people gathered at Kodiak
High School last night
for a parent and community forum about meth. Others joined the event via live
video conferencing. According to substance abuse counselors, the illegal drug is considered to be even more addictive
than cocaine and heroine and its presence in the community is raising some
was the result of a cooperative effort between local agencies. Providence
hospital, KANA, the Suunaq tribe, Native Village of Afognak, the Kodiak Women's
Resource and Crisis Center, the school
district, and local law enforcement were some of the groups participating and
presenting at the forum.
One of the
most powerful presentations was by a woman named "Chrissy" who shared her story
as a former meth addict. Her poignant story of addiction and recovery kept the
audience's attention as she recounted the story of her life from a violently
abused young girl to meth addict and drug runner.
-- (Meth Forum 1 "I have held ... has just
Several presentations were made
including the clinical and medical effects of meth use and how meth use leads
to domestic violence. Providence
substance abuse counselor Gary Marler talked about what attracts people to take
meth. He said that during initial use of the drug, the user has a greater sense
of confidence and strength and the feeling of being indestructible.
-- (Meth Forum 2 "It
decreases feelings ... I liked that feeling."
Marler and other presenters
emphasized that those chemically-induced
feelings are always very temporary, leaving the user with only the overwhelming
desire to take more of the drug. From there, problems escalate: neglect of self
and others, including children, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, violence,
crime, extreme tooth decay, brain damage and death.
also made about the physical dangers posed to communities by the manufacturing
of meth. The illegal drug is concocted by ingredients that can be obtained
over-the-counter. Cooking those ingredients at high temperatures is very
hazardous and often causes explosions and fires. The process of making meth also
results in large amounts of toxic by-products which are then dumped on the
ground poured down sinks, or flushed down toilets.
also heard perspectives on the problem of meth from local law enforcement and
from the drug-free school program.
discussion followed the forum presentations. One of the suggestions brought up
by attendees was petitioning for more training of local law enforcement to deal
with the problem of meth.