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Methamphetamine: a real nightmare

Anyone who doubts that methamphetamine use has reached epidemic proportions in Harrison County ‘ as reported in this newspaper last week in the first part of a series ‘ need only look at the court news this week in the front section, page A9.
And anyone who doubts that state, county and town police are making an all-out effort to drive the plague from this part of Southern Indiana also ought to look at the court news this week. There are 15 felony drug-related counts alone, far more than the usual three or four. That’s not counting other charges that police say could be the result of poor decisions made by drug-fogged minds. Clearly, there’s some relatively sophisticated crime going on here that, 10 or 20 years ago, we might have thought only happened in highly populated inner cities. The charming, easy-going, secluded country lifestyle that we think is so great probably attracts meth makers and users alike because they think, wrongly, that they won’t be noticed.
And anyone who doubts the horrendous effects of using this powerful illicit drug need only look carefully at the front-page picture of The Corydon Democrat last week, rather than turning away in disgust. It showed a meth-user’s arm pocked with sores. It didn’t show the rest of his body. Even his scalp had sores.
The public may not understand that someone who tries methamphetamine is almost always hooked after just one ‘high.’ The user may not have known, or cared, or didn’t stop to think, that that high inevitably will lead to big, big problems, including hallucinations. It’s not uncommon for the addict to start itching and scratching for fear that ‘bugs’ are crawling all over their body and beneath their skin. The skin itches and the sores fester and bleed when scratched.
Sure, the picture is awful to look at, but it got your attention, didn’t it? If it gets the attention of just one youngster who’s ‘itching’ for a high, who needs to find out what the results would be, then that picture will have done its job. If it gets the attention of just one parent who needs to wake up and realize their child might be in big trouble, then that’s good, too.
And anyone who doubts that drug addictions can be so strong ‘ so horrible that the addict may think the only way out is death ‘ should attend a presentation May 2 at North Harrison High School in Ramsey. David Parnell, 37, of Tennessee, plans to tell students what it’s like to be a slave to meth. He will testify about 23 years of drug abuse, the last seven as a meth addict. He’s already had more than 15 surgeries to repair his face (and he’s not finished), which was blown apart when this father of seven tried to kill himself with an assault rifle.
Parnell will talk to students at 1 o’clock in the high school gymnasium, and he’ll repeat his message at 7 p.m. for the community. Every man, woman and child, parent or not, grandparent or not, aunt and uncle or not, friend or foe of illicit drugs, needs to be there. Please. If the community shows it cares, then Parnell can be booked for the other three high schools in our public school system.