The wife and kids were gone. The street became home. Every day getting a fix was the plan. A little crime here. A little high there. The years began to drift aimlessly away.

Then, thud! A closet. No, a jail cell. Two stinkin’ losers in a pen. Only one hour every three days to leave the cell and clean up. Sitting hour after hour, the stench of sweat seasoning every meal. The cage was closing in on him.

Steve began to bang his head against the wall. Anything to stop his screaming brain. He thought about his cellmate. He thought about ways to kill him. As hope trickled out of his veins, Steve mused, “One of us has to die. Maybe I can knock his head against the wall. Maybe I can strangle him with my bare hands. But then my brain will still be screaming.” Hope was nearly gone.

One day Steve was working with some trustees. They were demolishing a building. Steve was up on the roof when it gave way and he landed on a concrete floor head-first, a 15-foot fall. The other men gasped. They were sure he was dead. A quick trip to the emergency room only to be told it was just some bruises. Steve knew he should have split his head open. God must have spared his life.

“I’ll try once more. I’ve tried everything else. Maybe I didn’t do it right the last time. I’ll read the Bible. I’ll give it one more chance. God, if this is real, speak to me. Help me,” Steve prayed desperately. Hope was not gone yet. Where there is life, there is hope.

He opened the Bible and began to read. This time Steve wasn’t trying to help himself. He was just seeking the truth. The book came to life. Suddenly Steve was in the story. It was happening to him. When the Apostle Paul said, “Be of good cheer,” he could hear him. He could see him. He was there. When Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead,” he could see the truth in his eyes. He could hear hope in his voice. He was there. It was happening to him.

Steve changed completely. The words of the Bible spoke to him and Steve’s past, present and future began to have meaning. Steve understood his purpose. He had no time to waste. He had already wasted too much. Here was reality. Here was truth. He began to thank God every day that he was in jail. He no longer spent the hours contemplating death and murder. He immersed himself in the Bible and the months passed. New life came into his heart.

Steve was released to intense probation and was given 24 hours to report to the Salvation Army. He crossed the street from the bus station and bought a fifth of whiskey in the supermarket. He’d been planning that move for the entire year. He took two drinks. Suddenly he could drink it no more. He knew it wasn’t for him. He left the bottle in the shopping cart and walked away. Steve has now been clean for four years.

Six months with the Salvation Army and another six months in a halfway house prepared him to start a new life. Steve began to attend a local church. There he met his current wife and they now have a child together. Steve goes to work every day. Where there had been screaming in his brain, there is now a song. It’s a new song every day. It’s a new life in the White Mountains of Arizona.

Steve the gangbanger took everything to the limit. There was nothing too dangerous or too dastardly for a young man with no desire to live.

Steve the Christian says, “Now I have Christ, a wife, a family. Everything I need to be happy. I have forgiven those who wronged me and I have made restitution when possible. It’s all good.”

Nancy Stidham is the wife of Pastor Clay Stidham, Cornerstone Community Church. This is a true story. The names were changed to protect the new lives of people currently residing in the White Mountains.

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Meth – stronger than a mother’s love!
By Sandy Brimhall

After watching my son lay in the hospital after being stabbed, listening to the horrid details of the event, I realized that all I had done for the past few years was feed my son’s meth addiction. Every mother wants to believe their child and hopes that, through love and patience, their child will one day wake up healed from their addiction! 

NOT TRUE – mistake #1. Love does not heal addiction. Love supports your child through recovery, gives them hope of something better and binds faithful family members together through the tough times. 

Love your child enough to not believe them – mistake #2. Addicts know exactly what to say, when to say it, to whom to say it to in order to find the means to feed their addiction. They are not capable of telling the truth – the only truth they know is that they need the drug to survive. Any one and everyone are potential victims of their lies and manipulation. 

I have been asked many times by parents what they should do to help their child get off of drugs. I don’t have all the answers. For me, I can look back and see multiple mistakes that I made as a parent. I let guilt and fear stop me from calling the police when I knew my son Stephen was participating in illegal activities. Often the ONLY help there is for your child is the police and the judicial system. Many recovering addicts were forced into recovery. Some are strong enough to “get it” the first time; other’s may need a few more tries before they are able to recover. Once they are clean, it doesn’t really matter who or what got them into recovery. If your heart tells you they are using, believe your heart not your child – they are using!

I had no idea what this terrible drug was – my only advice to parents is this. . . . . Love your child enough to be okay with the fact that they may hate you for doing what needs to be done. One day they will thank you!

My son the meth addict is now one of my hero’s along with my other four children who stood by him when all of his “friends” left him to die. I once told Steven how proud I was of him, he told me “mom please don’t be proud of me, just be pleased with my progress I have done too many bad things for you to be proud of me.” 

