Two Des Moines women who are recovering meth addicts are helping Iowa’s Attorney General push for more money for state drug treatment programs. Vicki Sickels says she started using meth in 1988 and continued until she got treatment in 1998.
Sickels says she stopped doing meth when she had a baby, but then started up again. She says she did meth for about six months when her baby was a toddler. She says her family came to her and told her that she was not taking good care of her baby, so she sought treatment. Sickels says she went back to meth before finally getting treatment that has kept her clean for eight years.
Sickels says there’s a long period of time in which people need the resources and support to get off meth. She says, “It’s tricky and it’s evil and it’s very hard to get off of it and stay off of it if you don’t have the resources.” Sickels says she’s now become a counselor and can see the importance of getting addicts treatment.
Sickels says, “Treatment is prevention.” She says her 15-year-old son is doing well now that she’s clean. Sickels says she hear stories of 15-year-old boys doing drugs with their mothers, “If we don’t treat the parents and make that happen, then the next generation is almost destined to have the same kind of problems.”
39-year-old Lisa Bright says she tried some short-term treatment programs, but nothing worked until she went to drug court last year. She says the drug court program is the only thing that has worked. Bright says she tried short-term treatment five times and after her fourth possession charge she was accepted into drug court and has been clean for 17 months.
Bright says the drug court program is intense and requires you to change your entire lifestyle. She says, “today I have a relationship with my son. I have not just a job, I have a career. I have my own home, I’m a strong independent woman today, I don’t need anybody else to define who I am.” Bright says she’s grateful for the program, “I know that I wouldn’t have made it, I’d would be dead. I was completely broken before, mentally, spiritually, physically broken before I got into this program. It’s the only thing that’s worked for me.”
Attorney General Tom Miller is asking the legislature to increase drug treatment funding by 17-million dollars. Miller wants to target the bulk of that increase toward helping addicts with kids to get clean.