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.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Recovering from Meth Addiction (Illinois)

We see and read too many stories about meth busts, meth labs and other problems relating to methamphetamine here in the Tri-States.

You know meth is bad, but do you have any idea how bad it is for your body and your mind, and how tough it is to beat once you're on it?

For this KHQA Safe Family crime report, we sat down with a recovering meth addict who's been clean for 14 months.

She lost her kids over the addiction, but now her life is looking up.

FORMER METH USER: I grew up in a great household; raised in a church, did well in school. I might not be your typical meth addict, but I'm not unique in any way.

This recovered meth addict, who asked us to hide her identity, says there's no cookie-cutter image of someone who uses the drug. She never made the drug, but she started using it about 10 years ago through a relationship. Once she tried it, it was difficult to stop.....especially when she had to juggle four kids and school.

FORMER METH USER: It feels like you're unstoppable. Everything is at a much faster pace. You're ultra aware of everything....very conscious...and even artistic at times. I could read and write incredible papers for class, but by the middle of the semester I had to drop out for rehab.

Her four children were taken away from her 14 months ago, which is when she decided to get help...using the services of Recovery Resources, Chaddock and Quanada and others. She just got her 4 children back this past January after spending a year in treatment.

FORMER METH USER: (How has it been? Having your children back?) It's chaotic and's a dream come true. I am so lucky to be given a second chance.

Ron Howell, CEO and Executive Director of Recovery Resources, says the woman we just profiled is a success story.

He believes society can play a big part in similar successes.

While there's no cookie-cutter description of a meth addict, Howell says there are some common characteristics. He says meth users are generally in their 20s or 30s, and primarily white.It usually affects people of lower- to middle-income socioeconomic status. And Howell says he's seen an increase in the number of women addicts.....who often get hooked through a relationship. The visible signs of a meth user include weight loss, poor diet, tremendous bursts of energy and bad hygiene, which can lead to broken, stained and rotting teeth. Acne appears, sores take longer to heal and skin loses its luster and elasticity...making the user appear years....and even decades older.


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