Today I would like to say to all of my children that are survivors of those terrible years – I’m so please with all of our progress and although our love for Steven was not enough to save him from Meth, it was strong enough to keep us together! That, I am very pleased with.

Sandy Brimhall is the mother of a recovering meth addict and is the special education director for Show Low schools.

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Steven Reidhead’s Personal Story

My name is Steven Reidhead and I am 26 years old. I grew up around the mountain and graduated from Beatty, Nevada, in 1999. In high school I did fairly well holding a 3.5 GPA, and played varsity sports. I started dabbling in drugs and alcohol my sophomore year at age 16. If you told me that this would lead to the life I have now lived I would of called you crazy! But it did.

After graduating I returned to Show Low with intending to go to Snow Community College in Utah to play baseball on a full ride scholarship. I was living with friends who really cared about my well-being and me. While they worked, I walked around town looking for a job to get through the summer.

During this time I was introduced to methamphetamine. I can remember how, after taking that first line, I didn't sleep for three days. As soon as I came down, all I could concentrate on was getting more meth. This created a downward spiral that totally alienated me from all those who genuinely cared about me as a person.

I don't know where I was that August when I was supposed to go to fall baseball tryouts in Utah, but no doubt I was chasing the high. After I had burned all my good friends in Show Low, I moved to Utah with my parents. Due to a lack of meth in that area at that time, without even realizing it, I got clean. 

About a year later, the same friends I turned away from invited me to go to college with them in Thatcher. It was awesome for about the first month. Then I was re-introduced to meth. Only this time it was in the desert and there was lots of it. I stopped going to class and was only costing my family money to stay there. So, I dropped out of college, left my friends without the third paying member in the trailer we rented, and returned to Show Low. 

Now, I had a good understanding of the drug world and knew very well how to manipulate situations to benefit Steve and his habits. This went on for about four years. I was running with people I had never known prior to becoming a meth addict and things where certainly getting scarier and scarier on a daily basis. It had become a nightmare that had me doing things I never thought I would do. For meth, it became whatever, whenever, however—as long as the end result had a glimpse of me using or obtaining more meth. 

In November of 2003 the little world I lived in was shut down. I helped a group of people I was selling meth for to steal a motorcycle from a person that considered me his friend. I rode the motorcycle to Casa Grande where we traded it for meth. On our way home we got stuck in Globe. This put me in a motel with my dealer’s ex-girlfriend. He (my dealer) found out about it and thought we were pursuing each other and cutting him out of the picture. This angered him enough to come after me loaded with weapons to end my existence. 

He forced his way into the room with a loaded 12 gauge, sawed-off shotgun. Ordered to my knees, he placed the shotgun at my mouth and told me to bite the barrel. I refused and grabbed the gun out of my face and we started fighting. The next thing I knew he was trying to stab me in the stomach. I blocked it with my left wrist and it slit my wrist open about five inches.

He then stuck the knife in my right pectoral, breaking two ribs, puncturing a lung, and piercing the pericardial sack around my heart. I collapsed choking on lung matter. He then pistol whipped me in the back of the head with a .41 Magnum and assured me I was going to die. I lay on the floor of that motel knowing that my life was coming to an end. My family—suddenly all I could think about was my family. I hadn't cared enough in the past two or three years to even consider them or what I was doing to them and how badly I was hurting them. Now, I was going to die without ever saying sorry or showing any remorse for my actions. 

I was flat-line for about eight minutes when the emergency medical technicians got my heart beating again. The people at Cobra Valley Medical Center operated on me and thanks to them and my Heavenly Father I am still here to tell this story. I spent a total of 15 days in the hospital. During this time, all of my crimes caught up with me, and I was immediately placed on probation after being released from the hospital. 

When I got out of the hospital I knew that meth had allowed me to almost die. There was no way I would ever go back to that lifestyle. I stayed clean for about nine months. I made a very common mistake in recovery by thinking that because meth was my disease, I could use cocaine and have no problems. I was wrong! It took $300 every five days or so to feed my meth addiction with coke. I failed to check into probation for six months when finally my employer at the time, and my girlfriend (who is now my wife) convinced me that I needed to turn myself in and get help. I did it. 

I spent 47 days in Navajo County Jail. That was long enough. I was released to White Mountain Living Solutions where I spent three months finding out about recovery and how millions of people go through this every year. In that three months I learned more about myself than I had ever known. I found out that life is a constant learning process and that the more I know about who I am the better the chances are for me to do well. 

I started one on one session with a great man at White Mountain Counseling, learning as much about my disease, the disease of addiction, as I could ingest. Staying clean is the hardest thing I have ever endured. But it is also the most rewarding thing I have ever done, personally. It is something that no one can do for you. No one can convince you that it is worth your time. The only thing you can do is try it. If you fail, so what. Get up and try it again. Find a meeting; get the support you need to do this.

