The Prevalence of Meth Use in the LGBT Community
It has long-since been known that the LGBT community has grappled with the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS, and spreading awareness has become an integral component of national risk reduction. However, the exacerbated issue of methamphetamine abuse and addiction throughout the LGBT community seems to be pretty consistently swept under the rug. The majority of American citizens would likely still consider meth a ‘poor man’s drug’, reserved for the corn-eating Indiana hillbillies and the street-walking single mothers of impoverished inner-cities. Truth be told, meth addiction has rapidly become five to 10 times more likely amongst urban, bisexual, middle-class men than amongst any other portion of the U.S. population. This statistic, reported by the International Antiviral Society-USA in 2006, has increased significantly since its release. Still, the general public seems to fail to see just how devastatingly intertwined the still prevalent HIV diagnoses and the rampant meth use throughout the LGBT community truly are.
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Meth Addiction in the Gay Community
Why do gay men begin using meth in the first place? The underground gay scene has been heavily saturated with excessive meth use since the late 80s, when the drug first became popular for its ability to dramatically enhance sexual pleasure while helping men last significantly longer. ‘Party and Play’ became a popular method of anonymously hooking up in the gay community around the same time meth made a major appearance – gay men (closeted, most of the time), would get together in bath houses or underground clubs and do a lot of meth and have a lot of sex. Because meth use typically goes hand-in-hand with a lack of responsible decision making, adequate protection was rarely used. Thus, HIV became an even greater issue throughout the community, as did a host of other blood-borne diseases passed through both unprotected sex and needle sharing.
85% of Meth Users Become Chronically Relapsing Addicts
85% of meth users will be unable to restrict their use to the weekends for very long, inevitably becoming chronic meth users within a short matter of months. The consequences of meth use are not merely limited to the spreading of potentially life-threatening diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Because meth use gains momentum so rapidly, everyday users must often resort to morally compromising means of obtaining the money they need to support their habit. This often includes pawning possessions, stealing from loved ones, and the selling of one’s own body for money or drugs. Families are torn apart, careers are lost, and physical health deteriorates rapidly. Those who are engaging in meth use as a major part of their closeted lifestyles will likely attempt to hide use, leading to a vicious cycle of dishonesty and secrecy. Because many of the men who engage in meth use are doing so to partake in an underground scene they are far from willing to talk about openly, many do not wind up seeking the professional help they so desperately need.
If you or someone you know has been experimenting with meth use, or is struggling with severe meth addiction, help is available. Please contact one of our representatives today for a list of meth addiction treatment programs available to you.