Fire of 'ice'

Speaker's presentation offers glimpse into

The degeneration occurs at blinding speed. A series of pictures -- police mug shots -- reveal just how fast.

First frame: a white female, age 34, mother of two children. She has blond hair, healthy skin and a smile creases from the corners of her mouth.

Last frame: same woman, 38 years old. A head matted down with dirty black hair, a face battered with pockmarks and dented-in cheeks ... a nose and mouth nearly touching because she doesn't have any teeth.

An addict. She didn't live to see 40 years old.

It's the same song, second verse for addicts.

"No one is immune ... we can all fall victim," said Dr. Mary Holley, the founder of Alabama-based Mothers Against Methamphetamine, and the featured speaker Saturday and Sunday at Moffat County High School. "Life will never be the same once you let it enter (your life)."

The photo displaying the de-evolution of the woman is typical of what happens to users who dabble in ice, glass, chalk, crank -- street names for the all-consuming, highly-addictive methamphetamine.

Holley, a licensed obstetrician, appeared courtesy of the local Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse group (C.O.M.A.). Her fast-paced, gruff, and at times, highly charged presentation ran the gamut on methamphetamine education.

From photos to her own encounter with the drug -- her brother Jim, a recovering addict and schizophrenic, committed suicide after the poison rotted away his ability to think clearly -- the presentation offered a comprehensive overview for the 100 or so people in attendance on Sunday.

"I came a long ways because you have a serious problem with methamphetamine," she said. "As does the rest of the country."

The allure of meth, the doctor said, lies with the effects it produces and the easy availability of products used to produce it. It can be made anywhere, and its labs are easily transportable.

"A good cook can go to Wal-Mart and find what he needs to make meth," Holley said.

The doctor, who now dedicates herself full-time to delivering methamphetamine education lectures, said users become addicted after using just one time. It eventually snags people to the point where they need higher doses more often to keep them from depression and hallucinations -- side effects common with "crashing."

"They call it ice?" Holley said. "Man, this stuff is poison."

She also described the disastrous developmental problems methamphetamine has on children. Kids of addicts are neglected, abused and prone to developing their own addictions, Holley said.

She said kids whose mothers use meth during pregnancy end up "worse than any crack babies I've ever seen."

Holley advised people seeking to help family members or friends addicted to meth to turn above for inspiration.

"They will not seek help until they hit bottom," she said. "They will stop when it hurts worse to keep using. ... Pray for them. The only person that can talk to (them) is the Holy Spirit."

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