By the time you are in elementary you already have some knowledge on drugs. They affect us in various ways, sometimes even personally. For Luke it became a personal issue.
At first he began living in the house of a crystal meth addict to research the drug and experience first-hand how it affected others. Originally he had no intention of taking the drug, but after some time he fell into temptation. Since the house he was living in was full of crystal meth and crystal meth addicts it’s not surprising that this ending up happening. At first he would only use it occasionally/recreationally. He felt that he could accomplish more while using it and that non-user were weird for not using it. According to him it was cheap, it helped him lose weight, and it was really fun. “I felt creative, confident and productive.” (Luke Williams)
But after sometime this recreational drug became something he could not live without. Luke then became an addict and began to experience psychotic episodes and aggression. Because of crystal meth he felt that everyone was out to get him and wanted to kill him. This is when he realized that he needed to stop. He went to a hospital, but they offered him pretty much no help and were very unsympathetic. The place where he used to live kicked him out and finding a place to stay became a difficult task. He lived with other crystal meth addicts but they began to flip out on him, leaving him with no choice, but to return home. His parents were very kind and took him in and helped him with his addiction. Learning to cope with the after effects of crystal meth was hard, but with the help of his parents he is now living a normal healthy lifestyle. Although he no longer has that many friends he feels better, because now he doesn’t have bad influences around him. He realizes how dumb he was for taking crystal meth and encourages others to never try it (Williams).
But where did this drug that destroys so many homes and lives come from? This drug is a man-made stimulant that has been around for a long time. Crystal meth was originally made by the government during World War II to help soldiers stay awake. But after realizing the after affects it had on the soldiers the government decided to ban it. Most of the crystal meth in the United States comes from Mexican super labs. Although people still make it here in the U.S. it’s usually inside their homes. It’s very dangerous to make because of the chemicals involved which are very explosive. Crystal meth comes in clear chunky crystals resembling ice and is most commonly smoked.
You can identify Crystal Meth addicts by certain characteristics/behaviors that they exhibit. One of the first things that you will start to notice is that they do not care about their personal appearance or hygiene. They continually pick at their hair and skin which causing themselves nasty looking sores. And they get pimples that are hard to get rid of. They are also more likely to steal to pay for their addiction. Angry outbursts and mood swings are very common in crystal meth addicts. Other affects it has on the body is raising the body temperature to an abnormal level, so high that the user could pass out or even die. They lose appetite and weight dramatically. Dilated pupils, rapid eye movement, anxiousness, confusion, insomnia, unsafe sex, violent outbursts, and twitching are some of the after effects of crystal meth. Users can become paranoid and hear and see things that aren’t actually there (hallucinations). (Ratini)
But why do people take this drug? What makes it so addictive? The powerful rush people get from using crystal meth makes a lot of people get hooked right from the start. When it’s used, a chemical called dopamine (chemical in the brain that floods parts of it that regulate feelings of pleasure). Users also feel confident and energetic. A user can become addicted quickly and soon finds he will do anything to have the rush again. As he continues to use the drug, he builds up a tolerance. That means he needs higher doses to get the same high. The higher the dosage of crystal meth, the higher the risks.
How do you get clean from such a powerful drug? How do you liberate yourself from its iron grasp? Since most people who try crystal meth are immediately addicted to it, it’s very hard to get clean from it. Actually it’s one of the hardest drug addictions to beat. People who are addicted to crystal meth usually cannot beat the addiction on their own and require professional help. They either need a professional counselor or drug treatment program. For the first few weeks their bodies will go into withdrawal and they will only be able to eat and sleep because their mind and body are too tired to do anything else. They will feel anti-social and may have violent outbursts. During the whole withdrawal your body is screaming for meth. This is the hardest part of getting clean. Then they go through a honeymoon phase where they feel super confident. Most people have a relapse during this moment because of how over confident they are. Then comes more depression and boredom after this. Finally they move into the adjustment phase where they begin to adjust to society and life in general. Staying clean is a daily choice so it’s an ongoing recovery.
But how does this drug affect your spiritual life? Can you still have a close relationship with God while doing Crystal Meth? No, you can’t… Of course the Bible never directly talks about drugs but that’s because they were not around during those days. But it does talk about addictions. All of the apostolic exhortations to remain sober-minded and alert are designed to remind us that we must be vigilant against the snares of the Devil who seeks to ensnare us through deception. (1 Peter 5:8) (1 Corinthians 15:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8; 2 Timothy 4:5; 1 Peter 1:13; 4:7; 5:8) All of these texts talk about being sober and how can you do that if you’re so high you don’t even know your name? Sobriety is also important for prayer (1 Peter 4:7). As Christians, our bodies are not our own, we have been bought with a price which is the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:17-19) (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Having bought us with His own life if we pollute or harm our bodies we desecrate the House of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). So I guess all this answers the question if you can or can’t be high and still consider yourself a devoted Christian.
In the beginning I mentioned that Luke began to use the drug because he was naïve of its effects on the human body and what crystal meth actually was. After reading all of this information I feel like he would think twice before trying the drug. People don’t usually think about the effects drugs have on your body and never stop to consider the after effects. But if it is all written out for you and personal testimonies are added then it’s a lot easier to stop and be informed about the drug. This type of information would have saved Luke from a lot of pain, hardship, and danger. And all though he wasn’t a Christian, the texts from the Bible can be very helpful to Christian youth who are experimenting with different things. Many people are ignorant and think that just trying a drug once will not affect them later on and that they are just going to do it once recreationally. Unfortunately this is not the case 99% of the time. Because crystal meth is so strong people get addicted to it the first time they try it and it is really hard to stop the addiction that is why Luke had such a hard time. To prevent things like this from happening we need to speak out against drug abuse and inform people on what Crystal meth and drugs in general do to your body. We need to let them know that they take control of your life and leave you worse than you ever were before. And battling drug addiction is a lifelong thing because your body will always crave the drug. Crystal meth ruins hundreds of lives, families, relationships, and homes each year that is why we must speak out against it now. Luke didn’t have people in his life to inform him, but think about the people you know that are messing around with drugs; have you taken the time to inform them? Don’t let them go through all the things Luke went through.
Petit, Aymeric. ” J Addict Res.” Methamphetamine Addiction: A Review of the Literature (2012): http://omicsonline.org/methamphetamine-addiction-a-review-of-the-literature-2155-6105.S1-006.php?aid=3893.
Ratini, Melinda. crystal meth what should you know. 16 september 2014. 6 may 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/crystal-meth-what-you-should_know>.
Williams, Luke. “”life as a chrystal meth addict”.” The saturday Paper 2 8 2014: 2.