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Does meth get too much credit?


Loraura Does meth get too much credit?
So a few things I've read on here lately have brought this thought to the front of my mind.

So I thought I would ask you all. All of you ex-meth-users:

If you did something really horrible when you were using, did you understand how horrible it was when you were doing it? Did you make a conscious decision to do it? Did you attempt to talk yourself out of it?

You don't have to say what it is that you did that you feel now was so horrible. Each person's version of horrible is different.

I don't want to debate the morals of anyone's actions. I just want more insight into the decisions made during active addiction.
    Replies...
angie
Ncali
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Most of the time NO I HOnestly didnt realize how terrible it was ... and I usually didnt try to talk myself out of it ... sometimes I would have to talk myself into it ...

I Know whole heartedly that ALOT LOT LOT of stuff I did ... because I was under the influence so heavily of meth.

They say on here over and over and over again that people don't committ crimes because of meth or whatever because of Meth .... and I never say anything .... because that is their opinion.

It is Not Mine.

I know for a FACT in and OF MYSELF>

There are MANY MANY THINGS I DID Both Sexually and Not ... I would never have done had I not been on meth and needed to support my habit so badly.

Did I realize what I was doing was bad ... some of it but not all of it and the meth could get me to rationalize the @#%$ out of anything and discuise it so it didnt seem wrong.

But today I know differently because I am sober.
and have worked hard sorting through all of this crap I call my wreckage.

I Know who I really am today ....
Sfj Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I've said that a jillion times. Yes.

Meth gets way too much credit - or blame. They are almost the same.

Adults need to be responsible and that includes behavior whether they use drugs, alcohol or Hostess Twinkies.

The methamphetamine molecule is nothing more than a bunch of atoms. It has no life, no morals, no decision making ability, no conscience and no soul.

Those qualities are all reserved for living beings, US.

I'll get lottsa folks mad at me but I don't see one reason in the world for blaming a drug for anything I did, or anyone else did. People make decisions to use or not to use. The drug has nothing to do with it. Meth has never walked up to me and said,
"Open your mouth, or lungs, or veins, I'm coming in."

Using meth is foolish, stupid, ugly, vile, nasty, and dangerous. But it is NOT an excuse for bad behavior.

Bad behavior is the result of a decision made by a human being. Meth can, and does, influence the way a person thinks and reasons, but it can only do that after the person has decided to take it himself.

So I am still convinced that using meth is not an excuse for all the stuff people do while under the influence.

It may be an explanation, but it is not an excuse.

Meth gets too much credit.
scottlock Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I think I understood how horrible it was... I was just much easier to justify almost anything... There was logic involved but it was very strange logic... everything was "my way or the highway"... Plus power tripping was just so much fun...

HOW LAME..
angie
Ncali
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I take credit for the things I did. I realize I was responsible for myself ... and the things I choose to do or not do. I knew when my mom ran it all down to me and told me to get out ..... That I had Done that.

I chose to use meth.

But I think we do think while we are under the influence we probably wouldnt have done had we never MADE THE CHOICE TO USE.
ian Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Waaaaaay too much credit...

I'm not only talking about underlying causes for addiction that generally need to be present for someone to develop a chemical dependancy, but people treat meth like it's some kind of deamon that nothing else can compare to it's 'evil.'

It's just a molecule..

We just happen to be on a meth support board but if you go and look people do the exact same things on places for support for opiate or cocaine addictions, they think it's the worst drug ever, because it was their DOC and it caused them and their family s the most harm.

If your just trying to find a scapegoat for WRONG behavior that someone did while under the influence, of any chemical really, thats what your doing, scapegoating.. The chemicals might change the persons desicion making ability but it seems like a total cop out when people say things 'Oh, well, I was high or I was in withdrawals and sick when I did that.' I re everything I did, I was councious at the time, it was just bad desicions on my part. Maybe the drugs or withdrawals changes my desicion making and thought proccesses, but I was aware of what was going on, I could of said no and I could of not used to begin with, like SFJ said, I never had a syringe knock on my door..

Addiction and chemical dependancy in general are extremly complex, I don't think this drug has any properties that any of the other 'hard drugs' have. Iv'e seen people on crack go on very destructive rampages, people on hallucinigens start freaking out and breaking furniture, all these drugs cause all sorts of bad side effects, but those are just the CONSEQUENCES of using drugs.

Again, just my opinion on it..
imlostinky Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Loraura, even though this may sound like a contradiction - I am saying it anyway.

No, I never did anything on meth that the thoughts had not been there first.

However, I was more apt to act on my thoughts with meth than without.

Impulsive behavior at it's finest- thought ,act- no in between time, no actual thinking Hey will I go to jail if I do this?
I did not care.

I have always had a temper- always. It is still here now - ONLY I control it now, it does not control me.
Meth did not give me that temper- it is mine. It was mine before meth, it is still mine now.

The difference is on meth, my anger gets way out of hand instantly it seems with adults.
Now I never got that way with my kids though- for whatever reason, I was more relaxed with my kids- maybe because I wasn't listening to them?
But with adults- other users who came to my house, no.
Maybe because I did hear them?
Selective deafness ? More focus? I don't know.

I was never one to f-k around on my husband- I didn't when I used. I never was interested in sex with children- I wasn't when I was on meth.
My husband and I never got violent with each other AFTER he quit drinking and I grew up-
Meth did not change that. We did not fight.

I can't say using did not affect my judgement- it did.
I can't say using didn't lessen my quality of life- it did.

But other than an emotionally absent mother with virtually no damn logic, meth did not change me.
It did not put in me any lack of morals that were not there.
I did not become a monster because of meth.

My sister - in the middle of some of the worst psychosis I had ever heard- still knew I was me- she still maintained her love and loyalty with me.
It did not make her anything that she was not already.
Just made her perception of reality change- as in seeing shyt that was not there.

I know it is possible for continued meth use to bring on psychosis where the person honestly would not know what they are doing-
But I also know even with George and Spooky- George still knew who she was - he meant to kill her. he had every intention of torturing her and killing her.

I feel that part was there with him before meth- he just would not act on it without meth- maybe.I believe with all of my being, he was a killer all along.

If a man will rape on meth- he has that potential without it.
Those thoughts are there- he just chooses not to act on them.

There was nothing I did while on meth that I did not have the potential to do without it- I just was more aware of my choices without meth.

JMO.
ian Re: Does meth get too much credit?
P.S.

You can see evidence of this in our legal system too, if someone commits a crime while on drugs, they get the same sentence (of course, depending on the nature and degree of the crime and in what state, here in california we have prop 36), but if someone murders a person while high, does that make them any less of a murderer?

Is being under the influence a scapegoat for any wrong doing?
kell Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Quote:
Is being under the influence a scapegoat for any wrong doing?
IMO Absolutely not! However, time and time again people use that as an excuse for their bad behavior. I also think for many that it is an easier pill to swallow if they have something to blame such as METH for their actions.
Loraura Re: Does meth get too much credit?
SFJ, you said:
Quote:
The methamphetamine molecule is nothing more than a bunch of atoms. It has no life, no morals, no decision making ability, no conscience and no soul.
I have to disagree with one small part of that. "no decision making ability".

In and of itself, no, it is not alive with a brain of it's own.

But how are human decisions made?

They are made by electrical impulses in the brain which are goverend my neurotransmitters.

Meth alters brain chemistry -- a proven fact.

That, inherantly, means meth alters the decision making processes.

So with that, I have to say that meth does have decision making "ability" so to speak.

SFJ are you saying you never shot up because you felt like crap going into withdrawl?

Wasn't the withdrawl caused by the chemical imbalance in your brain caused (or at a minimum increased) by meth?

I don't understand how you can say that your decision to shoot up, to avoid witdrawl, which was caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain, which was caused by meth use, (which was caused by your LAST decision to use, to avoid withdrawl, to.... you get the picture) is not at a minimum indirectly caused by meth.

Yes, it comes down to "Do I use, or do I not use?"

But can you dispute that your decision making process is altered because of what meth and meth withdrawl does to neurotransmitter levels and neuron/dendrite cell health in the brain?

Clinically depressed patients who are that way not due to meth use, but to a naturally (or otherwise caused) imbalance of seratonin, dopamine, and/or norepinephrine, have different thoughts and make different decisions than that same person before and/or after the chemical imbalance was present.

There are medical cases of hormone imbalances that have been medically proven to cause uncontrollable rage (testosterone too high)which have been used as a defence in murder cases. Did that person still have the same ability to make rational decision in the light of the hormonal imbalance they were suffering from?
ian Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Loraura, you are making a good point and behavioral scientists have been studying chemical dependency and addiction for years.

