Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is what meth does.

This is one of the saddest videos I have seen in a while.  I hope they ended up taking her to the hospital.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Former meth addict aims at inspiring courage to help abused children

Speaking in Buffalo, David Parnell asked for courage to "make the call" and prevent child abuse by parents addicted to meth.
By Ed DuBois
      The graphic photos displayed during David Parnell's presentation in Buffalo last Friday evening, March 18 were meant to inspire courage.
      After seeing some of the terrible consequences of making and using meth, maybe several people in the audience will be so appalled, they will have the courage to call the authorities if they ever suspect a meth lab is being operated in the neighborhood.  If they see children suffering from abuse or neglect, maybe they will act.
      The suffering of children is most upsetting for Parnell.  In fact, he paused and was chocked up with emotion when talking about two specific children who died as a result of abuse related to meth addiction.
      He said he conducts hundreds of speeches, and he can usually avoid getting hit with emotion by keeping his mind on his goal, to inspire action.
      But last Friday, the deaths of two children were too much for him.  Sadness overcame him for a minute or two.
      "If someone had made a call, these children would be alive today," he said.
      One of the children was heard screaming, but no one called.  One was locked in a closet and starved to death.
      Parnell knows what meth can do.  He began using it with his father.  He thought he could control it, but it eventually controlled him.
      At his lowest point, he thought his family would be better off without him.  He took a gun and shot off half his face.  He said he felt the pain because the meth kept him awake.
      He nearly died, but he survived his suicide attempt.  He underwent 30 surgeries, and more are planned.  His face is still disfigured, but it looks much better than it did after getting out of the hospital.  He said he will never get the sight back in his right eye.  A year passed before anyone could understand him when he spoke.
      "The way I look might convince people not to use meth," he stated.
      "I am so embarrassed and ashamed of the way I treated my wife and others," he added.
      He pleads with people to get help if they are addicted and are struggling with temper.
      Parnell added, "Suicide is not the solution.  You never know what God has planned for you."
      God's plan for Parnell was laid out on the stage last Friday.
      Wright County MEADA (Meth Education and Drug Awareness) invited Parnell to speak in the Buffalo High School Performing Arts Center.  He recently co-authored his autobiography, "Facing the Dragon," with local author, Amy Hammond Hagberg.  He had his book available for sale at the event.
      He also spoke to students at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Schools on Friday morning and conducted a presentation in the afternoon at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park.
      A former meth dealer, husband, father of seven, and suicide survivor from Tennessee, Parnell now devotes his life traveling to high schools and communities warning about the dangers of methamphetamine.
      Parnell told his story in Buffalo once before in March 2005 as a guest of MEADA.  He began his presentation last Friday by talking about the dangerous chemicals used to make meth, such as anhydrous ammonia.
      He said meth slowly eats you up.  It's a poison.  Users' teeth often rot because of it.
      Parnell managed to avoid severe tooth decay because he became obsessed with brushing his teeth.  He brushed seven to nine times a day, he said.
      The body can't metabolize the meth chemicals, and they come out through the skin, he also said.
      In Tennessee, which is number-one in meth labs, child abuse has gone up 500 percent in 15 years, he said.
      "Innocent people around us suffer," he commented.
      In one case, an addicted parent thought it was more important to make meth than to pick up his child from a bleach spill.
      If you step in and "make the call" to help prevent child abuse, the meth addict will eventually thank you, Parnell stated.
      He told of a baby born addicted to meth.
      "I hope to see little Bobby in the next life," he said about the baby, and then he paused as he was overcome with sadness.
      He told of a school system in New Mexico that has started a program to help feed children in families affected by meth addiction.  Food is hidden in children's backpacks so they can feed their little brothers and sisters at home.
      Drug task force members who raid meth houses are called "Angels in Black" by Parnell.
      "I wish they had busted my dad.  He would be alive today," Parnell commented.  "He could not stop."
      He feels shame about his own addiction and not being there for his kids.
      "They remember Mom and Dad always fighting," he said.
      He once threatened to kill her, and she called the police.  But he went back to using later.
      He once tried to hang himself.  He said meth is a stimulant ... "until depression sets in."
      His sister found him after his unsuccessful hanging attempt.  The rope had snapped.
      "God saved my life that day," he said.
      Parnell learned that meth robs a person of the ability to feel love and compassion from others.
      Getting off meth is difficult, but he is so thankful he is off it now.
      The body will heal itself, but it takes time, he said.
      "Hang on until you get over the hump.  You will feel better than you ever felt in your life," he tells addicts.
      Now that Parnell is back with his family, he says, "God has given me back more than I will ever deserve."
      After his presentation, a few questions were taken from the audience.  Wright County Attorney Tom Kelly said he has seen improvement regarding meth over the past few years.  Parnell said the problem has grown worse in Tennessee.
      He added that Minnesota has more programs addressing meth than any other state.
      "You guys work together and get after it and educate people about meth," he said.  "You don't see that in other states."
      You can learn more by contacting MEADA at 763-682-7713 or go to .  To learn more about Parnell, go to his website, .  He invites you to visit Amy Hammond Hagberg's website as well,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Meth Addiction - From a Loved One's Point of View

The following was written by one of our friends.  It was an editorial she sent in to her local paper. She was asked by the newspaper if it was real.  This is the most accurate description of how it feels to care about someone on meth I have ever heard.

