CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (AP) — Dr. Mary Holley has witnessed the ravages of methamphetamine.
As an obstetrician in Albertville, Alabama, she estimates about 10 percent of her pregnant patients are addicted.
One was “high as a kite. Comes in dilated 9 centimeters. She is pushing out her baby. I am trying to get the clothes off this woman so I can deliver this baby and a gun falls out of her bra,” Holley said.
But the methamphetamine epidemic in Appalachia has now become a personal crusade for Holley: Four years ago, her brother Jim shot and killed himself after a struggle with meth addiction.
“After he died, I started looking into it as a physician, as a scientist,” Holley wrote on her Web site. “What is this drug that destroyed his life in just two years?”
A photo of her brother appears on the Web site for Mothers Against Methamphetamine, or MAMa, a Christian ministry that Holley founded last year to fight the drug.
For the record, I’m against meth use. I’m more and more a conservative (but real world libertarian) as I age, but meth will always stay on my list of “for your own good” drugs.
As an EM resident I saw a lifetime of methed out patients. Gooned out, hypertensive, unable to focus, injured-but-unable-to-feel gooned out. While living in Fresno I got the crap scared out of me by a passenger in a car who was screaming at me. Because I was there, I guess. After another year I realized he was high on meth, and I was just there.
Second only, in my ER estimation, to heroin is meth in addictive qualities. Meth mouth is diagnostic, and unmistakable, like a half-dozen skin-popping abscesses.
I hope their cause does some good, I really do.