I have a testimony of recovery. Anyone who knew me before knows that I was as bad as it gets. I was no better off than anyone else in active addiction. But thanks to recovery I have found my way out. I have been clean for two years now. In that time I have slipped up and fallen, but had the strength to stay on the road to recovery. In that time, I have seen more blessings in my life than I probably deserve, but I know now that I made them happen.

I am married today, I own my home, and have just started my own business. Now you can't tell me your not capable of the same progress in your life. You are worth it. I promise.

To any of you who haven't been subjected to meth in your life, keep it that way. This drug is not about to get easier on us. It will always be just what it is, DEATH. So remember, METH- NOT EVEN ONCE! 

To my friends and family I am sorry for any wrong doings I may have done to you. And to those of you who have accepted me for who I am today, THANK YOU!!

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Cynthia's Story
by Cynthia, 32-year-old Native American inmate at Navajo County Jail

I am an addict. I started using drugs at the age of 13. I used cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. Meth was introduced to me in 2000. I came from Albuquerque, New Mexico, around that time. I sold drugs on the Navajo, Hopi and Pima reservations, Winslow, Holbrook, Flagstaff and Phoenix. I am well known basically wherever I go. When I got introduced to meth 8 years ago I was told it was the “new” thing to sell on the reservation, and that it would make me a lot of money. I had three children, a husband, houses, cars and plenty of money. But I got greedy and wanted more money. I wanted everything I could get for my children and my family. I started getting hold of people to get me that particular drug—meth. 

It didn’t take log to find what I was looking for; of course, I had a lot of friends. I was selling meth in no time. I did make a lot of money. It was a good life. I thought I had it all. I thought we were happy—my family. Then, we started to use meth. My family! In less than a year my family started arguing and fighting and just plain old tried to kill each other. We lost our home and our cars by not paying our bills and not taking care of the cars. We started not to save money for our comfort of living. We had to move back to the reservation with our parents. I ended up in jail all the time. One day I up and left my family behind. I promised I would be back for my children when I got a job and a place for us to live in town. My husband started a relation with another woman during this time. We got a divorce and he sold everything we had left and moved to California with my three children, his wife to be and her three children. When I went home one year later, my family was gone.

I moved to Winslow and ended up in a relationship. I worked at different places; I started drinking heavily and was doing all kinds of drugs. I was introduced to a mixture of heroin and meth. Nowadays, there is heroin in the meth they sell here. You need to understand that. I sold drugs again, used heavily and tried to maintain a job. I lived in Winslow for 5 years. My relationship with my ex-boyfriend was not good. We started to fight and drink and do drugs a lot. We both ended up in jail a lot. When I lost a job, I would sell drugs in town and on the reservation. When we failed, we moved back to our parents’ home—without them, I don’t know what I would have become. I guess I found that out the hard way. 

Because of my use of drugs and alcohol, my life has changed. I hurt my ex-boyfriend when I was high on meth. We had an argument; a fight and I stabbed him. I thank God he lived. I pray for forgiveness daily. I am now looking at 7 years in prison for all the crimes I done while I was on meth. I have four aggravated assaults with a weapon, failure to appear because I was on the run, I robbed stores, I stole cars, took hostages, you name it, I’ve probably done it. I was wanted county wide.

I will not see my family for a long time. My children won’t be children when I am released. How is that for my so-called “good life”? When I am released and done with my prison time and the rest of the jail facilities I need to grace with my presence I am going to a rehabilitation program. Why, you might ask? Well, because it’s going to take every day of my life to heal from my sickness, my addiction to meth. I hope my story helps you to say no to drugs, because I’m sure if you don’t make the right choices in life, you may end up with my “good life” or no life at all.

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Lisha's Story
by Lisha, 32-year-old woman inmate at Navajo County Jail

I started using meth when I was 12-years-old and have used it ever since. I started using meth because of the people I was hanging out with. I started ditching school every day, hanging out with people who were much older than me, just to get high. Strange people come with meth. At the age of 13 I was kicked out of my parents’ house. I was told I could come home but I was big enough to raise myself. Besides, my boyfriend, who was adult, lived on his own so I stayed with him at his friend’s house.

A few months went by and I became more and more strung out. My old man started beating me. I started robbing houses and stores to buy dope, not only did I have my habit to support, but also I had my old man and his friend to support. Also, the abuse from my old man became more inhumane, which “caused” me to have relationship issues. Now I jump when people make sudden movements. Later on down the road I got pregnant with my first so. Then I moved to Winslow with my family and was clean all through my pregnancy and a few months after. When I started making friends in Winslow, they were dope heads of course. I got pregnant with my daughter with my second old man. I had got into a relationship after that and got pregnant for a third time. 

