Crystal meth

Old Jun 28, 05, 5:47 pm
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Crystal meth

I was reading an article in the local newspaper a couple of weeks ago, going on about the dangers of crystal meth, and how it's causing a small epidemic of deaths. Especially among the gay community.

According to the article, gay men are obtaining it and going off for whatever, sometimes using it to have sex for hours or even days.

Days?!

I didn't think this was physically possible.

I recall that amyl nitrate ("poppers") was popular some years ago, but I suspect it was a much shorter-lived experiential booster.

Look; as a sad man (sad = not gay), I don't keep up with this stuff. But something like this that can (apparently) be fatal doesn't seem like the kind of thing anyone would want to be fooling around with. Then again, there's also a lot of unprotected sex going on these days, too, even though people certainly know better. <sigh>

Can anyone tell me if this is in common use? Is it really dangerous, or is this another "Reefer Madness" scare. We're going out to SFO in a couple of months for another fun visit with my son and his partner, and I was wondering if there were any obvious danger signs I should be on the lookout for.
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Old Jun 28, 05, 6:11 pm
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Well, BigLar, I can assure you that there are at least two men in SFO not doing crystal meth

Actually, I know you are asking a serious question, and here is a serious response:

Yes, crystal meth is a major problem in the gay community. Substance abuse in general is a major problem in the gay community, including alcohol and tobacco along with all the "drugs" we hear so much about. Not a surprise, given the challenges of being "different" in a country that is getting louder and louder about telling us that we are immoral, degenerate, unworthy of equality, etc. etc. etc.

Gay men, lesbians, transgendered people, transexual people (there is a difference), bisexual, questioning or queer people, regardless of race (which really can complicate things) have a long history of trying to cope with self-hatred and self-image problems because of society's continuing messages of what we are is not "acceptable" to them. As a result, many have turned to chemical methods of making things seem better.

In reality, there are crystal meth users, heroin users, pot smokers, vicodin abusers, etc. in ALL walks of life. You may have one next door, or in the cubicle or office next to you at work. Sexual orientation is only a minor player in the substance abuse problems of America.

If you raised your son to the best of your ability, you should know his opinion of drugs. Go to SFO, give him love, understanding and respect for who he is and include his partner as you would a daughter-in-law if things had been different. I've lived in SFO most of my life, and you can find the dark side if you look for it, but you can also find a wonderful, loving, bright community - that one is MUCH easier to see if your eyes are open!

Regards..
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Old Jun 28, 05, 7:29 pm
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Please don't lay the crystal meth problem on the gay community. It is a huge problem in straight communities in the midwest. Missouri and Iowa have the highest number of meth lab busts, followed by California.
Most meth addicts are straight not gay. Unfortunately, some gay people have very low self esteem and feel that punishing themselves for their orientation is the best way to deal with their self-hate.
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Old Jun 28, 05, 11:33 pm
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We don't know your son and his partner so we can't tell you whether he's using, but the fact that he's gay definitely doesn't correlate with a likelihood that he is using crystal meth (or any other drug). Believe me, the vast majority of us don't. Just like the vast majority of straight people don't. Yes, there are statistics to show that gay people are more at risk to abuse drugs for the reasons spelled out by the above posters, but you must remember that those using drugs are still most certainly a small minority of the gay community.

Now, to answer your question, warning signs of addiction to meth would be extreme thinness, bad teeth, way too much energy, not sleeping... do a Google search for meth addiction and you'll find out more. Meth is a terrible scourge; it ruins lives and peoples' future.

Once again though, I want to emphasize that suspecting your son and his partner are using meth simply because they are gay men living in San Francisco is an unfair correlation. Unless your son has abused drugs in the past or there are other facts you haven't told us I'd suggest you forget all about this and have a great time in SFO with the two of them!!
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Old Jun 28, 05, 11:40 pm
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Another point is that (imho) there is no such thing as the "gay community", any more than there is a "straight community" (I may be getting into a bigger topic here). There are gay communities and it's certainly not the case that crystal meth is common across all gay people and all places that gay people go. If your son enjoys going out to clubs with his partner where you live, then he'll probably be aware that substance abuse exists and be able to deal with that appropriately. If he's of the few-martinis-then-a-nice-meal-before-bed community, it's unlikely that he'll be exposed to crystal meth or any other form of illegal drugs.

I don't know where you live, but I doubt he'll be in any more risk in SFO than anywhere else - in fact, possibly less so given that the club/gay community is probably more mature there than in many other cities.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 1:49 am
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I donít want to get into a debate about drugs illicit or legal but I do know some people do them on occasion and do so responsibly. What they choose to do is their decision so long as it doesnít impact on others. Yes crystal is a big problem and very addictive and yes you can have sex for hours (not sure about days) and like other amphetamines, it keeps you awake and suppresses your appetite. It sounds like you have a good enough relationship with your son to be able to talk about this issue even if you donít suspect he is in any danger. Perhaps he can allay your fears if you just tell him that you would be very worried if he got caught up in such a drug. If he were having a problem then you will need to give him lots of support and above all, love to help him with his addiction like any other drug dependency.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 8:10 am
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Why would you suspect your son of using crystal meth? Have you noticed some behavioral changes? Crystal is highly, highly addictive and users will uncharacteristically let go of everything in their lives which had been important to them. Also, apart from the physical changes already listed, abusers tend to have bad skin and over time, the abuse can permanently deform the face.

Oh, and I've never heard of users being able to have sex for days, but it can allow you to stay awake for days on end.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 8:14 am
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BigLar, there was a pretty even-handed look at crystal meth abuse among gay men in particular in a recent New Yorker... http://www.newyorker.com/fact/conten.../050523fa_fact

David
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Old Jun 29, 05, 9:42 am
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I appreciate everyone's comments.

