Saturday, 29 March 2008

Mormon Mums on meth?

I'm at home tonight feeling a bit hot and woozy. Hoping some Airborne will fight it off, that and the slug of Canadian whiskey. So I thought I'd share my thoughts on the latest crazy Utah story; the high incidence of drug use in the Mormon State.

My friend Jane's mum is head teacher at an elementary school in St George, South Utah, and she has been specially trained to detect signs of meth use in her staff. Apparently, meth abuse can happen amongst Mormon women in particular. What other drug allows you to stay awake for days so you can manage to be the perfect Mormon wife and look after your husband and many high-achieving children? I've been looking for evidence to support this anecdote but so far can't find much. It sounds like a bit of myth, although the incidence of meth use amongst women in Utah does appear to be high. The state ranks 2nd nationally for the percentage of females arrested who test positive for meth. But I'm sure they're not the religious married Mums.

One of the entries in urban dictionary defines Utah as: "home of the 4 Ms. Mormons, meth labs, mountains and mini-vans." Funny.

What I am more willing to believe is the abuse of prescription drugs amongst these women. They're acceptable. You go to your doctor to get them. They help you get through the day. Wasn't Valium always mother's little helper? And doctors just encourage the use of medication. I found this extract in a Mormon magazine.

My friend recently went for a physical and her doctor said her problems were stress-related. He suggested a muscle relaxant and a tranquilizer.

Isn't it a crazy world when we think that some pills are going to cover up what's actually going on? Well, they do. But that's all they do. The problems are still there.

The article then goes on to advise: Look for ways to get to the source of your problem instead of covering the symptoms with medication. {My friend} declined medication and instead tried relaxation tapes, meditation, and counseling which helped get the underlying problems under control. She also finds daily walks therapeutic and has decreased the number of commitments that were causing her stress. Jan Jones said that watching a river or the waves on the lake is wonderful therapy for her. Hobbies such as ceramics or water-color are also good. Mary Smith said, “I used to be so caught up in service I ignored my own needs. Now I add to my list the question ‘what am I doing for me?’ A little pampering is a must for any woman! “

Now, whether ceramics is really the answer is another question.... but what is good about a religion that encourages perfection and overdosing on good deeds? You have to look after yourself before you can look after others.

Doing my homework for this also led me to this blog, Living Behind the Zion Curtain. In this entry, she's talking about the church's campaign against alcopops, amongst other things. I liked this bit in particular.

FYI, the above article I quoted notes that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined THE FIGHT AGAINST ALCOPOP. I swear, what would we do without the Mormons? Meth use is RAMPANT in Utah, but by all means put your very large, very rich shoulder behind the INHERENT DANGERS of alcopop, which despite anyone’s belief is VERY STRONGLY REGULATED, and forget that children are being raised in hazardous waste bins–aka homes that are used for meth labs–in a very REAL and actually dangerous phenomenon. Where is the LDS CHURCH in the fight against METH? How about the fight against AIDS or CANCER?

No, by all means, let’s take a stance against alcopop.



Projetor said...
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James Grant said...

I do like the 4M's! However I did meet some passport owning,recovered
Mormons who were enlightened souls
during my trip as well as alcoholic Indians in the lobby of Sam Weller's bookstore in downtown SLC to compare with the best that Scotland has to offer. I think they may be right to focus on alcopops!

james pandreson said...

The Santa Catalinas are steep! Our mountain bike ride could more accurately be described as a hike-a-bike, with almost as much pushing as riding for some sections. But the scenery and the workout was worth the effort.

Crystal Meth Addiction