Weâ??ve already looked at how big a problem methamphetamine is in the state of Missouri, but we wanted to take it one step further and examine the impact it has on users.
KTVO spoke with several past addicts and their story will paint a vivid picture of damage and despair.
â??You will die and that is no joke you will die if you do not quite using it, â??says Valerie Slatton, recovering addict.
Valerie was 18 years old when she was first introduced to methamphetamine and instantly, she became an addict.
â??Itâ??s like cancer. It kind of spreads through your body and doesnâ??t let go,â?? said Slatton
Recovering addict, â??Chantelleâ?? was only 12 years old when she exposed her body to this powerful stimulant. â??I knew it was wrong. My role model was my older brother and he kind of had a problem with it too, so I wanted to be like him,â?? said Chantelle.
â??I would stay up 24 hours, but I was also an extreme user, I was going through at least, in drug terms, at least 8 balls a day,â?? said Slatton.
Both Slatton and Chantelle say they were young moms and felt meth gave them courage and energy to take care of their children. Chantelle lost custody of her son when he was only 2 years old. She said her addiction broke her entire family apart.
â??â?¦but at the time it seems like the best drug there is," Slatton said. This dynamic drug effects the central nervous system so much, it was the wake up call for Slatton. She said it was a normal day, she had gotten drugs from her supplier and then the unthinkable happened.
â??Whenever I passed out in my front yard and almost died in front of my house,â?? Slatton said, was the moment she knew something had to change.
â??I have childrenâ?¦ I guess you have to, you know, think that you want to be alive for them.â??
For the rest of her life, Valerie now has to suffer with congestive heart failure. She has been clean for 8 years and said she is done.
â??â?¦and the consequences keep coming year after year, the sooner you get off the drug the better of you are, â?? Valerie said.
Valerie packed everything she had and moved her children out of Brookfield, Mo.
â??They even tell their friends meth is wrong. â??I mean look at my mom. Sheâ??s strong enough to do everything, but her body is giving out because nobody tells you when you start using the drug that itâ??s going to kill you later.'"
Valerie is happily married and is now actually living a life that she enjoys.
â??â?¦after I left I was done, none of them was allowed around me, we still have not contact whatsoever. This is my life now and they are no a part of it anymore.â??
Chantelle has also been clean for 19 months. She got her son back in March 2012. He is now 8-years-old, and she tells us her life has changed a lot, she now has a stable job and has a lot more confidence.
Meth: poison in the Heartland