"I guess I didn't even know what it was at the time and I fell in love instantly. I knew I was hooked from the first time I did it," said Courtney Erickson, of Chippewa Falls.
One hit of meth was all it took to hook then 18 year old Erickson and it took her fast. In the blink of an eye, she went from future college student, to a daily meth user who would stop at nothing to get her fix.
"You can't really live without it. You can't get up in the morning without dope. Your life becomes living from one fix to the next," said Erickson.
Now 26 years old, Courtney says the only time she's been sober in the last 8 years, was during 2 different pregnancies with her 2 daughters.
That was perhaps the only time her kids were protected from the effects of meth, they would soon begin witnessing first hand, the day to day life of a meth addict.
"I know it's hurt them a lot, you know, they've seen a lot of things and been through a lot of things that no children should have been through," said Erickson.
That includes the arrest of their own mother. In the summer of 2011, Courtney was deep into her addiction, living in a small Clark County house, where meth was being manufactured.
She knew the police were watching the house and on June 2nd, the hammer came down.
"My daughter and I were standing on the porch when the officers pulled up and I played the scenario in my head a lot of times prior to that happening. What I would do? Would I run? Would I struggle?" said Erickson.
Courtney didn't run, nor did she struggle. She was arrested...and in many ways she was relieved.
"I remember a couple of nights prior to this, just being on my knees praying, god get me out of this," said Erickson
Courtney and others faced several drug charges, including manufacturing methamphetamine and maintaining a drug trafficking place.
At the time of this interview, Courtney had been in the Clark County Jail for more than 7 months. She lost custody of her children, who were able to stay with her parents.
Courtney will have to take parenting classes and AODA assessments to officially regain custody.
She says her time in jail has helped her realize her mistakes and helped her get clean. Courtney says she feels as good as she ever has and looks forward to getting out and getting her kids back.
"I just have a dream of having my own place, with my kids, it's not really a big dream, but just being all together again," said Erickson.
Even further down the line, Courtney says she would like to become a drug counselor and help other addicts who may feel like there's no hope for them. Like she once felt.
"I have some pretty gruesome stories. I've lived through a lot of stuff that's just unimaginable to most people and if I can help one person that was feeling the way that I felt, then this would all have been worth it," said Erickson.
Those dreams still seem so far away for Courtney, who says right now, she has to work on her own recovery.
Erickson was released from the Clark County Jail on January 27, 2012, after more than 7 months served.
Newschannel 7 spoke to her parents who tell us, she is currently in Illinois going through a rehab program.
They say they're cautiously optimistic about their daughter's recovery, but say, they're going to take it one day at a time.
If you missed the first part of series Click here.
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