By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
While Mr. Goddard was wasting time, energy and money restricting the sale of Tylenol, I was being put through the wringer -- sexually, physically and mentally. Not because my boyfriend was cooking dope, but because he was smoking it.
He's been clean for a little more than three weeks now, and it's been a huge uphill struggle. We both know he's defying dismal odds with each day he stays clean, and the lack of treatment options for him means he's left to treat himself. Every day, I wonder if this is the day he will slip up.
Let's all raise our glasses to the Attorney General, though; at least Tylenol will be safely behind drugstore counters now! The public can breathe easy -- except me, my boyfriend and the countless others who're in the same situation as we are. There's just not enough treatment available, no matter what good programs exist.
Angel Cordaro, Tempe
The family that tweaks together . . . : As a recovering meth addict, I was kind of wondering why Narcotics Anonymous wasn't considered a viable solution in any of the articles in your series. I can testify that it worked for me, my wife and my two best friends. We all used meth together. We all are more than two years clean now.
Our success suggests that the odds are pretty good that a person can get clean through NA. It has a program that many treatment centers send their patients to, and it is free. It does not stress religion, which made it more conducive for me to go there.
It would lighten my heart to see a mention of this program in New Times, a paper for which I have the utmost regard. I think that people should know that a community of recovering meth addicts exists, and that this community is reaching out to help as many others as it can.
Name withheld by request
Speed demon: I'm a 31-year-old, female closet tweaker. By first impression/appearance, I don't look or carry myself like I'm high on speed, though I've been smoking meth regularly for three years now.
I want to say thanks to New Timesfor bringing the series on meth to the attention of the public. These important articles have been honest, informative and sometimes disturbing in their truthfulness. These stories, especially "Ice, Ice, Baby" (Robert Nelson, November 24), have given me hope, because I know that -- though it's difficult to find in Arizona -- help is available.
When I do get out of my apartment, or isolation chamber, in Ahwatukee, it's almost always only to go re-up my drug supply.
The tweak world is a sub-society. We keep going while the rest of you are asleep. We are also the loneliest people. We all eventually build walls between ourselves and the rest of the world.
It is time the walls are broken down. All of us who suffer in darkness, shame, fear and isolation need to find relief. I'm almost certain there are many others who desperately wish someone understood the painful reality of meth addiction and how tweakers desperately wish to permanently stop doing this drug.
Your stories have shed light on what it's like inside the life of the glass dick. I imagine that the more the public hears the truth about methamphetamine addiction -- and the high degree to which Arizona is suffering -- the better the chances are for those of us caught in the vicious cycle of meth to come out of hiding and find help.
Name withheld by request
A Visit From Sheriff Joe
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the jail,
No one was happy, we could not make our bail.
The inmates were nestled all snug in their beds,
As visions of freedom danced in their heads.
I on my cot, my cellmate on his, too,
Had just settled in to try some home brew.
When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
I jumped from my bunk to see what was the matter.
What to my wondering eyes should appear?
It was Sheriff Joe, so I'd best drop this beer.
He said not a word (unusual) but went straight to his work,
Not a duty nor chore did he shirk.
He dyed the shorts pink, the baloney quite green.
Eat long in this place and you'll become mighty lean.
He called up TV to ask, "When am I on?
"I've not been seen lately busting a con."
Then laying his hands across his vast belly,
He shouted once more, "You get no more telly."
He called to his officers of impeccable repute,
"Hold down the fort while I go count my loot."
Then I heard him exclaim as he roared out of sight,
"I answer to no one; are you looking for a fight?"
Dee Cork, Phoenix
P.S. I'm not an inmate, but a 61-year-old grandma. This is for Dave.