‘This drug can and will bring you to your knees’

I interviewed a Scottsdale resident many months ago about his new book release that shares insight about methamphetamine addiction.

‘Paranoia’ Almost Destroys Scottsdale Man

Published in the Ranch Report May 15, 2014 issue

The highly addictive drug methamphetamine brought one Scottsdale resident to his knees after losing everything and everyone in his life. But he found sobriety, and, using a penname, has released a self-help book about his experience.

“Paranoia: A Meth Memoir” is a gritty, tell-all book that exposes the cycle of “Stephen Mucci’s” addiction. It is available in bookstores nationwide and on Amazon.

“The book is very unblinking, a very graphic look at what life becomes like when people get involved in meth,” he said. “If this book makes one person say ‘I will never touch that drug,’ it was totally worth it.”

A Pennsylvania native, Mucci has lived in Scottsdale for the past five years after moving to the valley in 2001. He worked for state government offices for mental health and substance abuse services after earning his masters degree in social work at Florida State University.

After 25 years in the profession, he decided to make a career change and attended culinary school.

Mucci was not exposed to drugs until he attended culinary school, which changed his life forever. At the age of 48 he decided to try methamphetamine, thinking “I would just try it. No big deal.”

“I was Mr. Clean and then I went to culinary school,” he said. “Eighty-five percent of the people I went to culinary school with were alcoholics, addicts and dealers.”

What started off as a weekend binge, turned into an everyday addiction when he decided to do meth one Monday morning instead of going to work. The addiction lasted for three years.

He was able to support his habit through a divorce settlement and his 401K.

“I had at least a quarter of a million dollars and became an addict,” Mucci said. “I doesn’t matter who you are. This drug can and will bring you to your knees.”

The first time he was arrested for possession he went to drug court and was told if he attends treatment and stays clean for a year all charges would be dropped.

“They gave me a nice chance to do the right thing,” Mucci said. “But I didn’t. I went back to the drug and forgot about it. I ignored the court and I got caught again.”

He was given a nine-month sentence in jail and three years of probation. Soon, he was caught with the drug for a third time and sent to prison for three years. After a few days in prison, he decided to do something positive. The result is “Paranoia: A Meth Memoir.”

Mucci said his story is told in three parts – the addictive qualities of meth, how destructive it can be and that the addiction can be beat.

He has been clean for five years.

“I feel wonderful,” he said. “I have never been happier and healthier in my life. I feel like I am doing something good with a good purpose.”