Paranoia, anger, edginess, agitation, love, hate, nauseous, pain, resentment, shame, guilt, horror. Just a handful of words used to define the up and down emotional roller coaster you ride when a loved one is addicted to meth. Each day passes you by while you feel you’re simply in existence--of a living nightmare!

Your mask, which you wear so well in life—starts to crumble. You’re faced with the cold, harsh reality—they might not make it. You hold onto hope, but you know the reality of the statistics. You stand by their side, until; you get to the point of—are you willing to go down with them too? Let them hit “rock bottom” your told. What will “rock bottom” be—death, permanent brain damage, prison? You think-- the latter, of course, would keep them alive.

Before they perhaps were “the criminal”, they were “the meth addict”, before either of the two—they were, and still are, a human being, your brother, your sister, your parent, maybe your child. To just sit back and watch them slowly commit suicide is horrid—to be caught up in the “meth drama” makes you feel like your losing your mind. Sometimes, you think—a funeral would be so much easier—it would be done—it would be over. The pain might linger, but the chaos would stop. What an appalling thought to have.

You don’t know who to turn to—you’re afraid of “saying the wrong thing”. You hear, “they are an adult, they have to choose treatment”. You think to yourself, “Are you kidding me? How many meth addicts are capable of even making that choice?”
Finally, through never-ending tears, sleepless nights, a gnawing in your stomach like you wouldn’t believe—you’ve had enough. You don’t have a choice but to walk away—you have yourself, your kids to think about—you ban this person from your home—you spend a gorgeous sunny day—fighting off tears—writing this letter—trying to cope with the words/feelings above along with new one’s that have just entered into your world. I HATE meth!

Laurie B

Angels in Black - two different poems

A big part of David's program is dedicated to the prevention of drug related child abuse.  These child victims are known as drug endangered children.  When David gets to that section of his program he has a picture of a child in the arms of a law enforcement officer with the title "Angels in Black".  The title was taken from a poem written by Ron Mullins, training coordinator for National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children and former state trooper.  The following is Ron's orginal poem and then a re-write with the same title by Jose Oceans, a 14-yr.-old high school student, who attended one of David's presentations. 

The Angels in Black 

I sit alone in my room but I no longer cry
It doesn’t seem to matter much to mom and dad who only care about getting high

I don’t go to school much these days, I’m sick and it’s hard for me to breathe
No one cares about the things I really need

Dad cooks things in my house but it’s not for us to eat
It burns my lungs and my skin and makes it hard for me to see

Why does no one hear me? Why does no one care?
My mom and dad don’t love me back, and I don’t think that’s fair

Then one night I hear the sounds as the door comes crashing down
Mom and dad rush to hide the things I know they don’t want found

My mom and dad are on the floor, their hands behind their back
The men all have guns and helmets, and they are all dressed in black

They move from room to room as they continue to yell Police!
I am very frightened as I fall upon my knees

Then one of them looks down at me and he can tell I’m a child in need
He puts the gun away as he reaches down to me

He picks me up from the floor that has become my bed
The hand that held the gun, now gently holds my head

I can only see his eyes but they look so very sad
I wonder if he has a BOY like me, I wish he were MY dad

He rushes me from my house to an ambulance on the street
His eyes fill up with tears as he lays me on the seat

I now have good clothes to wear and good food to eat
I can breath good again and it’s not hard for me to see

I know now there is a God because when I prayed he sent an answer back
For the men who came to rescue me are really
The Angels In Black!
Ronald V. Mullins, National DEC Training Coordinator, San Diego , Ca.

The Angels in Black by Jose Oceans

Let’s hear it for our angels, now
Not the ones dressed in white
But the ones that, to fight earthly battles, vow
The ones that in the shadows choose to fight

Let’s hear it for those faces
The ones that come into our lives
And just the same are gone without leaving any traces
All without us even seeing their eyes

Let’s hear it for those arms
That over us they tower
And, fire, danger and gunshots, these things never alarm
When it is time, when it is the fighting hour

Let’s hear it for those hands
That hold the shields
Protecting us from the unforgiving people of the lands
The angels of judgment that guns, instead of swords they wield

Let’s hear it for their strength and courage
That face the flaming timbers of your beloved memories
Those who take a shot whilst the world’s an outrage
And they, who riots strung up, they appease

Let’s hear it for their wings that cradle you from the dangers
Of guns, or flames that cannot reach you
A friend you hold amidst the strangers
They will save you, which you know is true

Let’s hear it for our angels’ shadows
That in darkness they do shine
That are there to stand up to your foes
That in the deepest of darks, you they will always find

            By Jose Oceans