Midlife Crisis: Overcoming My Addiction to Meth

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Stephen Mucci is a recovered meth addict trying to help others by sharing his story. His experience with meth has taught him to take control of his own life and confront the consequences of his actions. He will be releasing a memoir later this year.

I was about as deep into meth as anyone could possibly be for about three years. I lost everything – family, friends, jobs, financial assets, all of my possessions, my dignity and self-respect – and ended up doing almost four years in jail and prison. The great news is that I finally beat it and have been 100 percent clean and sober for almost four years now. My main point is there is always hope; you should never give up on yourself. You can beat it too.

How It All Began

I started using meth around age 50 in the aftermath of a very difficult and demoralizing divorce. I turned to meth for relief from a flood of negative emotions. The problem was that meth worked for me for a period of time – that is, while high on meth. I didn't have to face what was going on in my life. But, like most addictions, my abuse of meth quickly became a bigger problem than the divorce-related negative emotions that I was trying to avoid.

Within about a year of occasional meth use, I became fully addicted and was using substantial amounts of the drug on a daily basis. Everything in my life unraveled over the next two years, and I was ultimately arrested and incarcerated multiple times for drug-related offenses – possession, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and escape in the 2nd degree.

So you may be wondering why I want to share my story of meth addiction and recovery. Simply put, I feel like I have to at least try to help other people who are suffering in the bondage of meth addiction. I am painfully aware that it's extremely difficult to get free of meth, to sustain your recovery over the long haul and to build a vastly better meth-free life. There are no simple answers or solutions, and there are no interventions, programs, therapies, etc., that are scientifically proven to be effective in promoting or sustaining meth recovery.

Discovering My Path to Recovery

I know what worked for me, and I strongly believe that many others may be able to take the same path to freedom. I wouldn't bother to share my story if I wasn't convinced that it will have some value to others. Let me share my theory about why my approach to meth recovery worked for me and why it may be helpful to you. First off, there are two unarguable core facts about meth:

  1. The drug makes you feel fantastic, wonderful, euphoric, energized and sexually charged.
  2. The financial, interpersonal, emotional and spiritual consequences of prolonged meth abuse are devastating.

When trying to quit meth, you're fighting an uphill battle against your own brain chemistry, which is demanding that you feed it more of the drug to continue those pleasurable feelings that we meth abusers know and love so well. But we're not biochemical robots hard-wired to do what our chemistry tells us to do; we're human beings endowed with free will and the capacity to make rational choices. And our choices are ultimately guided by our beliefs, thoughts and emotions.

Continue to Part II.

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