Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Troubled former NASCAR driver busted on meth charges

Posted By on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:42 AM

In an ongoing saga stretching back to at least 2009, former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield is back in the news, arrested Tuesday on charges of methamphetamine possession. Catawba County Sheriff's deputies went to his home with a search warrant after receiving a tip that Mayfield, 42, was in possession of stolen property. While searching the house, deputies say, they found drugs.

Here's what WBTV reported earlier today:

Mayfield was arrested in his home in the town of Catawba on possession of methamphetamine charges, according to the Catawba County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies had gone to Mayfield's home to execute a search warrant on a tip there were stolen goods in the house. During the search, deputies found the methamphetamine.

They also found items that may be stolen but deputies have not verified the items taken are in fact stolen property.

Mayfield has a scheduled court appearance Wednesday morning. His is out of jail on a $3,000 bond.

jeremymayfield.jpg
  • Photo by Darryl Moran
Mayfield's latest problems are a sad development in a story that began two years ago when NASCAR suspended him indefinitely after he failed a random drug test at the Richmond International Raceway. Mayfield blamed the positive results on his allergy medication and Adderal, which he said he took for Attention Deficit Disorder. Mayfield sued NASCAR but a judge threw out his case last year. More recently, Mayfield settled a slander and defamation lawsuit with his stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, who said the race-car driver had slandered her when he claimed publicly that she had something to do with his father's death. The driver's comments about his stepmother came after she had said in an affidavit that she'd seen him use meth at least 30 times and that he had even raced high.

This is all typical drama that comes when a family suffers from the disease of addiction. Notice that I said "when a family suffers" and not "a person." Whole families suffer from the disease of addiction, even if only one member is actually afflicted by it.

Some people look at a family like the Mayfields and laugh at their folly. Not me. I have all the empathy in the world for folks suffering from addiction, particularly those who, like Mayfield, live much of their lives in public. I know that a family suffering the horrors of addiction is no different from a family going through the trials that come with any other disease, including cancer or diabetes. It's not funny. At all.

I also know this: Until a guy like Jeremy Mayfield stops blaming family members, "faulty" drug tests and his employer for his addiction, he can never begin to heal. Every Monday night I visit with a group of guys who are trying to claw their way out of addiction and homelessness, and the statistics on their chances aren't good. Relapse ranges from 40 percent to 60 percent, based on severity of the addiction, the specific drugs of choice, length of treatment, and other factors, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Those numbers, however, are not all that different from the 30- to 50-percent relapse figures for people suffering from Type I diabetes. Addicts can and do recover.

NASCAR has a sketchy history, beginning as it did amid the Prohibition-era bootlegging business. Some of today's NASCAR stars can trace their lineage back to those days. None of them have to carry the addiction part of the equation into the present — unless they want to. Clearly, NASCAR itself has shown that it won't tolerate dirty drug tests. And that's a good thing.

I wish Jeremy Mayfield the best and hope he finds peace and may begin to heal. It could be that last night's arrest will give him the nudge he needs.

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