No, I don't suspect them of using drugs. I ran across the article, and seemed to zero in on meth abuse in the gay subculture. And, yeah, I fully appreciate the arguments of chaunceysf, which is why we went out of our way to avoid that kind of crap when the kids were growing up. But their house is usually full of their friends when we visit, and I can be terribly naive when it comes to stuff like this.
Originally Posted by chauceysf
If you raised your son to the best of your ability, you should know his opinion of drugs. Go to SFO, give him love, understanding and respect for who he is and include his partner as you would a daughter-in-law if things had been different.
Let me tell you about his "coming out":

We were all at an outdoor art festival --

My Son : "Mom?"
Mom : "Yeah, babe?"
MS : "Uh ... I'm gay."
M : "I know, honey."
MS : "You do? ....... Well, what about dad?"
M : "He's the one who told me."
Ms : "Huh? When did he find out?"
M : "I think he knew before you did."
MS : "Oh. ......... Now what do I do?"

We don't have any problems in the love and understanding department.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 9:44 am
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I believe that meth users also have a weirdly chemical and strong body odor. But aside from that, I don't know any other signs. I second Chauncey's post.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by BigLar
My Son : "Mom?"
Mom : "Yeah, babe?"
MS : "Uh ... I'm gay."
M : "I know, honey."
MS : "You do? ....... Well, what about dad?"
M : "He's the one who told me."
Ms : "Huh? When did he find out?"
M : "I think he knew before you did."
MS : "Oh. ......... Now what do I do?"
^ Thanks for making my day

Tina (crystal meth) is a pervasive topic of conversation amongst gay men (ahem, anything that enhances sex, right?) and while most of us joke about it or have tried it (I haven't), the stuff is addictive enough that if "experimenting" becomes "addiction", you can definitely tell...

Personally, I don't think I would enjoy sex stoned, high, or (really) drunk so I just don't go there. But to each his/her own

And one other thing, if your relationship with your son is not short on the love/understanding department, I would just ask or say "I read about something the other day that concerned me a lot and wanted to let you know I love you..." or something like that. If my parents asked me point-blank or skirted around the issue of drugs indirectly, I wouldn't be offended. In fact, I'd be elated that they care/know enough to ask.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by anonplz
I believe that meth users also have a weirdly chemical and strong body odor. But aside from that, I don't know any other signs. I second Chauncey's post.
1. Chauncey's post was VERY well articulated.

2. Meth users experience hyperactivity, sometimes for days, followed by a crash. Meth discolors their teeth and often results in "vomit breath" that remains even after brushing teeth and mouthwash. The speeding of metabolism burns calories, resulting in weight loss. The user's mind races and the user often has an inability to focus on any subject. This is readily apparent in conversation.

3. Meth is highly addictive. It is doubtful that an addict could obstain during a family visit.

4. In the straight world, it is "meth" or "crystal meth". Many gay men know it as "Crystal", "Christina", "Tina", or simply "T".

It sounds like you have good communication with your son. There is no better deterrent than loving and supportive family and friends.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 10:35 am
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To Answer Your Original Questions

Is it's use common? Well, alot depends on where you are (I am referring only to what I know about the gay community, not rural america.) If you are a circuit event or a similar late night early morning event, you will most definitely see it. For example the after hours parties at Gay Days did not start until 2 or 3 in the morning. To be fair I am sure there are many people at these types of events who are not on Tina, but I also know that many are. If you are going to a professional gay meeting of some sort you will probably not find it.

Is it dangerous? Simply put yes, it is very dangerous for several reasons. Probably the most important reason is that it is highly addictive. I recently finished a book call Tweakers: How Crystal Meth is Ravaging Gay Ammerica and some of the statistics they mentioned were alarming. I do not remember the exact numbers but it was something like 40% of those who try it once will do it a second time and of those who do it a second time 80% will become habitual users (not necessarily addicts.) The second reason that it is dangerous is because of the crash that occurs when you stop using. There are several websites that can tell you of the chemical reactions that occur, suffice to say it ain't pretty. Another problem? People on Tina tend to loose their inhibititions with regard to sex. Sex on Tina is supposed to be incredible and that is part of the problem. Multiple partners and being a little less vigilent in safe sex procudures can have some tragic results. Not to say that this is the case with everyone or a generalization by any stretch as I know people who have/do take crystal and make very rational decisions regarding sex.

Why is it so popular? Several reasons, it is relatively inexpensive, it provides you with a lot of energy (especially good for parties that go on for hours until well into the morning hours.) It also curbs your appetite, which is why experts notice younger girls using it, to loose weight. And as mentioned above the ability to lose one's inhibititions, providing a sense of freedom.

As with everything this realy does come down to a personal choice. I personally have never done it (and would not even consider trying it.) I have just done a fair amount of research on it for personal reasons.
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Old Jun 29, 05, 3:02 pm
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Geez, you seem to have a gaggle of gays running around, BigLar.

The NY Times did a story on "meth mouth" a couple weeks ago. Here's a nice picture:
http://www.biologicshow.com/images/m...uth_050611.jpg (don't click this link if you don't want to be disgusted)
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Old Jun 29, 05, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Doppy
Geez, you seem to have a gaggle of gays running around, BigLar.

The NY Times did a story on "meth mouth" a couple weeks ago. Here's a nice picture:
http://www.biologicshow.com/images/m...uth_050611.jpg (don't click this link if you don't want to be disgusted)
Ick. This is how naive I am - I don't even know what form it comes in. Is it a powder or a pill or what? Does it come in a vial or do you smoke it or what?
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