Is it possible to recover from the strong addiction to methamphetamine?
An inmate in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Jerry Blackstock, is serving time for his second conviction. He says he can't do the drug again and avoid a longer prison term, but also can't say definitely that he won't use the drug again.
"I've smoked it, shot it, snorted it. Eat it. It's very addictive, the most addictive thing I've ever seen," said Blackstock.
Mental health therapist Tuchella Wright hears this from every meth addict she meets through her recovery sessions at Weems Lifecare Center. There are thousands of Jerry Blackstocks out there who, despite serious consequences, can't seem to give up the drug.
"They can be on their 3rd time around, the family can be in jeopardy, the doctor can say they will die. That doesn't keep them clean," said Wright. "It is
that addictive personality."
Which is why recovery is so incredibly difficult. Even if addicts find a way to get off meth, the alternatives are typically far from healthy.
"Even if he doesn't pick up the meth, chances are he will substitute," said Wright. "He can substitute with gambling, alcohol. It's so easy with someone
with an addictive personality to substitute."
And while Blackstock believes the new pseudoephedrine law will help people like him, he says there are still ways to get around it.
"Oh, yes, there are other ways. There is a lot of stuff I would rather not say. I don't want to set someone else out there. I don't want to put someone else out there. I don't want someone who don't know to be doing that, see what I'm saying? That just puts them right back here," said Blackstock.
This level of compassion comes from a person who has hit rock bottom. And if released on parole in two years, Blackstock will have the fight of his life ahead of him.
"You haven't been in control for 15, 20 years, and now you want to take back your life. You got to fight for it," said Wright. "And that is what it is. Can you recover? Yes, but you must fight it. I tell them, put on your boxing gloves. I will help you. I wasn't there when it happened. Some do it, some don't because it's a fight."