So now I had three kids and no way to support them due to the lack of employment in Winslow, so I started selling the drugs. The money came in abundance and came quick. I had everything—a house, a car, a truck, utilities, my kids were taken care of. Until I started smoking more and more and soon I started losing everything, including my kids because I was way too high to comprehend reality. After my kids got taken, I figured I have nothing left, so whose gonna care if I trash the rest of my miserable life. 

I jumped around from house to house, never sleeping or eating, out driving around at all hours of the night until I got pulled over for speeding. The cop ran my name and I was arrested for failure to appear then was searched. The cops found a little over half a gram, a scale, a pipe and 10 sack of marijuana. Then I was charged for possession and sales. I was detained for about one week then released into CPS custody in the agreement that I do everything CPS wanted me to do. One thing led to another and I was picked up for failure to appear and non-compliance and booked into Navajo County Jail on September 14, 2007. I’ve been here since, waiting to be sentenced. I am looking at 2 to 8 years in prison, all because I wanted to get high and make a little bit of money. Some life. (Written 1/22/08)

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Your Enemy
by Sarah, a 15-year-old girl in Navajo County foster care

Once upon a time in a town not far from us, a teenage girl sits in a window crying and praying to her good Lord to guide her and to forgive all the sins she has made, and then she went to bed. The next day she decides to take a walk to town as she was walking she thinks of all the good things to do in life or how she wants to a famous singer. So as she walks with her eyes to the ground and slow and easy, she comes to a building, a white, tall, pretty building—she walks in and sees people crying and weeping. She keeps walking to the front and as she gets closer she sees a beautiful bed with roses all around it. But when she looks down at it she saw herself lying there calm and scared. Then she realized she was killed by meth. Meth was the evil thing here the reason the people were crying. Her loving family, the people who knew her, was hurt because of her actions to do meth. But as she stood up there she didn’t see her friends that did meth with her. No, they didn’t care about her. She felt really bad. You can get hurt and hurt others by one try of meth. METH is your enemy. Do not try meth. Live life in heaven.

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“I Am Meth”

Written by a young Native American girl while she was in jail for drug charges due to meth addiction. In this simple, yet profound poem, she describes the horror of the drug that owned her. She was found dead not long after with the needle still stuck in her arm.

My name is: “Meth.”
I destroy homes; I tear families apart, 
I take your children, and that’s just the start. 
I’m more costly than diamonds, more precious than gold,
The sorrow I bring is a sight to behold.
If you need me, remember I’m easily found.
I live all around you—in schools and in town. 
I live with the rich; I live with the poor, 
I live down the street, and maybe next door.
I am made in a lab, but not like you think,
I can be made under the kitchen sink. 
In your child’s closet, and even in the wood, 
If this scares you to death, well it certainly should. 
I have many names, there’s one you know best.
I’m sure you’ve heard of me, my name is crystal meth.
My power is awesome; try me you’ll see, 
But if you do, you will never break free. 
Just try me once and I might let you go,
But try me twice, and I’ll own your soul.
When I possess you, you’ll steal and you’ll lie,
You do what you have to—just to get high.
The crimes you’ll commit for my narcotic charms,
When you see their tears, you should feel sad.
But you’ll forget your morals and how you were raised,
I’ll be your conscience, I’ll teach you my ways.
I take kids from God, and separate friends.
I’ll take everything from you, your looks and your pride,
I’ll be with you always—right by your side.
You’ll give up everything, your family, your home,
Your friends, your money, then you’ll be alone.
I’ll take and take, ‘til you have nothing more to give,
When I’m finished with you, you’ll be lucky to live.
If you try me be warned—this is no game,
IF given the chance, I’ll drive you insane.
I’ll ravish your body; I’ll control your mind,
I’ll own you completely; your soul will be mine.
The nightmares I’ll give you while lying in bed.
The voices you’ll hear, from inside your hear.
The sweats, the shakes, and the visions you’ll see,
I want you to know, these are all gifts from me.
But then it’s too late, and you’ll know in your heart,
That you are mine, and we shall not part.
You’ll regret that you tried me, they always do,
But you came to me, not I to you.
You knew this would happen, many times you were told,
But you challenged my power, and chose to be bold.
You could have said no, and just walked away.
I’ll even go with you, when you go to your grave.
Now that you have met me, what will you do?
Will you try me or not? That’s up to you.
I can bring you more misery than words can tell.
Come…take my hand…let me lead you to HELL.

Rudy Ramirez Talks About Meth

A brief audio clip by Rudy Ramirez who has given a "True Story" about his use of meth and how it affected his life and those around him.