Recovering Meth Addict Sends Stern Warning to Teens

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Another issue effecting teens today is meth.

Today, the Metropolitan Drug Commission released a study saying six-percent of teenagers are now trying meth, but experts say trying it just once can lead to a lifelong addiction.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel joins us with a look at the "Madness of Meth" and one man's story of recovery.

Folks in recovery say the road from addiction can lead you to four places: Jail, institutions, death or recovery.

We spoke with a man who struggled with meth addiction for years. Now, he's made a comeback and uses his experience to warn teens that trying the drug once is one time too many.

"You feel like you've found something, and it's that first time and that first high that people chase from then on and can never seem to get," recovering meth addict Dennis Collett said.

Dennis Collett knows what it's like to be addicted.

"I couldn't even bear to look at myself in the mirror as I walked by it," Collett said.

But over 15-and-a-half years, he's made a turnaround.

"I was at such a bottom that I just wanted to die," Collett said.

Folks like Steve Wildsmith at Cornerstone of Recovery became his life support.

"It's incredibly enslaving -- that's a good word for it -- first hit and you're off to the races," Wildsmith said.

As Dennis recounts his experience as a meth user, he warns teens to steer clear.

"Please avoid that peer pressure. Do the next right thing. Be different, have fun, be young, it doesn't have to involve alcohol and drugs," Collett said.

Because once you start, Dennis says it's almost impossible to stop.

"You're chasing that first high and it seems like from there it just all goes bad," Collett said.

It doesn't do much for your persona and it certainly doesn't do a body good.

"You get 'meth mouth', which is basically not just the teeth, but the gums, everything in your mouth just rotting away," Wildsmith said. "Some become convinced that there's actually insects under the skin and they'll pick and dig and scratch until they make these big abscesses on their skin."

"It effects the internal organs because, basically, you're consuming a cocktail of things you find under your kitchen sink," Wildsmith said.

It's a reality Dennis knows all too well, but he choose a remedy -- recovery. He chose life.

"Being around recovered people is like being around people that would be in Heaven, so to speak. There's a spiritual light in them that just shines," Collett said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction... Call cornerstone of recovery at 865-970-7747.

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