Meth Mountain

A&E’s Meth Mountain hits home for some Alabama residents

Marshall County Alabama – small in population, big on meth use; so big in fact that it’s earned the nickname Meth Mountain and a one hour special episode of A&E’s Intervention. A once-perfect location to raise a family has turned to a place that destroys them. A place where 10% of babies are born affected by meth and 40% of children in state custody are there because of their parent’s meth addiction.

“Marshall County offers ideal conditions for meth to take off” says narrator Merideth Viera while a sheriff’s deputy goes on to explain that the trailer laden terrain is perfect for isolated meth labs and that meth is frequently made by people who generally pass around meth making recipes found on the internet. (Side note: It really irks me that people can freely and easily find meth making recipes online, so of course I like to put my own spin on how to make meth).

This video chronicals the stories of several viewpoints including that of Meth Mountain resident and Mothers against meth founder, Dr. Mary Holley who’s own brother committed suicide after years of meth use. Watching it may leave you wondering how things got so bad there or might even challenge you to wonder what you can do about it.

48 thoughts on “Meth Mountain

  1. I saw this special…found it a little too exploitative, but there is a real crisis in many rural areas that like you said is destroying communities and families. I work with a meth addiction treatment center near Sacramento and even here in beautiful sunny California, things aren't quite what they seem (surprise surprise, right?). Meth certainly isn't a dominant “urban” drug but in recent years its use has been spreading to suburban communities out this way. Did you know that the central valley of California has been labeled the “meth capital of the world”? Maybe A&E should do another special on “Meth Valley,” though I wish they would talk more about successful law enforcement and addiction treatment strategies.

  2. Hi Matt – I too live in California and have also been to the area in which you speak. Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno et. al. and they are no different that the place where I grew up (the Antelope Valley – Palmdale area) in that they have been labeled a meth capital of someplace or another. I would love to see where Central Valley was officially given the title “meth capital” title however. As I mention in my about me article; I grew up thinking the Antelope Valley was the meth capital. Sadly it's no argument that many, many cities rank high on the meth capital list.

  3. This hurts. This is my home. A sacred place where so many sweet memories blossomed. Where I came to be and grew to be. Even though I live on the other side of the country I suffer everyday with the effects of meth use by my children. Plural. The mountain. No — I will call it by the RIGHT name — SAND Mountain, is where my mind goes when I need to escape the realities of my life. And now it's poison too. So very sad.

  4. Hi Teri – I am sorry to hear about your children.
    I do hope that if nothing else, this documentary will raise awareness enough to get the county more funding for programs like the one run by Dr. Holley.

  5. Matt this morning I have the best news I could hope for. My son has been missing for more than a week on yet another binge. Last night he called his Father to come and get him. He said it hit him that he had a family that loves him and that he wants to commit to recovery and get help. Since you work in a facility, I'd like to ask you what I should look for in a Substance Abuse Treatment program for my son?

  6. Hi Teri – know you posed this question to Matt, but I wanted to just say that's wonderful news. The first step towards making a recovery is for the addict to want it – as parents we can't wish our kids sober. Thank God he sounds like he's moving in the right direction. I truly wish you both the best and will say a prayer for you and your family. Please keep us updated.

  7. Hi Again, I wanted to get you some information as soon as I could, as Matt may not reply to your question. Here are some things to consider:

    Get treatment at a local facility if possible as this will make it easier on all involved and will help with the continuing care aspect of treatment.

    Understand that you as well as the rest of your immediate family will need to become involved in his treatment. This doesn't mean you will need to be at every single appointment, but try to be as open and receptive to facilitators requests as possible.

    You and your family will also need to seek treatment and understanding on how to help your newly-sober son once he's out of rehab. You will also need to educate yourselves on the signs of relapse.

    I hope this helps and again – I wish you all the very best!

  8. I've found your site very helpful and will add more when we are out of this crisis. This morning I am contacting a facility which was referred to me. My son wants to go into a treatment center — not outpatient. We'll see if we can get it done. I know more about meth than most….this is my second son that has fallen to its clutches. In some ways that's good, because I cannot be fooled and I know what to watch for. I wish I had some extra money to donate to Dr. Holley's program. Thanks for your help. And your site. I'll let you know how this went today.

