|Crystal meth is an intensive stimulant with disinhibitory qualities. Crystal meth is one street form of the drug, methamphetamine hydrochloride, which comes in clear, chunky crystals, which are then inhaled or smoked. It can be easily produced in small, clandestine labs, sometimes in a kitchen or bathroom, by mixing a cocktail of about 15 substances, mostly pseudoephedrine (a cold remedy), red phosphorous and iodine, but also including ammonia, paint thinner, ether, Drano and the lithium from batteries. This has made crystal meth a widespread problem in the United States and many people have found themselves addicted to this powerful drug.|
It is known by many names such as "ice," "speed," "meth," "crank," "glass," and others but often has the same disastrous results on the individual taking the drug. It is a white powder that tastes bitter but is odorless in its powdered form. The drug can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed to deliver the high.
According to mental health workers, police and research scientists, the people who use crystal meth include:
•Large numbers of rural and small town poor across North America.
•Some young people in the rave and dance scene.
•Some young people who want to lose weight.
•Gay males involved in the dance scene or who frequent bathhouses.
Addiction experts say crystal meth first became popular in poor areas of rural North America for a number of reasons. It was a cheap high and, in initial stages of use, it actually gave the energy that allowed the user to keep working. It was also considered "cool" by young people who did not have big-city connections to other street drugs.
A recent Statistics “Canada survey of teenagers” showed that among those who answered questions about drug use:
•34 per cent had tried marijuana.
•4 per cent had used ecstasy.
•3 per cent had used crack cocaine.
•2 per cent had used crystal meth.
•1 per cent had used heroin.
Effects of Crystal Meth
“Crystal meth is an amphetamine drug that both stimulates and disinhibits, and like all amphetamines it can increase your heart rate, increase your blood pressure, raise your body temperature and cause seizures. Viagra dilates your blood vessels, and the overall stress on your heart from combining these drugs can put a dangerous strain on your heart, increasing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.” For HIV Positive, it’s thought, meth use carries other health risks. Doctors are concerned that crystal meth’s interaction with HAART could result in an accidental meth overdose.
HIV positive meth users become ill more quickly than they would have otherwise, take longer to recover from infections and respond poorly to HIV treatments.
Crystal use has already had serious consequences for the US gay community and is all too rapidly spreading through the UK. It has been around for a while, but with new drugs like Viagra overcoming crystal’s tendency to make you temporarily impotent, despite being horny, it’s never been more popular. Meth users experience a feeling of exhilaration, alertness and heightened sexual desire.
US call it PNP (Party ‘n Play), in the UK we call it ‘chem sex’, but it means the same - taking drugs to enhance 1-2-1 or group sex. Crystal meth already has the ability to disinhibit and increase sexual desire; add other drugs into the mix and invite real trouble. “Crystal meth makes people horny but it also makes it difficult to get a hard on,” says Dr Gavin Yamey, senior editor of US medical journal PloS Medicine. “That’s why some crystal meth users also take Viagra.”
Gay men mix Viagra with crystal meth, in addition to other party drugs, at circuit parties, according to a study by the federal Centers for Disease Control
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