A visit by 18-year-old Kara to Little Butte Elementary fifth grade students provided first-hand the results of using meth and showed that there is hope for those who have traveled down that long, dark road.
Kara, accompanied by Christina Anderson, of KOBI-Channel 5, are spokespersons for the Southern Oregon Meth Project.
Kara began her addiction through the "gateway" drugs. First, it was
smoking cigarettes in the fifth grade-the very age she was addressing.
Next came alcohol and by the ninth grade she was kicked out of her home
because of her meth addiction.
She became suicidal, and
went for five straight days doing meth. No food, no liquid, just meth.
Police found her in a psychotic state and took her to the psychiatric
ward at a hospital in Sacramento. There she spent seven days. Seven
difficult days without meth. Once released, she went home to her family
but continued using meth until she understood what it was costing in
Today, she is re-united with her
family, has graduated from high school and looks forward to attending
college. But getting to this point has not been easy.
can get hooked after just one use. Fifty percent of first time users,
use meth again," explained Christina Anderson. One of the reasons meth
is so prevalent in the Rogue Valley is its location along the I-5
corridor. Transporting between Mexico and Canada is a huge business.
is known by a number of names-speed, ice, crystal and snow are among
them. Today there is something called "candy meth" where dealers target
Students indicated they certainly were aware of the
drug as they told the speakers, "it is a nasty drug that messes up your
face. It is an addictive drug, the worst kind of drug." Several could
name some of the products used in its manufacture.
Peer pressure and the use of meth by friends and/or family was given as one of the reason children start using.
students were asked what they would do if a friend is seen smoking or
drinking. Almost every hand went up saying they would turn to the
police for help.
Students will be writing essays on why they should not use drugs.
have to take a stand," explained Anderson. She said kids have decisions
to make, they need to make the right ones and educating-not
experimenting- is the right way.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent
This article is based on notes taken by Kathy Sell, of the Independent.