SIOUX FALLS, SD -
Sitting in her apartment in Sioux Falls on Monday, Jeanne Ford makes one thing clear: she lives for her children and grandchildren.
"I'm looking at a picture of my kids right now," Jeanne Ford said, smiling.
Ford's life was far from picture perfect. When she was 18, she tried methamphetamine at a party. It seemed simple at the time.
"It was pretty much on a bet. On a dare," Ford said. "As soon as it hit the back of my head, I was off and running. I loved it. I absolutely loved it."
The initial rush came and went and led to more meth. Ford used and sold meth on and off for 25 years. She tried to quit, but describes coming down from the drug came with deep depression, aches and pains, constant headaches and what seemed like agony. Eventually, she was using meth more like a basic need, like eating when you are hungry. All she cared about was finding that next high. Her struggles with the drug devastated her body and almost destroyed her family.
"I gave my daughter up when she was 14. I lost all contact with my son. I lost my family. I was basically homeless. I had nothing. I lost everything," Ford said.
She found a way back to the top when she hit rock bottom.
Ford: I was suicidal. I was sitting in my apartment and I looked up at the ceiling and I said, 'Here's the deal, God. I'm trying to OD (overdose). Can you please take me or put me in jail? I'm not doing it on my own.' 48 hours later, I was in jail.
Brady Mallory: Do you think God answered your prayer?
Ford: I know God answered my prayer.
After a few months in jail, probation and two years at Tallgrass Recovery, Ford completely changed her life and has been clean for the last three years. Ford lives for her children and grandchildren. Giving up meth was the toughest battle of her life, and though she hopes they find help, she does not judge people who have been busted for meth.
"You can't just stop it. And if I could just help one person out there to not use or get off it. It's the devil's drug," Ford said.
There are a number of treatment facilities for men and women trying to quit a number of substances: Glory House, Keystone Rehab Alcohol Treatment Center, Face It Together, Carroll Institute, Volunteers of America. Ford does not want to go back to a life of drug use, and every day is a challenge. She still goes to counseling and surrounds herself with people who are a strong support system. Not everyone is ready to get clean, but in Ford's case, a mental picture is a powerful reminder of what she almost missed.
"Being clean and sober has given me my life back. I've got a good relationship with my children, with my grand babies. My dad's back in my life. I've got a life again. A good life," Ford said.
That is worth a lot.
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