Meth in the Valley: Overcoming addiction

Special Report

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) Meth destroys lives, but it can be overcome. Shonna Frye and Melody Loveless are proof.

Frye grew up in Clay County and like many kids enjoyed riding her bike and taking gymnastics. In her twenties, she began dabbling in drugs and eventually tried meth.

“I liked the way it made me feel” Frye said. “I like the way it made me feel like I could get things done. It made me feel like I was someone I wasn’t. It helped me escape everyday issues and I liked it. I liked it a lot.”

And that like of meth spiraled into addiction.

“I couldn’t keep a house. I lived out of my car for a long time,” she recalled.

Short on cash, she became a dealer and had all the money and drugs she wanted. She also became the focus of a federal investigation.

“The next thing I knew there was about 15 federal agents in my home,” Frye said.

Frye talks more about waking to 15 federal agents in her house and the arrest that changed her life:

Frye spent four years behind bars. While in prison, she participated in a drug treatment program.

“I was very relieved that I did it, and I still to this day, use the tools that I learned in this program,” Frye said.

Frye’s now been clean for more than 11 years and works full-time.

Meanwhile, Melody Loveless did not start using meth until her late 30s. She was managing a restaurant and raising a family. A friend told her meth would give her energy.

“Then after awhile, it seems like a little bit is just not enough,” Loveless stated.

Once hooked, her life also took a deep nose dive. She ended up living in a tent.

“I lost everything. Addiction is a thief. It takes everything from you,” Loveless warned.

She was arrested in a sting operation after trying to help someone else purchase meth.

“There’s only two roads to go down, either you’re going to go to prison or you’re going to be dead. Thank God God chose me to go to prison. That’s what saved me,” Loveless added.

Loveless spent about a year behind bars. She’s now been clean for 21 years.

She credits support groups, her faith and her family for her success.

Experts say meth is so addictive because it causes huge amounts of dopamine to be released into your body. That’s the “feel-good” chemical that occurs naturally when you’re falling in love or win a big football game.

“Of all drugs, including nicotine and cocaine, the highest release of dopamine comes from methamphetamine by 100 times, a hundred times,” said addiction specialist Dr. Randy Stevens.

While meth is a difficult drug to kick, he said people can overcome it

“They usually go into a really structured program for a month or two or three, and that’s the best effective treatment I think a person can have; and those places exist in this community that can get you help,” he continued.

Frye now sets goals everyday. “I just wake up everyday and know there are certain goals that I have to obtain. And if don’t, then i’m not going to be the person, I know I can be and that I want to be.”

And Loveless likes the woman she is now. “On of the my favorite things that I used to always say is the best thing you can be able to do when it’s over with is look in the mirror and like the person you see looking back at you.”

Loveless has done so well over the past two decades, her criminal record has been expunged.

Do you have some type of addiction? Dr. Stevens explains how to tell:

To learn more about meth and addiction and what the drug can do to a person’s body Click Here.

Here are three drug treatment facilities recommended by Dr. Stevens: Hamilton Center, Next Step, Odyssey House.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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