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Deborah, a loving wife and mother of three, made a life-shattering decision on her 33rd birthday that would tear her family apart and come close to killing her. Three years ago, she tried crystal meth for the first time and quickly became addicted.

At first, Deborah says she only used meth on the weekends. "I liked the way it made me feel," she says. "It opened up my mind." She also liked having extra energy to clean the house—and the loss of appetite led to weight loss.

Then the addiction took hold and she began using around the clock. "I got mean. I was ugly. I had a very cold heart," she says. "When I was high on meth, I couldn't handle being a mother...I couldn't handle being a wife. I ended up having affairs, and I tore my husband's heart out."

In and out of halfway houses, Deborah says she was hospitalized five times for attempted suicide. Doctors prescribed several medications, but she mixed the medicine with meth to get high. Her family stood by helplessly as the drug destroyed Deborah.

Julia, Deborah's daughter, says her mother's addiction made her feel "worthless."

"My children were the most important thing in my life," Deborah says. "But when I was high on meth, I left them. I abandoned them."
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FROM: The Mom Afraid to Touch Her Own Children
Published on October 19, 2006

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