Substance Abuse


Substance abuse has become quite a large problem in the US. Roughly 4 years ago, methamphetamine became the illegal drug of choice in Indiana with Fulton County having  the regrettable claim of the highest concentration of meth labs in the state (if not the country) at that time. Law enforcement has cracked down on this problem and as of 2015 Indiana led the nation in meth busts. Law makers have passed stricter laws making it harder to get the precursors for meth production and although meth continues to be a problem, there are unfortunately all kinds of substances that continue to be used and abused.  Heroin use seems to be on the rise  but meth is probably the larger problem in this area of the country which has no doubt affected my choice of books from the substance abuse section of the Fulton County Public Library. It is, however, important to be aware of other illegal substances.

Until reading about designer drugs, I didn’t really understand what they are. Designer drugs are created from synthetic compounds made in a lab. They are not plant based and are often very dangerous. Production of designer drugs in illegal labs is extremely dangerous. Interestingly many of the designer drugs started out in legal labs for medicinal reasons. For instance Meth was originally used as a weight loss product and then in nasal sprays before being pulled from the market when it was noticed that the drug had addictive qualities as well as adverse long term effects. Several other designer drugs were pulled off of the market due to undesired side effects but not before many people got hooked on them. Black markets were born but production quality decreased almost guaranteeing eventual negative side effects and sometimes death. In the book Designer Drugs by Paul Robbins, the author follows drug origins from the (often) legal production to the illegal street versions and explaining along the way who the people are that want to use these drugs and why.

designer drugs

Following these stories was quite interesting and informative. Despite the obvious chemistry and manufacturing that goes into the production of designer drugs, the book is written in an easy to understand format and is very reader friendly. I would even go as far as to say some of the stories are entertaining although unfortunate. Designer Drugs is a small book which is packed with information. With only 7 chapters it covers topics such as the characteristics of designer drugs, the differences between MPTP and Speed, why people choose drugs like Ecstasy  and the Fentanyl Analogs, individual drug use, families and drug abuse, society and drug abuse, and how to get help for drug abuse. The book has fairly short chapters with a few discussion questions at the end of each chapter making the book useful as a classroom textbook or even a support group resource.


In If Only You People Could Follow Directions Jessica Hendry Nelson shares her experiences of being in a family dealing with addiction. While I can’t exactly say I enjoyed this book, I did find parts of it interesting. I found the jumbled time sequences hard to follow and had a definite distaste for much of the language used in the book. I nearly didn’t finish the book because of this. Despite these reasons, I continued to read and what emerged was the story of an imperfect family trying to survive addictive behavior related to substance use and abuse. As a child growing up in this environment, Jessica’s experiences and memories do seem to be fragmented always revolving around the current crisis. The jumbled time sequences are likely trying to portray the out of control feeling experienced by families in crisis. Jessica’s family seems to be held together more by crisis than by family bond. Despite it all, Jessica appears to have left her dysfunctional roots and moved on to become a successful writer.

After reading about drugs themselves, the abuse of drugs, and families in crisis because of drugs, the obvious next choice was to read something dealing with how to stop abusing drugs. Given the meth problem in this area of the country, I’ve heard a lot about the issue and know about how addictive meth is. Wondering what it takes for someone to stop using, Quitting Crystal Meth by Joseph Sharp seemed to be the next logical choice for me to read.

quitting crystal meth

Joseph Sharp is a former meth addict who is nonjudgmental and respectful to the reader.  After someone decides to quit meth, Joseph explains how to prepare to quit by trying to anticipate questions a user may have such as “Do I really have to ‘hit bottom’?” and “Should I detox alone or with a doctor?” Several other concerns are also addressed in the “getting ready” phase. The author goes on to explain everything from exactly what to expect during the actual detox, the weeks and months following through the first year and even some time after that. The possibility of relapse is discussed and what to do about it if it happens. Along with all of this, Joseph interjects his own experiences and also talks about the need to establish a good support system and how to get help to quit meth if needed.

Below are some websites which can help you through the process of quitting:


Other sites than may be helpful are:

If you Google the words “images faces meth users” you will bring up a series of pictures showing how meth dramatically ages a person and you will see visible damage to the human body. These photos are graphic (so not shared here). View at your own discretion. The majority of the photos are only from the neck up, but they can be difficult to view. In my opinion they are effective deterrents to starting meth. If you or someone you know already is a current user of meth, please view the images to educate yourself on what this deadly drug does to people. I would highly recommend the book Quitting Crystal Meth by Joseph Sharp to anyone struggling with meth addiction. Please seek help. There is hope and the bravest thing a user can do is to seek help.