All I can tell you is my own personal expirience I suppose, I used to like to inject cocaine/meth, heroin and valium all in the same shot and I did it for years. Those are four drugs that really alter brain chemistry right? I used to go into some serious withdrawals, I ended up in the ER more than once because I went into too severe sezuires.

Anyway, when I was dopesick or having those ealry signs of withdrawal I would panic and do things to get money and get drugs before I get sick, and sometims that didn't happen and I would be sick looking for a way to get a fix, when I did something wrong or comitted a crime, I knew I was doing something wrong, it wasn't as if I didn't have a coiuncience like a sociopath (although that's what it seemed like) but I just needed to have a fix.

The same things goes to things I did when I was really high, when I was 19 after my brother died I really strung out on heroin/cocaine and I was hanging around with some bad people, we used to do a lot of bad things that I still regret, but that's not the point, even at those times when I was high.

I might of been at someone's house robbing them with another guy but I knew exactly what I was doing, I knew this was wrong, I knew it's against the law and that I could go to jail (which I really wanted to avoid at the time). It wasn't just the fear of getting cought, I still had my intuition telling me that what I'm doing isn't right, but I wanted to get out of it but on the other hand I would get so sick I couldn't kick, so I was stuck using for a long time because I didn't want to make that choice to quit.

To each his own, but to me it seems like saying, 'the devil made me do it.'
Miz
Ricochet
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
This is my take on it.

Everybody is born with the same ability to act out every sin or negative action, whatever you want to call it. But all of us develope our consciouses (that thing that is deep within your spirit that knows the difference between right and wrong) at different rates (depending on so many things).

Example: Do I think I have the ability to be an axe-murderer? You bet! But, I have a conscious that tells me that it's dead wrong, that it will bring on death to a person and scar the survivors for life.

I believe what meth does, is that it lowers your ability to react to an impulsive act, by shutting down your conscious. Thus, you have little or no ability to go against even the most horrible acts, based upon what your conscious would do, if it wasn't so messed up with meth.

Me, being part Jew...when studying about Hitler's reing...even Hitler knew the basic instincts of his army could do all the horrible acts against the Jews, if he could destroy their moral fibre.

So, Hitler knew meth would work to kill their conscious in order to get them to submitt as killing robots against the Jews, in order to fullfill his dream of wiping the Jews off the planet and gone forever.

Anyway...yes, I am not one to blame meth on my bad choices or wrongful behavior....I blame myself for allowing the drug to ever enter my life in the first place.
miss
mena
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
each to their own opinion. i know when i got straight my whole way of thinking and seeing things changed... i did some very fuc*#ed up stuff while i was high that i would never have done nor do again now im straight.??
Miz
Ricochet
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Exactly! You wouldn't have done what you did high on meth.... the condition (being high on meth) you were at at the time, allowed you to let go of your moral decisions to not do them.

Our ability to make moral and ethical decisions are all conditional.
Spase
monkey
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
First I have to say that I don't think using or not using meth make a person any better at seeing right and wrong.

The way I always saw it was this. Desperation brings out the worst in people. Meth and harder drugs in general breed desperation.

What Ian said was a good example of this. As he began to feel the beginings to withdrawls he became desperate to prevent them and so would do something to make money. While doing this it isn't that he didn't understand his actions.. they just seemed worth it at the time.

Another thing that influences us is that having been surrounded for long enough by casual acceptance of crimes like theft, burglary, whatevever we stopped being shocked by it and so when we find ourselves desperate for money we are that much more willing to commit such crimes. Many addicts work themselves bit by bit up from simpler crimes to things like robbery. It isn't something that happens overnight.

Then of course when we get clean and return to society where we're surrounded by people who all have a much more rigid moral sense we regain that perspective and looking back are shocked at some of the things we did.

In response to your response to Sfj:

I have to agree with Sfj, meth has no decision making ability.

Yes, it can influence our brain chemistry and thus our decisions.. but so does just about everything in life. What we eat does, how much we sleep does, when we're surprised we have adrenaline dumped into our blood stream and there's another change in brain chemistry.

Quote:
SFJ are you saying you never shot up because you felt like crap going into withdrawl?
Of course he did... but the meth made him feel like crap.. it didn't make him put the needle in his arm. He made that decision.

