Meridian Star

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January 28, 2008

Methamphetamine: A hard habit to break

Editor's note: The name of the former methamphetamine user in this article has been changed to protect his identity.

He'd only planned to do it once. But once just wasn't enough.

So he did it again ... and again, until it was old habit.

"A good friend introduced me to it," said Gavin Everett, who, at 24, tried methamphetamine for the first time.

"He told me to just try a little of it; he said it wouldn't hurt," said Everett, now 37. "Over the years, a little led to a lot."

A lot of being awake for days, sometimes a week or more. A lot of attempts at attaining, but never quite reaching that first-time high. And after more than a decade of using, a lot of avoiding being caught selling the drug to supplement his own habit.

Eventually, the drug that he was told would not hurt him did just that. Law enforcement caught Everett selling. Fortunately, the charges were dropped to possession and he entered a four-phase drug court program.

"I'm in my last year and I've been clean for four years," he said with pride. "I thought I would just breeze through it, but you discover that it's not quite that easy."

Old drug, new twist

Crystal, crank, white cross, Barney Dope, crunk, hillbilly crack, ice, crystal meth, go, chris, meth monster, speed ball, Smurf dope, tweak, white ink, ugly dust, zip, zoom ...

Whatever you call it, methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug and the most potent form of amphetamine available with or without a prescription. In existence for decades, methamphetamine or crystal meth experienced a revival on the black market in the early 2000s as a replacement for cocaine or mixed with heroin.

"That's when we started to see it comeback, a strong comeback in Mississippi," said Lt. Eddie Hawkins, methamphetamine field coordinator for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

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