For most 12-year-olds, even in today’s complicated times, the biggest worries of the day come in the form of grade stress or whether or not the team tryout or play audition went well. Perhaps the overwhelming desire to place in the junior livestock show substantially preoccupies preteen minds.

For Tom Anderson, that was the age when he first tried methamphetamine. (Tom Anderson is not his real name. He agreed to tell his story only if he could remain anonymous.)

It was given to him by a high-school aged co-worker during a shift they were both working at a Graham establishment he would not name. 

“He asked me if I wanted to try some, so I did,” Anderson related. “I didn’t like it, and then he said there was another way to do it.”


That’s when, at the ripe young age of 12, Tom Anderson began shooting meth into his veins. He preferred that method to snorting it up his nose. He said that the first time he injected the drug, he was hooked.

“It just electrified my whole insides,” he related. “It made me feel powerful, like I could do anything. I could go nonstop for weeks on end without sleep.”

For the next two decades, Anderson was a regular user, secretly getting high while the bulk of his direct family remained ignorant of his activity. 

The story of his daily routine as an addict reads like that of a disciplined go-getter, except for the fact that what drove him to do anything was the pursuit of more meth. 

He would lie in bed most nights but wouldn’t sleep. He would get out of bed at 4:30 a.m., do a shot of meth, eat breakfast, do another shot, go to work, do another shot during lunch, and so on and so on.  

Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.

Part two of the introductory report will appear in the next edition of the Graham Leader.