24 thoughts on “Substance Abuse

    1. Yes. I am just trying to include a sampling of what is available in the 360’s. This section happens to be about “Social Problems & Social Services” so you can imagine the size of this section! Some of the topics aren’t so pleasant, but they are important. Sooner or later I will make it to some “lighter” topics, but for now I am just bouncing around the 360’s!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that awareness is the first step to change. Secrecy, lies and coverups only compound the problems. But because of their own fears, many people won’t allow others to be honest. This occurs not only in drug addiction but in our society at large. Hypocrisy is the norm, and few people are comfortable enough with themselves to be themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree with your other commenters. TOUGH subjects. You’re to be commended for reminding us that the library isn’t simply filled with happy books, and reflects a difficult and demanding world. Stay the course!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Tough subjects and tough to write about! The Dewey Hop project is designed to bring exposure to all aspects of the library so at some point I will be posting about happier topics although that may be awhile since I’m still currently bouncing around the 360’s!


  2. As a fellow Indianian (? Is that the word? I’m new here!), I was shocked when I got a temporary job in retail and the first thing they trained the cashiers how to do was recognize if someone was purchasing the ingredients to make meth.

    Then, I was equally shocked when my husband and I went to buy a house and learned that legally, it was OUR responsibility to do the research and find out of the homes we were interested in had ever been used as meth labs.

    It’s a scary place to be raising my daughter, to say the least, and such an important human topic that we should *all* look more into. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the word you are looking for is “Hoosier.” Welcome to Indiana and I’m sorry that these things have been among your first impressions. The drug laws here have been made more strict though in order to fight against the illegal drugs. Hopefully your house was NOT a meth lab! I think that in time you will learn that Indiana is a good place for your daughter even though it has it’s ups and downs like anywhere else.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Duh–I knew that term, too, if for nothing else than what your comment has demonstrated to me yet again: Hoosier hospitality. I have never lived in a place where people cared about and for each other more than in Indiana, so whatever else it’s struggling with, it certainly has that to make me proud to live here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for your kind words. People here definitely do care about each other. I am pleased to know that you have also experienced that!

        BTW, where do you find out if your house was a meth lab? Anything the Fulton County Public Library can help with?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. There’s a government website that lists all homes involved in recent meth (lab) arrests. I can’t remember the exact address at the moment (we were house-hunting last summer but the home we found fell through), but it was listed as part of the house contract.

        The Fulton County Public Library, by the way, sounds like an awesome place!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ok…I will find out about that website. Thanks. I have heard that there’s a good possibility that that type of information (meth lab or not) will soon be included in house deeds. It remains to be seen though. It sounds like Fulton County may be considering it. Fulton County is a leader in combating all things meth.

        I’m not sure where you are, but if you are anywhere near Fulton County Public Library, stop by and I will personally give you “the tour!” I would love to meet you!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m down in Delaware County myself, but if I ever get up to Fulton, I’ll be sure to check out the library! 🙂

        In the meantime, I found the web address (and it’s a really no-brainer, too, so I feel stupid for having forgotten). It’s They have a search for Clan Lab Addresses. I hope, if anyone ever needs the information, that’s of some help!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thanks. I found it. Dearlilyjune, I appreciate you sharing this information.

        For anyone else in Indiana, here it is Scroll to the map, click the red circle. Keep clicking until you are in the desired location and see blue dots. The blue dots repesent spcecific labs. Click one of those and you will get a case number and another link. Clicking on that link will bring up the actual policeincident report.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. While we were aware that our daughter was in a downward spiral with drug use, I was shocked when she revealed that she was using meth. The good news is that she has been in rehab for about 6 months now and keeps extending her program. I could go into explanations and excuses and ala-non but I will just say “Thank you God”. Good info Feisty!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad your cousin was able to turn herself around and I hope her baby is ok. I think it’s going to take a lot of hard decisions and a lot of cooperation from everyone to turn the whole situation around. Unfortunately, I also know some people who haven’t yet broken free themselves. As you say some people don’t want help.

      Liked by 1 person

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