Norma Woods is a recovering methamphetamine addict, who after 25 years finally became sober through being arrested and experiencing what she called a spiritual conversion.

Woods lost two husbands to meth. Her last husband, at age 58, had the lungs of a 90-year-old man, she said. While manufacturing meth, he developed severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which eventually killed him. Woods said when Garfield County Sheriff’s Office deputies came to their house and arrested them, they saved her life.

“It destroys your heart, your mind and your soul,” Woods said.

She spoke Tuesday after a watch party for the 28-minute documentary “Crystal Darkness” at Cherokee Strip Conference Center. The documentary aired on several television station across the state, and watch parties were set up in several locations.

After Woods was released from jail, she began helping her husband and found assistance through Youth and Family Services of North Central Oklahoma for counseling and also entered a recovery program at a local church.

Woods said there is no place in Garfield County for addicts to go for detoxification, and she urged the community to come together and be informed.

Macky Prince also is a recovering addict. He said he started drinking with his mother at age 6 and began smoking marijuana at age 14. At age 10, he was molested by an authority figure and developed trust issues. At one point, he stopped and got his life back together. Then, he said, he was hurt at work and the pain pills were insufficient. An acquaintance brought him a bowl of meth to smoke and he was addicted. When he came down from the effects of the drug, he found himself in jail.

Prince said he was given a Bible and read it, but when he was released he was not strong enough. He lost his children, whom he has not seen in three years. He has been sober nearly three years.

“Its a dangerous evil and it does kill,” he said.

Prince said he also was injured when a propane tank exploded while he was cooking meth, but at the time meth was more important than breathing.

In jail for the third time, he began to pray and managed to turn his life around. He now is on a 25-year probation, he said.

“Some of you know someone, are related to someone with a problem. Stop this sickness that will kill everyone you know,” he said.

Mark Taylor, is a 30-year alcoholic and drug addict. He has been sober for eight years and told people attending the watch party there is hope.

“That hope rarely comes without intervention. Parents talking to their children, friends talking to friends, a neighbor talking to a neighbor,” he said.

The big myth about meth, he said, is there is no treatment, but Taylor said there is treatment, although it is difficult.

“There is a hope and promise for every addict. There is no quick cure. It takes effort, it takes support meetings and it takes a higher power and people praying for you,” he said.

Tammy Grantz, executive director of Prevention Workz, which sponsored the watch party along with Youth Opportunity Task Force Drug and Alcohol Subcommittee, told the audience meth use affects the entire community.

“Crystal Darkness” looked at meth use from the viewpoint of the addict, family members and the community. Cheryle Leach, of Perry, told about losing both her sons and a grandson to methamphetamine. All three committed suicide because they could not break the addiction.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It attacks the pleasure center of the brain and slowly destroys it so eventually the addict knows no pleasure or pain. Meth users have been known to sell their children for drugs. They commonly trade sex for drugs. Most of the meth used in this country comes from foreign or domestic superlabs, many in Mexico. It also is easily made in clandestine labs with inexpensive over-the-counter in-gredients. It is highly addictive and can cause addiction from the first use.

One law enforcement official in Oklahoma said meth creates an intense rush, increasing the dopamine production to the pleasure receptors in the brain and develops control of the body.

“There are no friends in the dope world. It’s not about getting better, but about getting by,” said one addict in the program.

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