  9. Recovering from meth Addiction is possible, but not easy . I'm a survivor and have been clean for 12 years. It is hard work staying clean even after 12 years, you have to want it . Don't give up.

  10. Awesome Jack! Thank you for sharing some words of encouragement. Getting clean IS possible, but as you said — YOU have to want it. No one else can wish an addict clean.

  11. Yesterday I visited with my son in treatment. Everyone at the facility went out of their way to make sure I knew what a wonderful person he is…so polite, so caring. Newly entered young men spoke over and over about how my son had inspired them that they can do it. He is truly high on being clean. He's new to it, and has yet to employ the tools he has learned in treatment. I have to admit I'm leary of the roller coaster ride that could come. But I will take this seat anyday to the alternative. I couldn't be happier. Today I have my son back and he is once again full of hope for his life. If anyone can do it, I believe he can!!!

  12. I can't tell you how happy I am that you get to have your son back. Isn't it wonderful to see life in his eyes once again?
    I pray that he can continue through treatment and beyond to fight the temptation to use. Stay strong!

  13. Hi Teri.. I also grew up on Sand Mountain. I went to highschool at Albertville in the mid-90's before meth was a big deal in our communities. Though.. as I grew older I saw first hand how a horrible drug and ravage families. I have family members who have suffered for many years because of this terrible drug. I was no church boy when it came to experimenting.. though I never had to struggle with the ups and downs of trying to get clean and relapsing. I've read your posts here about your son managing to actually find the good side of rehab and his fight to get.. and stay clean. And I just want to give him.. and your family my blessings. And in no way what so ever do I want to sound negative on the matter.. there are some down sides to getting treatment locally in Marshal County.. if that is where he is getting it. What most people who aren't from a small area as we are do not realize is that the “Meth-family” on Sand Mountain is SO close. Such a “tight-nit” group. And when you have the majority of the members of a drug-friendship all going to the very same facility trying to get treatment.. it makes is even more hard to come out of it with a good step in the right direction. The friends and family members that I've had that have gone to Marshal County's rehab have all had good intentions while entering into the program. But.. it's sad to say that having just one false person in such a tight group can bring the whole group back down again. So.. as I'm sure you know very well.. the hardest part of the cleaning process will be disassociating your son from these people. I grew up with the people in this documentary. I've known Cole and Shanta.. as well as Chuck since I was an early teenager. Cole was actually my cousin's (Which is no longer alive due to drug abuse) best friend growing up. So I've seen these people struggle with this ongoing problem ever since it became a problem in our community. I myself actually moved away from Marshal County about 6 years ago just because so many of my loved ones and friends were going through this very problem.. and I'm sad to say that any good advice would be to just move away. I would be ignorant to say that other cities or towns don't have the same amount of trouble with meth as Marshal County.. but what you'll find is that when you live somewhere that you don't know everyone that deals or abuses meth, it would be a little easier to progress in the cleaning process. I know that moving from a place you've called home your entire life shouldn't have to be an alternative, but maybe it's an alternative that should be looked into. I truely wish your family the best!

  14. I completely understand what you're saying here. I was born in Albertville; the entire area is covered with my relatives. However, I never lived there. I haven't lived in AL since I was a teenager. Sand Mtn. is my home because it is my parents' home. They are there, as is most of my family. This is a very special place for me ….it just makes me sick what this drug has done to that community. But we are on the other side of the US, my son has his job back. He's working hard to stay clean and has his nose buried in books (school). He has DROPPED all of the people who use! I take one day at a time. Because there will always be temptation here where he knows people who use, I would LOVE to send him to family to stay well. But the sad fact is that meth is more available there than it is here. So glad you moved away and realized that was necessary to stay clean. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  15. I love your attitude towards Meth. I worked in a juvenile center for seven years and am very aware of the effects of Meth. Sadly, it wasn't the kids addiction that put them in jail, it was the parents. Strung out parents leave kids to make their own way. It's just bad all the way around. I work in a store that sells ephedrine. (id checks and info. all that) Is there a better system to report ephedrine sells other than when the State Police stop by. I would love to see a day by day – national database.

