It’s no secret that children are often the casualty of parents addicted to drugs in America today, having their childhoods ripped apart because of parents who cannot properly care for them, or sometimes even harm them because of their addictions. While opioids (especially heroin and fentanyl) are still leading the drug crisis, crystal meth has started to make a resurgence among drug users because, although it certainly takes a toll on the user, it’s not as potentially deadly as heroin, which is killing Americans in droves. However, crystal meth did prove deadly this past June for one unfortunate Indiana eight-year-old, Curtis Collman III.
The young boy died a terrible death, according to News4Jax, after mistaking his father Curtis Collman II’s stash of crystal meth for cereal after finding it on a plate. Officials say the eight-year-old ingested 180 times the lethal limit, far more than it would take to kill a grown man.
Scared of going to jail, when his father realized what young Curtis had done, he did NOTHING to help his child, calling a friend instead of calling an ambulance. As a result, authorities say, young Curtis died a long and painful death. Prosecutors say that the father, Curtis II, held a gun on them to prevent his friend and his own parents from calling 911 to get help for his suffering son. By the time they were finally able to get help for Curtis III, it was far too late to save him.
I don’t know about you, but this makes my blood boil, and makes me hope that Collman II goes to jail for a long, long time. I have a son who will soon be eight, and I cannot imagine seeing him in agony and refusing to seek help for him. Lord, have mercy on a society where this kind of thing can take place!
The local newspaper the Tribune states that Collman II “faces a Level I felony charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. He also faces felony charges of pointing a firearm and possession of methamphetamine stemming from the incident that led to the death of Curtis Gilbert Collman III.”
What is crystal meth?
Many of us only know crystal meth as the reason you have to show your driver’s license every time you want to buy cold medicine. That’s right, crystal meth is made from pseudoephedrine, a popular decongestant you can buy over-the-counter. It is not legal in any form, but because it’s so addictive and profitable, pharmacies now have to carefully regulate the sales of common cold medications such as Sudafed and Advil Cold & Sinus.
Crystal meth is highly addictive
According to Recovery Village, “As a central nervous system stimulant, it [crystal meth] produces a rush, followed by a state of agitation. The relative ease of creating the drug, which is also known as methamphetamine, is the reason why it is one of the most popular illicit substances in the United States.”
Recovery Village goes on to talk about the negative effects of crystal meth on the brain, which helps expain, but not excuse, Curtis Collman II’s terrible decision to not seek help for his son, saying, “Meth is three times as powerful as cocaine and is among the most difficult drugs to permanently quit. It triggers dependency faster than a majority of other illicit substances. Methamphetamine forces the brain to release an unnatural amount of dopamine at a given time, as well as norepinephrine, also known as adrenaline. The result is a rush, followed by a high. This chemical combination deeply affects the brain’s limbic system, which is responsible for emotion and memory. Any consistent use of the drug begins to rewire the decision-making centers of the brain.”
Though I believe we should de-stigmatize drug addiction and help those in its grip get into recovery, I have a very hard time not judging a man who decided he would rather let his eight-year-old child writhe in agony for hours and die than get help for him because he knew he was going to get in trouble and go back to jail if he did. Obviously…since he got in trouble and is going back to jail anyway, he sacrificed young Curtis for literally no reason. This, I suppose, can certainly be attributed to the effects of crystal meth on the brain mentioned above, but it does not absolve the boy’s father of his guilt—he should serve a long sentence for what amounts to a very cruel manslaughter, in my humble opinion.
Yet, as much as I want to revile him for what he’s allowed to happen to his son, I also feel sympathy for him and those mired in crystal meth addiction or any drug addiction. My judgment of him and parents like him is not going to help solve the drug crisis in our country. But I believe my compassion, our compassion, has the ability to heal and change the path for many struggling with addiction.
Friends, if you are praying people, I hope you will start praying against the scourge of drugs in our country. Addiction is taking lives of precious humans made in the image of God, it is ripping children from their families, and it is stealing the souls of much of an entire generation. If you know someone struggling with addiction, please offer them empathy, support, and encouragement. If we start advocating for recovery for parents, I’ve no doubt we can save the lives of their children as well.