methampethatmine

Melinda McDowell had used drugs since she was a teenager. But she didn't try methamphetamine until one fateful night in 2017 after her mother died suddenly of a stroke. She went to a neighbor's house and he had crystal meth.

"I tried it and I was hooked from the first hit," McDowell says. "It was an explosion of the senses. It was the biggest high I'd ever experienced."

In the 25 years since she snorted her first line of methamphetamine at a club in San Francisco, Kim has redefined "normal" many times. At first, she says, it seemed like meth brought her back to her true self — the person she was before her parents divorced, and before her stepfather moved in.

"I felt normal when I first did it, like, 'Oh! There I am,' " she says.

For the second time in three years, life expectancy in the U.S. has ticked downward. In three reports issued Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laid out a series of statistics that revealed some troubling trend lines — including rapidly increasing rates of death from drug overdoses and suicide.

CDC Director Robert Redfield described the data as "troubling."

Dr. Gregory Gooden of Winter Haven was arrested Thursday on charges he wrote prescriptions for pain pills in exchange for methamphetamine and cash, the Orlando Sentinel reports.