  16. does anybody know how to contact shanta i would like to thank her and congradulate her on getting clean and getting her children back so if somebody could help me with a email address it would be wonderful

  17. hey its david is this shanta who sent te email address if so try to contact me at 443 907 5795 or ill try to contact the email address thanks and if not shanta could somebody help me contact her i would like to congradulate her on staighten her life out and being there for her kids

  18. meth use is an evil scourge that is affecting the whole country dont feel sorry for these people the make their own decisions

  19. lol i live in albertville, al. it is horrible here. surprisingly though, i have NEVER met anyone that does meth and i hhave lived here my whole life.

  20. I sympathize with all of you people who are battling the “addiction” of meth abuse. Noone likes to see that kind of thing…. Especially when it involves loved ones. But you can't blame all that the person does while on meth, on meth itself. These peoples problems more than likely run a little bit deeper than the meth use. Noone kills themselves just cause they do meth. There is another depression issue that is'nt being addressed and for the poor soul who experiences the relief that meth can give from their depression, it becomes a double edged sword of addiction. Meth may have been a catalyst for the person to go overboard, but the real problem is elsewhere. Happy people might do the drug socially, but for the manically depressed, it becomes their whole life because it destroys the bad feelings. All feelings for that matter, but anyway. Does anyone remember when ozzy came out with the song suicide solution? A young boy killed himself while listening to the song and the parents erroneously believe that it was ozzy's music that killed their son. I believe the kid would have killed himself without the song.

    I'm pretty sure that to most christians, ozzy is the scourge of the music world. The Devil himself!

  21. look i live on meth mountain its all a over action they need too leave dope heads alone fuck tha task force

  22. look i live on meth mountain its all a over action they need too leave dope heads alone fuck tha task force

  23. I have family living there too, and I was there in the 70's but I left after I graduated. Thank goodness I did. There were all kinds of drugs then; several people I knew were on heroin. I still can't believe how many drugs are in such a small town with such a small population. I guess the kids don't have anything else to do, and I suppose a lot of people sell it because they can't make a decent living there doing legal work. I came back for a few years after I was much older, but I did not want my son to grow up there so I left again. I hate the place! And I can't believe they made such a huge deal about whether the county stayed wet or dry; seems that should have been the least of their worries. I think the drugs, drug users and the people selling it should be more of a concern than about alcohol that could be bought right over the line in Sardis or Guntersville even had they stayed dry. I left about 30 years ago and when I go back to visit,(and I hate to even visit) the place is still the same. No decent jobs, nothing for kids to do, small minded people, and drugs everywhere. I couldn't believe all the huge billboard signs all over Albertville that mentioned meth abuse. And to think people still want to live there and raise their kids in that kind of atmosphere. I call the place “hell on Earth”, and I will never live there again.

  24. I am the daughter of a meth addict and distributor. My father has been on meth before I was born and I am 25! I was raised in Arab with my grandparents due to their addiction shortly after my mom got clean and moved on with her life just forgetting she had 5 kids that were with her mother. So this made my childhood very hard for me to understand why they choose drugs over their children or why they even had children in the first place. Today I can proudly say I have never thought about doing meth and I am giving my two children the life I never had. Everyday is hard though these addiction haunt my family being that I have one sister and two brothers that currently use! I wasn't from Albertville but from Arab but I know my dad spent a lot of time in all the surrounding areas. If you were using meth you knew him or at least his name BB or Bob King. If I meet someone there that knows him they give him respect because they are one of his customers and he will help them out in need but as his daughter his own flesh and blood he doesn't do anything for me he might tell my sister to tell me hello thats as far as he goes to contact me just because I'm not like him and proud that I'm not. He has had so many manufacturing charges and has taught my brother to do the same so now he is also facing manufacturing charges. They really dont see how they are messing up not only there life but everyone that they supply to also. I am burdened with this because I know that my family is ruining a lot of other family's. My sister now has 5 children of her own and I cant see why she risk losing her children when she knows what we went through as kids. I do love my family and wish them the best but after all these years of supporting them saying they were doing the right thing i know its just to get me off their back. My father is the reason that my brother and sister started and now they cant go back and just say no. My father really doesn't even know how I feel about him I can't tell him because he wont listen but listens to anything my brother and sister have to say. If there are any parents out there using meth Please take a look at your children and think about what you might be putting them through and you might be leading them to a lifetime of drug use along the way.