I have a hard time seeing the line between this and the way a person chooses to eat rather than feel hungry. We always have a decision whether we eat or not.. and I certainly would never say my food had decision making ability just because I choose to eat it because of the negative feeling I get from not eating.

So, you could call it decision making ability but I wouldn't. At that point I think it's just using the same words to mean different things. I would say that in both the cases of not having meth and the case (if serious enough) of not having food are both cases of desperation.

We're always the ones making the decisions or we wouldn't ever stop using unless we were forced to..

Just my thoughts
eyes
open83
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
all my actions came with a concious thought before hand,i am not one to say that "the meth made me do it"
i did some awful @#%$ using but i did that and i knew i was doing it..my concience at time was not there and i didnt relise to the full extent what i was actually doin.but deep down i guess i knew...as long as you have a heart that beats you know when your doing something wrong..using meth as an excuse for anything in my opinion is a f*#king weak excuse and an attempt to shift responsibility and accountability on to something else in order to make one feel better about them selves
nano
banano
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I know as a nurse, that certain medications can cause horrible effects in some people, and cause none with others....so I believe also that meth effects each person differently! For instance, a person with a prior head injury, that damaged the frontal lobe, is already dealing with impulse problems and may have impaired decision making skills to begin with....add meth to the mix and LOOK OUT!

In the hospital, when we had elderly patients who became confused anfd agitated, they often prescribed haldol....we called that med the "Hell drug!" We knew that chances were it would make our patient worse, and make them completely "out of it" and combative.

Then we had young people who came in to the ER, with an intestinal blockage for instance....one girl came in in pain, but very cooperative and stoic, in spite of the pain....She was given demerol with phenergen and immediately she became a raving lunatic.....became so combative she ended up losing her gown, and we had to put her in four point restraints....she struggled against the restraints and screamed obscenities for hours!

I've seen the drug "phenergen" cause many people to turn into combative monsters.....yet it's commonly is given with demerol to prevent vomiting etc.

molecule/chemical or whatever....drugs alter your body /brain chemistry....even often relatively routine and "benign" drugs.....Those with blood sugar problems are often arrested mistakenly, as they appear out of it and drunk.

Meth alters so much of the chemical balance of the body and brain, that under it's influence I believe many people are truly not fully aware of the crazy and mean behavior that others wittness them displaying...their outbursts are almost a knee jerk reaction, and they seem oblivious to the emotional pain they're causing their loved ones....as it takes away their awareness, their empathy etc....things that come from the part of the brain that is affected by meth.

IMHO....they often cannot fully grasp the consequences of their actions, as they act on impulse so often.....and that is VERY scary!

Meth addicts scare me to death, in that I believe they could snap at any time...and completely lose touch with reality, if only briefly, and act on their paranoia!

Not making excuses for users....just commenting on what I've seen drugs do to normally rational and harmless people while I worked in a hospital....I've been beat up and had feces thrown at me...you name it...it's happened!

And I hate meth, and the monsters meth unleashes!!!!!!!!!!!!
chrisgonz Re: Does meth get too much credit?
If you did something really horrible when you were using,
did you understand how horrible it was when you were doing it?
for me, the whole drug scene was horrible and everytime i used, i more or less expected something scandalous to happen or was working on something scandalous myself.

Did you make a conscious decision to do it?
yes

Did you attempt to talk yourself out of it?
no

How do I feel about it now?
it's what keeps me clean from that world.

regrets?- no, lessons-yes!
do i apply my lesson?
EVERY FUKEN DAY!!!
forget
suzette
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
yes...
...there were some things I draw the line at. (horrible pun) and it was like a wall suzette could'nt get around.

the things?

I don't steal from people....

....I'd steal from a grocery store! but even if I had a chance I would'nt do that.

I did'nt sell myself.
....I might give it away...but only if I wanted to, not for
speed or money.


those two things never changed.

there were things about me that my standards dropped on...

I usually am not a liar.

....on speed I was.

chrisgonz

Re: Does meth get too much credit?
i'm with suz on those two things too.

I ran a lot of scams, but never on no person, always businesses. I have NEVER stolden from ANYONE.

I never prostituted either, mostly because of my male relatives, they would have gotten too mad. I thought about it a couple of times and was offered big bucks, but I knew my family would find out, so i stayed away from that hussle.
CindyLuu Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I think it is a choice.

Both the addicts I have been with make that choice. I have been with an addict and seen the behavior for over twenty years.

