Due to its highly addictive nature, the street drug crystal meth methamphetamine; also known as "ice," "crank" and "Tina" has become a threat to the health of some people at risk for or who have HIV. Before delving into research on recovering from crystal meth, we first provide some background about the effects of this drug, some of which may be surprising. Smoking, snorting or injecting crystal meth can result in a prolonged and intense high. Many users initially report feelings of euphoria, increased energy, alertness, heightened awareness, reduced appetite and enhanced sexual pleasure. All of these effects can make self-medicating with crystal meth an alluring possibility for some people who have the following problems:. Researchers in San Diego have been conducting research with people who use crystal meth.
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The use of crystal methamphetamine has reached epidemic proportions among gay and bisexual men, and Bay Area health officials are warning that the mantra of HIV prevention - safe sex - has been drowned out by a raucous scene of loud party music, cheap meth and reckless intercourse. Health experts estimate that up to 40 percent of gay men in San Francisco have tried crystal meth, a powerful form of what's commonly known as speed. Even more alarming, a Health Department study last year found that at one high- risk clinic, 25 percent to 30 percent of those with new HIV infections reported crystal meth use in the previous six months. At a meeting about crystal meth in Sacramento last month, the state's top AIDS and HIV prevention officials came up with the smoking gun of all statistics: Gay men in California who use speed are twice as likely to be HIV- positive than gays who don't use it.
A Japanese chemist first synthesized methamphetamine—also called meth, crank, crystal meth or speed—from another stimulant in Methamphetamine was used early on as a medical treatment for narcolepsy, asthma and as a weight-loss drug. After the war, meth use increased dramatically, even after it was outlawed by the United States in
Bob looked haggard but was feeling fabulous. Chewing gum at a manic clip, circling the labyrinthine halls of the West Side Club on a recent Sunday afternoon, he had been awake since Friday, thanks to a glassine pouch of crystalline powder he had tucked beneath the mattress of a room he rented in this Chelsea bathhouse. The powder, known as methamphetamine, or crystal meth, had helped Bob conquer a half-dozen sex partners during a hour binge. Like many of the men cruising the two-level club lined with closet-size cubicles, Bob, a year-old advertising copywriter, was ''tweaking,'' high on a wildly addictive stimulant that has been sweeping through Manhattan's gay ghettos. Asked about condoms and the niceties of safe sex, Bob shrugged.