  25. I am a christian and I think of Ozzy as a human who struggles like we all do. Don't be so quick to judge Christians.
    Parents are so devastated when they lose a child that they often look for something/someone to blame. It's natural.

  26. i agree,, they need help not prison,,,,,, some of these lawyers and judges that are makin money from those addicted to this drug should put in a donation or 2 and make sure kids in every county can get help prison is not the answer get them help they may need help more than once as this is a very hard drug to kick but come on whats it cost to keep them in prison? oh i didnt think we people who have children on meth are paying that bill so should lawyers and judges continue to get rich or put some of that money back in to help these kids? one jodge or lawyer comment on this plz

  27. ur a sad individual to think that and we all know ur on meth to make that kind of coment and no its f you who sell this crap to our families its gettin bad out there dope man look around ur friends are falling like flies we are no longer afraid to deal with people like you

  28. any one on meth feels this way cause u cant see what its doin to you and people u hurt i will give u my number dope man,,,,,, will you give me urs lets see whos afraid and whos hiding ur friends are falling like flies u will be to

  29. I also saw that show. It was frightfully dead-on though. Meth has found its way to suburban areas.. I also think there should be more education in schools before kids actuallly get curious and try it out. I also read a poem by Amanda Canadaay, it was great

  30. ALRIGHT, that is pretty sad about officially needing proof that your place and not another isThe Meth Capital!! It certainly doesn’t give anybody bragging rights! GROW UP!

  31. Jack:
    How did you get off meth. How should the family of the meth deal with his addiction. If he is going to cause my husband and I a lot of misery, then we would just as well tell him to stay away. We love him, but we are too old to have to deal with a lot of problems, especially if it will show no results.
    Thank you, RoseC

  32. I don’t sympathize with any of the morons.I live on Meth Mountain and I am 31 years old and have NEVER tried and NEVER desired to try this ridiculous drug. I think that they made their choice and knew the consequences that came with that choice. I DO NOT sympathize with ANYONE who has an addiction to any drug. It is just ridiculous, they should be killed. That way ppl like me and my family wont have to worry when we lay down at night that a meth head or any other addict for that matter,seeking their next fix may break in and kill us to get it.

  33. This is the same person that doesn’t sympathize with ANY of the idiots…..just to make it clear.I do not discriminate against anyone, i have family members that are addicted to meth and other drugs and i feel the SAME exact way about them as well.They should all be killed so decent ppl don’t have to worry.

  34. LMAO these dope whore hasn’t straightened her life out. Shes still a meth head and it is 2011. Always has been and always will be.

  35. Today I saw a man carrying a big cross in Boaz, helping people to get off Meth. God is the only answer, there are still good people in Marshall Co.Jesus is lord.

  36. Shanta NEVER got her children back and she never will! Its 2013 and she is my husbands ex wife. They were together for a short time when,she was clean and had her children, but she cheated on him with his meth dealing brother, who is now in prison for 17 years, and lost it all AGAIN.

  37. Hello everybody, I am so sorry to hear a lot of your stories. I recently moved to Tampa FL. About 30 minutes north is a town that is very very heavily soaked in the meth lifestyle and I’ve become so obsessed with finding out information, I have decided to write a book on the topic. Fictional but very similar to the town. If I wasn’t so ethnic looking I would literally walk the streets and try and get a feel for it. Anyvody at all that wants to talk about it or share stories, please email me.

  38. so true! She was in court in front of judge Mitchell last time I seen her and was screwed up out of her mind could barely talk! Slurring her words and just ridiculous.

  39. Shanta is far from there for her children. She is still a strung out meth head as she always will be.She was in court barely able to function, slurring her words and being herself (trash)

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