About a month ago, "s0ck" made an "ask me anything" thread on Reddit. It's probably the absolute best description of a meth user I've ever seen, probably because it comes from. Watching Breaking Bad only makes me realize how spot-on that show is in how it portrays meth culture.
This document's basically what I find to be the most important and interesting bits of the IAmA thread.
- "A Tweakend"
- IAmA Thread
- Original posting
- "How much did your addiction cost?"
- "Why can't you find joy or true happiness?"
I only ever smoked it. I never touched a needle. So, I can only speak of that experience.
Honestly? Euphoria. It's like a flash of good, tingly feeling throughout your whole body. You do not feel tired, or hungry, or in pain. Warm, comfort. This lasts for a few hours.
As time goes on, it starts to lose that beautiful feeling. Your tongue gets caked in the residue, the tip of your tongue starts to hurt because you keep running it over your teeth. Every moment tastes awful, and it starts to get unpleasant. But you've already been up for 22 hours, and you're not tired, so you might as well smoke some more to get just a little burst of that good feeling. The euphoria is gone in a flash, but you're full of energy and can -focus- on anything. House work isn't a chore. You can draw for hours. You can make a rubber band ball. Or build a skatepark. -Nothing- is boring.
And now it's been 36 hours. You're starting to lose that focus. There are occasional dots that swarm your vision. You're sticky. You realize that yesterday was the last time you ate something. You smoke, but the euphoria is gone. The tip of your tongue is red and very tender. Your mouth is pasty white/grey due to the residue, which you keep trying to wash away with soda. You think about brushing your teeth, but your body is exhausted even if your mind is up, jittery. You want to feel better, so you keep smoking.
50 hours in, your body is exhausted. You don't have the control you're used to, and you keep making clumsy mistakes. You try to occupy yourself with something, but you just end up frustrated and angry. You start to talk about the things that piss you off, or the things that "go wrong", as if there's some actual plot out to get you. You start to think that it might be time to sleep.
At this point, you either sleep... or you press on. The world takes on a surreal feeling. You hallucinate. You see people, and try to figure out if they're tweaking too. You don't smile. Your mouth is fucking disgusting. You stink, unless you had the presence of mind to shower at some point. That's unlikely if you're tweaking with a group of people, though. You can't all shower. You find that you've developed a tick. You pick at your skin, or twease your eyebrows (until you draw blood), you rub the hem of your shirt between your thumb and finger without being aware of it. Everything feels hollow, and heavy, but your mind is still jittery, still working. You eat. Not because you're hungry, but because the last time you ate, the sun was coming up.
I'll start with the tl;dr: I used meth for 5 years, and was addicted for two of them. My best friend got into meth with me, and I lost him to the drug.
Edit 1: This is how I describe a tweakend. [Ed: See "A Tweakend," above)
Edit 2: Wow. First page. I'm trying to keep up, and I will try to answer every question asked (even the fake ones). If I don't get to you tonight, I will at some point.
Edit 3: Well, time for bed. It's 1 am and I managed to get to the end of my messages (all that I was notified of, at least). I'll answer any new ones when I wake. Thank you everyone for your kind words, and thank you more everyone who's shared their own hardships and triumphs.
If I could add one final thing... I would just say that an addiction is forever. For the first few years, I had to make the conscious decision to not use, every single day. I wanted it, I craved it, but I refused to give in. Today, six years later, I don't even crave it anymore. But I have a whole new level of respect for just how dangerous really addictive drugs are. Do not underestimate them.
I was introduced to everything through one friend, I'll call him Theo. Before him, I was a good kid. Straight As, never skipped school, didn't even smoke cigarettes. He was a goth punk, started off stalking me and somehow we became best friends as a result. He was my first real friend, and in those days... he was a damn good friend. He took care of me. He cared. He was kind, generous, and just the greatest guy in the world. We started drugs at about the same time. Our first drug was LSD. Never did it often, though. Stuck with pot for years and years.
Eventually, we were introduced to meth. It started out as something we did rarely, but eventually it overtook everything. Whenever we hung out, we got high. The first three years, I was high every other week. The last two, I was high every day, except for when I would crash after being up for five days straight.
I had a job overnight stocking, and my job performance improved due to the meth. No exhaustion, no need for breaks, easily occupied with mundane tasks.
In the end, what lead me to quit was a moment of clarity. When I took a look at my situation. I used to be a straight As kid, with a future. Now I was a high school drop out, working at a dead end job where I never spoke to anyone, and at that moment I was sitting in a trailer with five other filthy guys. One was missing an eye, telling me about how he sucked dick in jail. The other was a gay man who had his relationship destroyed by meth, and he was busy picking at a sore on his forehead that had grown to the size of a half dollar. No one had bathed in days. Everyone had been up for days on end. There was a bunny that someone had caught decaying in the back room, under the bed. Where the fuck was I? What the fuck was I doing there?
