Feb 6, 2013 9:51 AM by Marissa Torres
It's an unstoppable addiction, so severe it seeps through the skin. Colorado ranks 7th nationally in the total number of Methamphetamine users ages 12 and older; some of which don't live long enough to become an adult.
A scary fact that's prompting one former user to spread her message to teens across Southern Colorado in the hopes of saving lives.
"I was 14 when I tried Meth for the first time, by that time I had done Marijuana and Cocaine; and I had no idea what Meth was."
That would soon change for Kiyana Geske, now 26 years old, a recovered crystal meth user.
"I stayed up for 4 days the first time and coming down was so hard, I was physically in pain. I was paranoid. I hadn't slept, I felt sick to my stomach, So I decided I'd take a little bit more."
For the next 4 years Kiyana slipped further and further into a black hole of severe addiction. She lost friends, family and eventually herself.
"I was living in apartments of other meth addicts, just jumping from couch to couch. Sleeping behind grocery stores."
Kiyana's eventual wake up call would be a tragic one. At the age of 20, her fiance, also an addict, overdosed. That same day Kiyana decided to drop the deadly drug completely.
"I think he'd be really proud, sorry. He never wanted me to do it. But being around him, trying to take care of him, it was like the one thing we had that connected us."
Kiyana's now been clean for nearly 8 years and recently joined forces with the Colorado Meth Project and volunteers her time to speak to high schoolers.
"In about every classroom that I go to, there's at least one or two kids that either have a family member who's incarcerated or dead or currently using."
"We've got to be educating people in their teenage years, because if they're going to get presented the opportunity to try it, as a teenager, they need to know the facts before they decide to experiment," says Kent MaClennan, executive director of the Colorado Meth Project.
Colorado law enforcement currently ranks Crystal Meth as their number one problem as it's show to have a direct impact on poverty, property and violent crimes.
Cyrstal Meth also costs the state of Colorado about $1.4 billion annually, including significant cost to its health care, criminal justice, health and foster care systems.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the supply of Meth in Colorado has steadily increased over the past several years due to increased trafficking by drug cartels.