The first one had the personality to a extreeme I will never understand. Everything with him could be more than what it was. I would call him the extremist.  He could never be happy with simple things being the way they were. Never grounded. NEVER! If he had a swimming pool with a diving board, it would not be good enough until the diving board was on the house. If he had a car that went fifty, he would want it to go two hundred and fifty. If there is a high in life, he would be the one to invent it. I hope someday he would stick to the ones that he could get by with. He could be quite the person you ever met if he did.. The drugs rip that apart for him. My opinion..

The current one is total opposite of the first. Very laid back. I will just call him the English teacher because he would be more into books, movies and computers. I am not shocked by what he says, but more in how he sneaks. Very cunning to say the least. He likes it when he can sneak by you and you don't act like he is there. I hope someday that he realizes the whole point to people is not to sneak by, but acknowledge that they are there and make the best of the time they get to spend together. The drugs help to keep him from that. If he ever gets caught, I guess he will be reading lots of books in a room all to himself.  My opinion...

With what I have seen with people and drugs, I would conclude that a drug takes any potential in a person and smears it all over the sidewalk...
Dave
80909
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I would say the "stigma" of meth use is greater than it should be, as opposed to other addictions.
loveman
hate
meth1
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I totally agree with Loaura on this one.

I honestly don't think Meth gets ENOUGHT credit yet. I think when it does the government will pay more attention to it being different than most other addictions.

The way it affects the chemistry in the brain is the key.

No one in the world is going to convince me that my beautiful loved one, who once treated me and my children like we were the universe to him, made a concious desision to throw everything we had away. It just wouldn't happen to the man I had in my life.

What about the statistics about the number of people in jails and prisons that wound up there because they were under the influence of meth?

SFJ, what your telling me is that every addict makes the decision to treat there loved ones like crap, abandon their children, abuse their mates, commit crimes that they never would have done in the first place....Not because they were on Meth, but because they just felt like it?

Thats a hard pill to swallow
Sfj Re: Does meth get too much credit?
At least three times in this thread, someone has tried to use their own words to change or distort what I said.
nine
years
clean
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Quote:
The methamphetamine molecule is nothing more than a bunch of atoms. It has no life, no morals, no decision making ability, no conscience and no soul.
Neither did I when I was spun.

Having said that....I own my addiction and the things I did while active in my addiction. I own my own idiotic reasons for using in the first place. I own everything I did or didn't do while I was spun.
ian Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Of course it's a hard pill to swallow..

Chemical dependency is really complex, there are a lot of 'theories' out there, personally I don't agree with the mainstream 12-step theory of addiction being a disease, although I can see the theraputic value in it both in addicts that they helped. Keep in mind though, it's much easier to say 'the disease made me do it' and it's much easier to put flowers on someones grave if you know they died because they had a 'disease' like cancer or diabities rather than thinking they made bad desicions and choices for so many years.

I believe it is a maladaptive psychological disorder that starts for several reasons and continues for others and that there are underlying issues but the problem of addiction must also be dealt with first.

A lot of people also believe addiction is a choice, that when you use IT IS a moral failure. I tend to have more faith in this theory as well more than the disease aspect of it but essencially the point is, maybe you do have some underlying psychological issues but once the chemical dependency has been dealt with and you've stopped. Your mind becomes clear enogh to deal with those issues AFTER.

Personally my beliefs are somewhere in between these last two theories, but that is from personal experience, I KNEW what I was doing, maybe it seemed 'worth it' at the time I was comitting a crime but that is basic human nature to want to take care of physiological needs (such as hunger, thirst, chemical dependency if you have one) before tending to moral issues. Of course I wouldn't do the things I did now when I'm clean, but my priorities have changes, my physiological need for the chemical isn't there and I'm free to move on to fulfill my other needs in life to be happy and maximize my self potential.
MJBAJK Re: Does meth get too much credit?

SFJ said:

"Bad behavior is the result of a decision made by a human being. Meth can, and does, influence the way a person thinks and reasons, but it can only do that after the person has decided to take it himself.

So I am still convinced that using meth is not an excuse for all the stuff people do while under the influence.

It may be an explanation, but it is not an excuse.

Meth gets too much credit.


