I am writing this letter to those people who use “meth” and think that they can get away with it. My name is Ralph Isaac Teran, an ex-gang member and ex-meth user. You see, my drug use started when I was 16 years old and in high school.
When using, I felt unstoppable, untouched, running away from home, from my family. Running the streets was my solution at the time, and to top it off I was running with a gang. So I had no worries. My parents tried to put me in the right path. At that time I was not wanting to do what was right. To me what was right was hanging out with the wrong people and using drugs. To me the gang was my family and meth was my best friend.
When I turned 18, I went to jail, not thinking that I was hurting my family. In the long run, I would hurt myself. But the wrong friends and meth had me thinking it was “cool” to be in jail. And to make it even better and cooler I made it to state prison. But in all actuality I was distancing myself from my real family (friends).
At the time, I wanted to be known and respected in the wrong lifestyle. I found out that it’s all about meth. As my life progressed I developed a monster within myself. I had a drug problem, to where I had to have it when I wanted it. And those who know me from my past life know I always had it. I had no worries at that time. Being on parole, I had my mind focused on selling drugs to stay high, and act like I was clean for state parole.
Let me just say all that did not keep me free forever. I was back into prison custody in no time. From August 1999 until present, I have been in custody all but three years.
I did accomplish one thing: It was departing from the gang life. I realized I had no friends. My dad (R.I.P) Tobias Teran used to tell me, “You have money, a car, you have friends; but when you have nothing you have no friends, Mijo.” My only friend is my blood (family). But after the gang life I only settled with the better half of my monster, my drug addiction.
Meth has deprived me of so much: a lot of family gatherings, barbecues, birthdays, family trips and just being able to spend quality time with my son, whom I love very much. All that I threw away because I would rather sit and smoke meth.
Now I sit here in county jail, away from my son, mom, brothers and fiancé Lori, looking at doing another seven years in state prison, guess what for, meth!
But I have done something positive in my life, even though around me some doubt my new change, inside of me I feel that I have. Accepting Jesus Christ into my life has been a great blessing, a new feeling towards life. I just want to share with those people who find themselves in my shoes. If you are using meth, get help. Don’t do like I did and find out the hard way. Get help; you are not alone. You can overcome this disease from the devil. Nip it in the bud.
And for those who think that they can never fall victim like I did ... news flash, you are wrong! You are headed down a path of self destruction. Stop, think and realize that using meth keeps you away from living and enjoying life the way God wanted you to live it, with peace on earth.
I will end with this small but big note: meth is death.
Ralph Isaac Teran,
soldier for Christ, Madera Department of Corrections