This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The drug that causes incredible devastation (Missouri)

Man struggles with addiction to meth
By TERESA RESSEL\Daily Journal Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a five-part series dealing with the growing number of meth labs and meth use in the county. On Wednesday, read about how the use and manufacturing of meth is harming children.

He was a good student who could have graduated high school at the top of his class.

Blair, who lived in Kansas City at the time, said none of his teachers or classmates at school knew he had an addiction.

Blair said the first drug he experimented with was cocaine when he was 13 years old. He stole it from his father.

“My whole family did it,” he said. He saw it as a way of life — a way to get by.

One day, when the cocaine wasn’t available, he tried a cheaper drug that has a longer high — meth. He got it from one of his dad’s friends.

“When I snorted it, I thought ‘Oh my God it hurts so bad,’” Blair said. “But from that first time on, I couldn’t stop.”

He said there’s no feeling like it.

“I was on top of the world,” he said. “My confidence level was soaring.”

In the beginning, that high lasted two or three days.

When he turned 14, he began shooting it up. After that, he said, there was no coming down. Blair said he would be up 10-12 days at a time and then sleep a day and a half.

He said he was never a bad student. In fact, he said he was in the top five percent of his class all throughout high school. He was set to get a couple of scholarships.

“I was obsessed with my grades,” he said.

He was kicked out of school his senior year for a drug charge and ended up getting his GED.

Looking back, he thinks people around him probably knew something was wrong. He didn’t run around with the people he went to school with.

“I was really skinny, real thin,” he said.

The first time Blair sought treatment was when he was 16 years old.

“I told my parents I needed to go,” he said. “I went over Christmas break of my sophomore year.”

He was able to stay clean for three months.

“Everyone in my life was doing it,” he said. “I thought I could get out and still hang around with the same people.”

He also had trouble adjusting to normal sleeping and eating habits.

“I wasn’t ready to live normal again,” Blair said.

Blair has relapsed a couple times but is still fighting the battle. When this reporter spoke to him, he was in a short-term residential treatment program for a fourth time.

He said the last time, he was clean for nine months before he relapsed.

“It’s really hard to stay away,” he said. “It’s everywhere.”

He said one of the hardest thing has been cutting ties with everyone from his old lifestyle. He said he still talks to his family but he broken all ties with his old friends.

He said it has helped to move away from Kansas City. He is currently living in Cuba where he has a job, and is active with a church and a narcotics anonymous group.

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