"explanation: a statement which points to causes, context and consequences of some object (or process, state of affairs etc.), together with rules or laws which link these to the object.

excuse: defend, explain, clear away, or make excuses for by reasoning; "rationalize the child's seemingly crazy behavior"; "he rationalized his lack of success"

If meth USE (not the itty bitty molecule itself) may be an explanation, then it could be considered the cause, context and consequences of some object....namely, the USER and his/her actions....together with rules or laws (morals, family life, ethics, etc.) which link these to the object (User).

I agree meth use is not an excuse...say for example, and this is extreme, I made the choice to drink several beers, decided to get in my car after drinking them and drive around, and then hit someone....could I blame it on the alcohol itself? I decided to drink in the first place. But, would I sit here sober and decide "I'm going to get drunk, drive around in my car and injure someone with it while drunk?" No.

Do I believe if my ex weren't a meth addict, he would have done the things he did? No, I don't...but it was his choice to use in the first place.

The buck stops with us. We know when we use drugs or drink to get f&cked up as the purpose, to get high, drunk or whatever, it is our decision to let our brain get under the influence of any substance that will alter our normal perceptions and reasoning in the first place, so consequences be damned

Maybe that's why all the bars are closed around here on election days????

Loraura Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Spacemonkey, something you said made me perk my ears up:
Quote:
I have a hard time seeing the line between this and the way a person chooses to eat rather than feel hungry. We always have a decision whether we eat or not.. and I certainly would never say my food had decision making ability just because I choose to eat it because of the negative feeling I get from not eating.
A person chooses to eat rather than feel hungry. That is very similar to a person choosing to use rather than not feel withdrawl symptoms.

When hunger sets in, we feel it because changes occur in the body -- blood sugar, serotonin levels, and more.

One of my favorite phrases is "I could eat the arse-end off a warewolf." Which means "I'm so hungry I'd eat anything."

Now I have dietted with moderate sucess over my life time (I'm down 50 pounds over the last year), an I can tell you that if I let myself get too hungry, I WILL make poor food choices. I will eat cereal, macaroni and cheese, peanutbutter and more things that I should only eat in moderation, and eat them in mass quantities, if I allow myself to get too hungry. Basically, I will binge if I let myself get too hungry.

I firmly believe that because my blood sugar and seratonin levels change due to hunger, that my brain decides that acceptable food is something totally different at that point, than when I am not feeling like I am starving.

So does a meth addicted brain decide that something normally unacceptable, is now totally acceptable when dopamine and norepinephine levels are way out of wack either during a high, or during withdrawl?

I personally think that it probably does. Everyone is different, as you have all demonstrated. But overall I think decisions made while high (flooded with dopamine) or crashing (not enough dopamine) are indeed altered due to brain chemistry. The problem is: It doesn't take long for a meth user to be constantly in one of those two states, and never "normal". Moments of clarity may appear when levels are just right, but at that point in active addiction, it is impossible to maintain those levels.
nine
years
clean
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Quote:
The problem is: It doesn't take long for a meth user to be constantly in one of those two states, and never "normal".
EXACTLY!
Spase
monkey
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
First I want to apologize to Sfj if I misused what he wrote.

Second, LoraurA.

I agree with what you wrote...

I am a firm believer in the idea that we are generally a very complex set of biochemical processes and from those come just about everything we 'do'. I agree that food and drugs make a good parallele and that's why I chose it. The reason I can't imagine redusing a person's responsibility for a given action based on things like being dependant on drugs is that I think we are constantly experiencing what we are based on what's happening chemically in our brain.

Anger is a chemical reaction.. and so any time a person murders someone else while angry they've made a choice they wouldn't have otherwise made had they had a different chemical balance in their brain at the time.. and since we don't *choose* what makes us angry (at least it is not usually in a person's controle) then should a person not be at fault?

In the end I feel that any choice we make in life however large or small will always be colored if not entirly driven by the chemical states we find our brains in at a given time. Doing what is easy is rarely the same as doing what is right.

But then.. I dunno why I'm going on an on about this.. I think in this we are in agreement after all

On the subject of making especially poor choices because we find ourselves withdrawing or fearing withdrawl or whatever else... This is different for different people in my experience.

I don't believe that anything I did was because of something as simple as wanting more drugs but then I never really had any shortage. Most times I saw someone do something that was 'wrong' it wasn't something that they would do *only* because they were high... but rather something they would do any time they were that desperate. I think that's what I'm trying to say... LOL.

Of course.. there's a whole different issue of people who actually experience heavy psychosis (which I think is more rare than you get the impression of by coming to sites like this) where the person isn't the same person at all as someone said earlier. Complete psychosis... I have a hard time catagorizing it as moral right or wrong.
Loraura Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I think we do agree, Space.

