Crystal meth, one form of methamphetamine, is a highly addictive substance, and for Australian journalist Luke Williams, his research for a story on crystal meth and its growing use lead to an entirely different story altogether – one that eventually led to a crystal meth addiction.
Known Effects of Crystal Meth Addiction
Luke had already seen several of his friends and family fall under the spell of the highly addictive drug, and so became curious about its increasing popularity.
He knew the effects it had, having seen his thirty-seven-year-old cousin transform from a marijuana smoker who kept himself to himself, with his own home and a job, into a thief with no job and no home, stealing from his family and living in his car. Other friends who had fallen under the spell of crystal meth, including a close friend’s ex-partner. Williams had seen friends lose jobs, lose teeth and lose their focus in life, and he became interested in why people were turning to this drug; what was crystal meth giving them that everything else in their lives wasn’t?
Fatal Curiosity Resulting in Crystal Meth Addiction
So, in 2014, seeing the increased prevalence of crystal meth in Australia, Williams decided to do some research and thought that Smithy, that close friend’s ex, would be a good source for his story. He had known Smithy for several years, and he also knew that this individual was dealing drugs, that he frequently used crystal meth, and had many friends who used the drug too. To properly research his subject, he came up with the plan of renting a room in Smithy’s house so that he could try to really understand what attracted people to crystal meth. When approached, Smithy was agreeable (his actual response being “As long as you pay your rent, I don’t care what you bloody do”), and so Williams moved in.
A few months later, his description of himself was as follows: “I smelt like a dead pig. My hair looked awful. There were dark rings round my eyes, and what looked like dog shit on my teeth.”
At this point, Williams had been on a two-week long ‘bender’, constantly high on crystal meth. He had started using the drug two months previously, just taking little bits here and there. When he felt tired, he’d have a little bit more, until it got to the point where he lost track of how much crystal meth he was using, and his sense of reality began to slip.
A Different Story Altogether
Williams lost all focus on the story he had planned to research. He stopped taking notes and forgot that the story had been his reason for moving into the house. He started to become focussed on a series of unreal events, with himself at the centre of each fictitious happening. He got a very good story, but it wasn’t quite the one he had planned on. He had himself become one of the psychotic crystal meth addicts he had planned to write about.
A Risky Undertaking
In truth, Williams could have anticipated this outcome. He had suffered from drug addictions before, brought on by a failing relationship and difficulties at work. He spent two months in rehab in 2008 after using ‘every drug he could lay his hands on’, which included powdered methamphetamine (speed) and heroin. But since then he had resisted his occasional cravings for meth and believed that his coping strategies would enable him to live safely in the house of a drug dealer and write his story with perhaps occasional use of crystal meth. Clearly, this was not the case.
Complex Reasons for Addiction Relapse
Williams believes there are complex reasons for his slip back into addiction. He had suffered trauma as a teenager which, he feels, left him vulnerable to addiction. He also blames his previous drug use, saying that the seventeen years of prior drug use have left a ‘drug-shaped hole’ in his life, which left him more likely to succumb to whatever drug was available at the time.
He says that he is still on the road to recovery from his crystal meth addiction. Despite remaining drug-free, the changes in his way of thinking about himself and the world brought about by his crystal meth addiction have persevered, and he is still working out what he sees as the problems in himself that led to his addiction. Perhaps unsurprisingly given the start to this story, Luke Williams has written a book about his journey.
Help and Support for Crystal Meth Addiction
As Luke Williams discovered, the reasons behind an addiction can be very complex and, for most people, difficult to unravel. If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome addiction, Addiction Helper can provide you with all the advice and support you need to begin your journey to recovery. Please contact us today for more information.
Source: I accidentally became a psychotic crystal meth addict whilst researching a story about drugs (News.co.uk)