Eight years ago, Gloria of Sioux Falls tried meth for the first time in her life.

“My son was barely a year old and now he’s nine. I was going through a divorce and one of my friends urged me to try the drug. She said it would help ease everything. So, I did.”

When she first did meth, Gloria felt like she was on top of the world.

“I had unbelievable energy. It was like drinking four pots of coffee. I couldn’t sit down. I accomplished everything I needed to do in a short amount of time. In the long run, it’s not like that at all.”

But, at the time, Gloria was hooked.

“I started using pretty much regularly---at least on the weekends. Then, I did it during the weekdays. Then, I had to have the drug everyday. I was actually high for two years straight. That’s not the way to live. I hurt everybody around me.”

While she was using, Gloria was living what she considered a normal life.

“I had a regular job. I volunteered for the ambulance squad. I did house cleaning for people. I was very, very busy. I didn’t sleep. I hardly ate. You could tell I was becoming more and more sick. But, I couldn’t see it. Everybody around me saw what was happening. The funny thing is no one ever told me what I looked like or how I behaved. It was probably because they were all using with me.”

That made it a lot easier for Gloria to accept her addiction to meth.

“I found people who used right away and stuck with them. While I was on my two year high, everyone around me was a user. All of us would sell the stuff to pay for our habits. It’s unbelievable. You really don’t know how many people you affect because of the addiction. Thank God, I’ve been clean now for nine months and I’m free because I gave my life to God. He saved me from the drug.”

It’s been Gloria’s faith that has become her lifesaver.

“One day, my boyfriend and I figured out we were missing God. We went down into our basement, got down onto our knees and prayed. God came into our lives. He took the addiction from us. When we finished praying, we walked outside. The grass was greener and the skies were bluer. We were able to go to sleep at night and woke up the next morning without a craving. We never went through withdrawals. I think we were both free of meth for two months before we realized we didn’t go through the withdrawal process.”

That was just the beginning of a whole new life for Gloria and her boyfriend.

“God had taken all the people we were involved with from our lives. The phone calls from people wanting meth instantly stopped. They quit showing up at our doorstep and at our job sites. Everything came to a screeching halt. That’s because of God. He felt our need and He healed us.”

How is life today with meth?

“The attitudes of my children are different. They’re much happier. I can actually sit and talk with them without getting upset, angry or impatient. My life is very peaceful. I enjoy life without people staring at me wondering if I’m high. I’m active in my church and attend a twelve-step program on Friday nights. I have a wonderful support group. They’re all Christians, kind and non-judgmental. They’re willing to help me when I have problems. What a change from the meth users who would lie and steal from me. It’s a little bit harder. I’m not used to living like that. I grew up in a home where I learned how to sell drugs before I was eight years old. Drugs and alcohol were normal in my childhood. Now, it’s different. It’s nicer, happier and peaceful.”

Fueled by her faith and church members who care about her, Gloria is determined to remain drug free a day at a time.

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