Consequences of a users actions is another debate, which I think we have debated at least once on this board. While a worthy debate, indeed, I'd like to leave consequences for another debate.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on how they felt.

SFJ, I don't think I saw you respond to my follow up questions for you. Did I miss it?
Penelope Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Quote:
If you did something really horrible when you were using, did you understand how horrible it was when you were doing it? Did you make a conscious decision to do it? Did you attempt to talk yourself out of it?
Without question - without a doubt - I did so many things when I was using meth that were so off the hook, when I think about the past it's like thinking about another person.

Yes, Sfj, I absolutley made that initial choice to use - I take responsibility for that. Once I used, my thinking, emotions, and behavior were so PROFOUNDLY altered that I did things that I would not even CONSIDER doing today - like I said, it's like I was somebody else.

Among the things I did "Back in the day" were:

Shoplifting - a LOT of it too - got caught (Finally)
Fighting - including harming perfectly innocent people because of the way they looked at me, the way they were dancing, or just for fun.
I walked out on my children - the most important people in my life.
Terrorizing people - showing up at their homes and either forcing my way in the door, standing at the windows and threatening them, trip wires, motor oil on stairs, macing people as they answered the door.
I left my kids father for another man

There's so much more to that list.

Today, it is MY JOB to take responsibility for what I did, but every bit of it, I did under the influence of meth.
Quote:
I know as a nurse, that certain medications can cause horrible effects in some people, and cause none with others....so I believe also that meth effects each person differently!
As a nurse also, Nanobonano is EXACTLY RIGHT. Some people take a valium and go to sleep. Others take a valium and become disinhibited and become raging maniacs.

When this happens - the staff and the doctor agree - VALIUM made this person act this way!

In the case of the meth user, we MUST take responsibility for CHOOSING TO USE in the first place. I AM responsible for what I did while I was using... but I ASSURE you, I would not have done 99.9% of the things I did when I was using had I been clean all this time.

Meth gets credit for altering my thinking, mood, and behavior.

I have to take the credit for making the BAD choice of using in the first place.
Sfj Re: Does meth get too much credit?
To Loraura,

“SFJ are you saying you never shot up because you felt like crap going into withdrawl?”

Yes, but that doesn’t change or cancel anything else I said.

Believe it or not, sometimes people eat when they are not even hungry and other times they avoid eating when they are very hungry. It can and does happen.


Wasn't the withdrawl caused by the chemical imbalance in your brain caused (or at a minimum increased) by meth?

Nope: Since you’re getting more technical let’s re that withdrawal simply means

“To withdraw, or get further away from”

but the uncomfortable feelings experienced are definitely as you state. They are caused by a chemical imbalance or perverted and corrupted homeostasis.

I don't understand how you can say that your decision to shoot up, to avoid withdrawl, which was caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain, which was caused by meth use, (which was caused by your LAST decision to use, to avoid withdrawl, to.... you get the picture) is not at a minimum indirectly caused by meth.

Oh. Then let me explain, Meth didn’t cause anything other than a chemical biological effect. The effects of using meth is what contributed to a decision, and then bad behavior happened. Since you have allowed a bit of technical jargon in this discussion let me say that I and trying to avoid the anthropomorphism that would occur when people say things like, “Meth is the bad guy.” My position is to avoid assigning human or life-like qualities to a chemical. Again, meth molecules don’t make decisions, people do.

Without a doubt, meth’s effects can have a profound and disurbing influence on a human, but only the human makes decisions. Does a “Stop” sign make you decide to press your foot on the brake pedal? Decisions are made by people, they are influenced by other things.

Influence is not the same as cause.

But can you dispute that your decision making process is altered because of what meth and meth withdrawl does to neurotransmitter levels and neuron/dendrite cell health in the brain?

Nope.

Clinically depressed patients who are that way not due to meth use, but to a naturally (or otherwise caused) imbalance of seratonin, dopamine, and/or norepinephrine, have different thoughts and make different decisions than that same person before and/or after the chemical imbalance was present.

There are medical cases of hormone imbalances that have been medically proven to cause uncontrollable rage (testosterone too high) which have been used as a defence in murder cases. Did that person still have the same ability to make rational decision in the light of the hormonal imbalance they were suffering from?

