The first time I went to jail was when I was heavily involved in crystal meth. It started out innocently enough. Always having a weight problem I started out with over the counter diet pills. When I had finally broke it off with my first husband I was lulled into thinking I was home free. Now I could live the right way. Even though I grew up watching and hearing my parents fight all the time, I still had the idea of what was the correct way to live in between. Or at least a guideline. Being molested as a child I knew that wasn't right. Somehow I have always separated myself as if I was two separate people. That's how I survived it all.
My boyfriend at that time was a heavy meth user. Been so for a long time. If I tried to get away from that whole scene he would either console me or threaten me into submission. Junkies will do just about anything to get their drugs. Stealing was popular. I was pretty naive about these things believing the lies I was told. In this particular case, some friends of my boyfriend were stealing from a store turning around returning the item getting the money for the crystal meth. When I was approached I was told that his friends were having trouble returning stuff because there was a limit. Not that it had been stolen, to begin with. Could I help? I kinda knew something wasn't right so not listening to my inner voice that knew something was up I agreed.
Driving up to the store I was given the unopened package. Walking in the store up to the customer service desk I tried to return it anticipating getting high later. Well, that wasn't going to happen when I saw two security people come up to me taking me and my boyfriend to the back where the police were called. What a sinking feeling knowing your in trouble and nothing you can do will fix it. Handcuffed sitting in the back of the police car I cried all the way to jail where I was processed.
At this point, I was given a matching sweatshirt and pants. The colors at first were mismatched and when I wanted matching clothes the woman jailor scoffed at my request but did as I asked. Then I walked into a brick windowless room with several bunk beds and told to pick one. I got by that evening laying down on a hard cold mat with no pillow quietly crying myself to sleep. During the night an older woman was brought in on a drunk and disorderly charge disrupting the night.
The next day came the hard part. My phone call. Calling my mother I told her I was in jail could she send me $10. I needed the basics, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, cigs. mainly. This Afro-American woman had decided to befriend me. She was in for killing her boyfriend. She had been in jail for months awaiting her trial. She had confiscated a razor out of the plastic razors they sold you so she could crochet. That was a huge no-no but no-one told. She also gave me cigarettes. Back then you could still smoke in jail. To my amusement, I would watch this one Spanish woman drag her bunk-bed under the room's main ac vent which blew out cold air. It was attached to where the men were. She would yell through the vent then put her ear up to the vent to hear whoever was shouting to her. She told me she had caught a cold doing this.
My poor mother sent me the $10 as requested. I bought everything I needed. Now when I first went in I weighed 101 lbs. I couldn't believe the meals were so huge. In the weeks time I was there I gained 15 lbs. I had promised that woman I would pay her back even buying her brand of cigs. which were Kools. Yuck. As 7 very slow days went by my boyfriend and I were released jail time served. I no longer was a jail virgin. Lucky me. You can see by my story one of the prices you can pay. Believe me, there were many more. If you can get off the drugs or better yet never ever touch them go down that path. Don't do as I did. I'm clean now and have been for 40 years but those memories will never leave me.
SAMHSA's National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders.