Methamphetamine Use in The Valley Series Part 2

Methamphetamine Use in The Valley Series Part 2 »Play Video
Jan started using meth at 18, and used heavily for 20 years.
LEWISTON, ID - A resident of the LC Valley who relapsed as recently as five months ago is determined not to go back to her old life.

We'll refer to our second recovering meth addict as Jan. Jan started using meth at 18, and used heavily for 20 years.

"I started out with eating it," said Jan. "Then it went to snorting it and then it went to smoking it. And finally intravenous use."

Jan said that she first started using meth to help give her more energy and get through a long work day.

"I'd be up for days, felt like I could run a marathon," said Jan.

After awhile her addiction took its toll on her family life and relationships.

"My daughter was scared she did not want me around," said Jan. "My dad couldn't trust having me at the house."

The problems eventually spread to her professional life as well.

"You come off that drug, you just feel like crap," said Jan. "It hits you hard and it hits you fast. And I would call in 'I'm sick. I'm not coming into work today, don't feel like it. "

Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Kellie Baker of Riverside Recovery said Jan's behavior is typical amongst drug addicts.

"We see children taken into foster care," said Baker. "We see people no longer able to work because of their addiction so the family struggles financially, maybe with their very basic needs."

It was eight years ago that Jan said she hit a low point, when her daughter walked in on her and a friend preparing to shoot up.

"It's horrible," said Jan. "To see a look on a child's face when they see their mom doing something like that."

After that incident, Jan sought out the help she needed and was clean for eight years. But as many recovering addicts do, she relapsed about five months ago.

"It's an ongoing process," said Baker. "There is no quick fix. Abstinence and recovery aren't the same thing."

"There's a saying, 'Show me, don't tell me,' said Jan. "So I had to prove to him and my daughter that I was going to do what I said I was going to do."

Jan's father encouraged her to join the family reunification court, so that custody of her daughter was an option if she stayed clean.

"I couldn't stand being away from my daughter," said Jan. "I had been away from her for a year before and it was the hardest thing I endured."

While her relationship with her daughter isn't perfect, Jan's working hard to prove she can be dependable and reliable for her daughter. Recovery is a daily struggle and it's a battle she's intent to win.

"I am in one of the best places in my recovery," said Jan. "And I feel the best I've ever felt."

Jan is currently in the process of looking for work in the Valley, the place she grew up. She believes a career will help her stay on the straight and narrow, while providing her with a routine to stay clean.