Every day, small local news stations are making headlines about meth. Meth is being seized in gigantic quantities- tens of pounds, millions of dollars worth of drugs- all the time, all around the country. Meth addicts are being reported as arrested for car crashes, disruptions in 24-hour store chains, and other problems. Yet, we aren’t talking about meth addiction like it’s a problem that people are facing. Sadly, that is because meth addiction and meth addicts receive a lot of shame and stigma.
Addiction, as a whole, gets a bad reputation for stigma and shaming. Meth addiction has been popularly communicated through long-lasting and award-winning shows like Breaking Bad and communicated through viral trending internet “memes,” showing the dramatic before/after pictures of arrested meth addicts. Unfortunately, these images and narratives don’t depict the horrors of living with an addiction to crystal meth. All that these images achieve is perpetuating a stigma against addicts. These stories create a “thing” out of people addicted to meth instead of recognizing them as human beings struggling with a terrible disease.
Crystal meth is not a polite drug. People who become heavily addicted to crystal meth deeply struggle. Meth changes the way they think, how they act, their state of reality, and their physical appearance. High on crystal meth, it is common for addicts to “pick” their skin relentlessly. Scarred, looking exhausted from days of being awake, losing healthy pigmentation in their skin, dropping a dramatic amount of weight, meth addicts look like less human versions of themselves. However, they are human, and they need to be helped with their addiction.
We don’t talk about meth addiction because meth addiction is hard to talk about. How do we explain an otherwise inexplicable addiction? In the face of the opioid crisis, we are also in a meth crisis with millions of people struggling to recover from the highly addicting drug.
You are not alone in your struggles with Crystal meth. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Being addicted doesn’t make you a failure, but asking for help and seeking treatment makes you a winner. Design For Change wants to show you how to change your life, one step at a time. We are here to help you recover and find the freedom of sobriety.