I left. I cut all ties. I went home, and slept. And ate. And writhed. And hallucinated seeing shards on my bedspread, carpet, counters... there was no logical reason for shards to be there. I still combed the carpet looking for them. I washed my bed sheets, vacuumed, went over everything with a cloth. Even then, I found myself searching for shards. At work, every bit of plastic, when caught in the light juuuust right, it looked like a pipe. Even though I -knew- it wasn't a pipe, whenever I'd catch that glance, there would be a surge of hope/need.
Some months after I quit, I got a call from my best friend. He was starving to death. All his drug buddies had abandoned him when his money ran out. I took him into my home. He started to get on his feet again. Had a job. He started to use in my home, and for "old times sake", I used with him. I had been clean for six months at that point. The very next day, bounty hunters came for him. He missed a court date. If that had not happened, I honestly do not know if I would've relapsed or not.
I saw him in jail. When he got out, I let him stay with me again. He cashed in his trust fund after a while. And started to use again. This time, I wouldn't have any of it. When I found out, I kicked him out. Two-three months after that, he broke into my home. Stole my computer, and a big jar of loose change (it had maybe $60-120 in there, there were a lot of pennies in it). While, at the time, I couldn't prove it was him, in my heart is knew it was.
He never broke in again. Two years later, I found out that he accidentally hung himself (auto-erotic asphyxiation gone wrong). Got together with a mutual friend to have some beers and talk about him, and learned from the friend that it was Theo who robbed me.
I've been clean for six years now. I still occasionally have dreams about smoking meth with Theo, but I haven't had one in months. Used to be very frequent. I still have a tick that I developed while tweaking. I occasionally find myself unconsciously rubbing the hem of my shirt between my index finger and thumb (a lot of my shirts are worn thin there). I haven't felt joy or happiness in a very long time, the best I can get is amusement. I laugh a lot, but that can be awkward when I want to laugh humorously at what should be a happy moment. So, I tend to fake joy, just so that I don't put others out.
If you want to know any more... well. That's why this is an AMA.
"How much did your addiction cost?"
Question from BlackieChan: How much did your addiction cost you on a day to day basis?
Answer from Dunking_On_Dexter: I'll jump in here and tell you how much I was spending over a 4 year habit of hardcore smoking. I was working a fly-in, fly-out job in mining (no drugs on site), on a 9 days on and 5 days off roster. So no smoking for 9 days, I'd get home and the first thing I'd do was buy about $4,000 worth (this was back around 06) - this would last me and a few friends about 3 days. They'd return to work after the weekend, while I'd continue to buy/smoke more. Sometimes between 3 people we'd charge over $2,000 a night (of my money) which would end up being a 5 day bender. I'd fly back to work after no sleep or food, drinking beer heavily for the whole time (helps with the comedown) and a couple of showers - and of course broke.
These days though I've noticed the prices of 8-balls has nearly doubled since I stopped, so I shudder to think what I'd be like now if I kept going.
Edit - This is in Australia where the price is greatly higher than other places I've been, and the quality was anywhere between shit mixed with Epsom salts and koota gear that'd blow your head off with a decent pipe that'd last for 30 minutes passing it between friends."
"Why can't you find joy or true happiness?"
Question from dannnicali: Just wanted to say that I didn't have a reddit account until i read this, and just had to comment. First off congratulations on beating your addiction, my now sister in law was a meth user, and i know her beating that was one of the hardest things she has ever had to do.
I do have a question though, why do you think that you can't find joy or true happiness? do you feel like there is something stopping you or what?
again thanks for your story
Answer from s0ck: It's like there's a step missing on your stairs, but it's been gone for so long that you just step over it without a second thought. I know that something's not right, but I have learned to cope with it.
Answer from reallywhitekid: Meth and other similar drugs tend to ruin your dopamine system. It's not that you don't want to feel happy, it's because you literally can't.
Answer from phelix001: It's the chemical dude. Imagine being happier than any person that has ever existed, and imagine what that does to your happiness baseline.
"What's going through this woman's head?"
Question from Beefdump_Cornfinger: The woman in this video, what would be going through her head?
Answer from s0ck: She's probably been up for about eight days. There is, honestly, no telling. She's probably not even aware, or able to think beyond the most basic of thoughts ("Fire is hot!" etc). Reaching someone like that is near impossible.