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Marion, IL

Helping drug addicts kick their habits

Helping drug addicts kick their habits
By: Arnold Wyrick

MARION, Il. - The war on meth just got a lot more intense in Southern Illinois.  This time it's the federal government that's putting up the soldier to fight, a soldier worth $1.5 million.  It's money that will be used to kick off a new treatment program at Franklin-Williamson Human Services.

It will be geared towards helping adults beat their addiction to meth.  One of the most addictive drugs on the streets.  "It has a very rapid onset of addiction.  It doesn't take very long using methamphetamine to become addicted to it.  Therefore it seems to be having quiet an impact on people needing treatment," says the Director of Substance Abuse Services at F.W.H.S. Wendy Bailie.

In the past five years their admissions rates for drug treatment for meth addicts has gone from zero to 25% of their total admissions.  "So we will be offering long term care, and support for those individuals.  So they can get past that hump," Bailie said.

A hump that 18-year-old Becca knows all too well.  She started using drugs at the young age of 12.  "I started out with pot, and then tried LSD, and cocaine, heroin.  I never came to an end to where I was going to die, or where it became a health problem.  But mentally it became a battle everyday of where my next high was coming from."

Then one day Becca says she tried "Meth" for the first time.  "By the second day I was hooked.  I had dipped into other drugs before using meth, but within in two days I was gone.  I call it the 'Devil'."

Her search for the drug took her away from her 15-month-old daughter, family, friends.  And cost her, her second child. "My fourth week here in the program I had a doctor's appointment, and I went in and I lost my baby.  There's no known reason for why I lost my baby.  But I feel myself that it was probably due to my addiction," Becca said. "But now I don't have to be high today.  I don't have to look for drugs today, and it feels great."

The program is hoping to reach 250 addicts in Southern Illinois over the next 3 years.

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