Substance Abuse In South Mississippi: Crystal Meth - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Substance Abuse In South Mississippi: Crystal Meth

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than a five percent of Americans 26 and older will use meth in their lifetime; that's about 15 million people..

Micah Anderson and Re Odom are two of them.

"I've been addicted for about 20 years," Odom said.

"The first time I tried it I was probably 18," said Anderson.

They both said the drug crystal meth destroyed their lives.

"The last five or six years, I was on it pretty heavy," Anderson said. [take: sot]

"Everything I had I lost because of meth," said Odom.

Lt. Jon Traxler of Hattiesburg Police said they've seen less meth labs in the area in the last few years.

"We attribute that to the restrictions put on Sudafed," Traxler said.

In 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. That limits the number of Sudafed purchases someone can make. The over-the-counter drug contains a key ingredient in meth.

"I talked with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and they see more labs in the coastal counties," Traxler said.

Although the restrictions made it harder for people to make the drug on the streets, Anderson said it still wasn't hard to find.

["I had to have it and when I couldn't get it I'd rather have been dead," he said. "It's+ a hard drug to come off of."

Now, Odom and Anderson attribute overcoming the addiction to Drug Court. They graduated from the program in May.

" I wanted to be clean and sober and to have my life back," Odom said. 

"It saved my life," said Anderson.

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