Nope. But again, having less ability does not always mean no ability.

I haven't proofread this yet. (risky behavior)
CindyLuu Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I just had a thought and here it is...

Meth should not get as much credit as the people using give it. It sucks to get the privilege to stand back and watch them give credit where credit don't exist. I just want to start cussing sometimes! But, then I think to myself, you are doing everything you can do and that is what matters in the end for you...
Miz
Ricochet
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
SFJ -

This is where I feel some are missing the point. In articles by psychiatrists or psychologists, they refer psychotropic drugs as being MIND or BRAIN altering. Not one article refers them to be a BEHAVIOR altering drug.

They use terms as behavior modification, affects on behavior, or behavior therapy, etc. due to the affects the drug has on the brain.

Since our brains and minds are only a processing station, it can only take the information that it is processing and transmitt the information to other parts of our system.

Since our behaviors are governed by our conscious, which is the center core of where we determine the information our brains send us as being right or wrong, we make a choice to believe if a behavior is right or wrong and act accordingly.

Superman accepts that he has the same ability as humans to be powerless against the Joker, if a certain condition is present. He knows his super-powers can be destroyed if he is exposed his body to the radiation of kryptonite.

With this same rationale...I accept that I have the same ability as any imoral human to behave just like them, if a certain condition is present. I know my ability to allow my conscious to control my behaviors can be destroyed if I expose my mind to the affects of meth.

Meth is my kryptonite.
Saved
inillinois
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
I haven't read everyone's posts, so forgive me if I'm out of it. I'm just answering the questions.

I did do horrible things. I knew I was doing wrong, I knew I was making bad choices, but I rationalized everything.

For example, I used before I got pregnant with my son, then started again when my son was about 3 months old. My son's father made meth, so most of the time people would come over and hang at my house. Always in the basement, never around the baby (rationalization).

Ryan's father never helped me with him. I wanted so badly to be in that basement doing drugs, that I just wanted Ryan to sleep constantly. This is where God acted in Ryan's best interest. My son ALWAYS slept a lot. He would sleep 12-14 hours at night and most of the day. I really don't know what would've happened had he been a "fussy" baby, or one that didn't sleep well.

I made myself believe that my using was ok because I was using at home. All of my friends were pawning their kids off on other people and running the town and I was proud of myself for not doing that (another rationalization).

All in all, I believe that those bad choices that I made were because I was extremely selfish. That's what addicts are, selfish. They care about their addiction, and about feeding it. Everything else suffers.

I got out just in time. The night I left Ryan's dad, the police told me that they were days away from raiding my home and taking my child away. Had that happened I don't know what I would've done. My child is precious to me and I would be lost without him. That's why I'm a believer. God helped me in my time of need and I'm very thankful. I just didn't see all that "helping" He was doing at the time. Hind sight's 20/20.
Loraura Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Thanks for answering me, SFJ. I enjoyed reading your reply.
Quote:
Meth didn’t cause anything other than a chemical biological effect. The effects of using meth is what contributed to a decision,
Meth use caused a chemical biological effect.
That chemical biological effect contributed to making a certain decision.

Sounds like cause and effect to me!
Just becuase there's a middleman (brain chemistry) doesn't exhonerate the initial triggor (meth).

I agree with you that to a certain extent, decisions influenced by meth (indirectly via brain chemistry alteration) can still be "overridden". Each person is different.
Sfj Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Ok,

Thanks Loraura.

I enjoy discussing things with you and exchanging opinions and ideas. You keep things civilized and reasonable.

I don't mind when people disagree with me, in fact, I often enjoy it. That's what discussion and a forum venue are all about.
Miz
Ricochet
Re: Does meth get too much credit?
Quote:
I did do horrible things. I knew I was doing wrong, I knew I was making bad choices, but I rationalized everything
Saved, you couldn't have said it better...I too, knew what I was doing was wrong when spun out...it was just easier to shut the white dog up and let the black dog bark, so to speak.

What everyone should do is watch and episode of COPS, doing meth busts...watch those people carefully. No matter how spun out and how stupid the suspect is acting, you can see by their behavior they know what they are doing is wrong and going to end them up behind bars.

Just watch them lie, try to emotionally or mentally manipulate the cop or whatever they can do to get out of being hauled away. Whatta web tweakers tangle themselves in when desperate to get spun and stay outta the slammer!

See also:

Does Meth Lead to increased Violence?


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