Grafton: In prison, man haunted by meth addiction

11:50 PM, Nov 16, 2012   |    comments
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GRAFTON -- Lynwood Andrick is not looking for sympathy. He simply wants to caution others about the perils of meth use.

Andrick, a 40-year-old father and husband, is fighting to overcome his meth addiction every day.

He first tried the powerful drug in his late twenties.  He says he would get high to escape painful memories of his youth.

"I wasn't trying to change my life. I had the attitude that I was going to go back out and if I made or did drugs again, so be it," Andrick said.

Andrick spoke to Channel 3 News from inside the Grafton Correctional Institution, where he is serving the remaining four years of a six year prison sentence.

Andrick has a string of convictions related to methamphetamine use, from possession to illegal manufacturing.

Ten times as addictive as cocaine, police say methamphetamine causes a dangerous high that can last for many days. 

Experts say it is an extremely difficult drug habit to break.

Andrick's experience with the drug came to a head in 2010, when he and another meth user went to a home on Black Street in Akron, and began cooking meth in an upstairs room.

The combination of highly flammable, toxic chemicals caused an explosion.

The blast was powerful enough to blow a hole in the room, and gave Andrick severe burns across his body.

Doctors at Akron Children's Hospital intubated Andrick, and he was placed in a coma.

When well-enough to be released from the hospital, police filed charges against Andrick.

But before his sentencing to prison at the Grafton Correctional Institution, Andrick was back on the street, doing meth again.

He says he understands why people would believe he can't change. 

"It tore my life apart. It is still tearing my daughter's life apart. My wife's life apart, because I'm not there. It can be stopped," he said.

What he hopes, is that hearing his story of a near death experience, and another chance to change himself, will impact someone struggling with their own addiction.

"The guy that's out there still making meth, he needs to stop. Whether he's doing it for money, addiction or power. He's going to lose everything in his life. Pretty soon he's going to be an old man in prison. All alone, or in a grave," Andrick said.

Andrick has four more years in prison to work on beating his addiction.  He takes Narcotics Anonymous classes, and goes to Bible study every week.

He knows that won't be enough once his release date comes.

Andrick made a flyer of himself in the hospital bed, bandaged and hooked up to machines.  He's sent it police, judges, and treatment centers, with a message of conquering meth, before it conquers you.

"Over the next four years, I hope that I discipline myself. I gain back and respect responsibility.

He'll have to work every day to stay away from the people who influenced him to use and make meth. 

Officer Chris Crockett, with Akron Police's Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team, has encouraged Andrick to put a picture of his daughter in his jail cell.

That way the picture will be the first thing he sees when he wakes up and the last thing he sees when he goes to sleep.

"I believe he wants to be done. He wants to be out of this methamphetamine world, but his addiction is still there," said Crockett.

APD's CLET team has already busted 160 meth labs this year, on track to hit 200 by the year's end. That's close to triple the number of busts in 2011.

WKYC-TV

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