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Chantel looks like an all-American 17-year-old girl. Her mother is a teacher's assistant and her father sells insurance. She works at an espresso shop. But she's addicted to crystal meth.

Chantel and her family live outside Granite Falls, Washington. She says she's been addicted to meth for a year and a half, after being introduced by friends, and she says she was instantly hooked from the very first hit. Since that time, she says the longest she's gone without using meth was 40 days. In that time, Chantel says, "I was having a ball. I was going to church to see if that was the way for me. I was having fun, hanging out with sober people. And then it was just in front of me one night and I did it and I was hooked again."

On one occasion, Chantel says she stayed up for 13 straight days, getting high every 20 minutes. "Meth makes you have this burst of energy," she explains. "And if you keep smoking it, you'll keep that energy burst." Was she worried about overdosing during that two-week binge? "You don't worry about anything," Chantel says. "You don't have any thought in your mind besides, 'Let's hit it again.'"
FROM: Will She Choose Life or Death? An Oprah Winfrey Show Intervention
Published on May 13, 2005


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