What's the Message?
Excerpts From Two Online Meth Information Sources
"No matter what you call it, it's death... death that can be smoked, snorted, injected or eaten."
"You become so obsessed with meth that nothing else matters. You suffer drastic weight loss because eating isn't important -- your teeth rot -- your brain and practically every other organ in your body corrode and malfunction -- your skin is marked by dark infected sores because you pick at the imaginary 'bugs' under your skin. In short, you look like a walking corpse from a Nazi concentration camp. But you don't look that way long... because the life expectancy of a habitual meth user is only 5 years."
"Meth is dangerous and deadly for a lot of reasons. First, there's the fact that 99% of first-time meth users are hooked after the first try. (So if you think you're tough enough to 'try it' and walk away, you better WAKE UP!) Add onto that the news that somewhere around 90% to 95% of people who do try to kick the drug, end up running right back to it -- even after staying clean for several months."
"There's a war going on. The enemy is methamphetamine. The victims are innocent children, women, and men. Like it or not, YOU are a soldier in this war. You can either let the enemy gain even more ground, or you can fight back. Here's how:"
"First, DON'T START METH. Don't even 'experiment' with that first hit. Because if you do, then you've joined the enemy... an enemy who will use you, then kill you."
"Another way to fight meth is to be aware of users. Know them by their appearance and behavior. It might be a stranger, friend, or family member."
Developed by MMA Creative for the Tennessee District Attorneys General Association
"Believe it or not, some people don't like speed. They try it once or twice and decide it's not for them. These people 'used' speed. Other people try it, like it but don't want to do it very often. A couple of times a year is just fine with them and they're able to keep it to that. Others like it 'too much' and know they've got to limit the times that they do it. These are all example of people who use crystal."
"Keep in mind that even if someone uses highly addictive substances like speed, or nicotine, they can quickly cross the lines into abuse or dependency -- sometimes without knowing they've just crossed that line. There are no guarantees -- using speed can be like playing with fire."
"How Do You Know if You've Crossed the Line and You're in Trouble or Heading for Trouble?"
"When you look at yourself in the mirror and can't look yourself in the eyes.
You tell someone you love him and within 5 minutes you tell them that you hate him.
You help a friend for hours, looking for something that you actually stole.
You spend 3 hours walking around Walmart, and all you end up buying is some duct tape and Q-Tips."
"When You're Cutting Back or Trying to Stop Using"
"It takes about 12 days from your last use for the brain chemistry and body systems to get back into normal mode. Cutting back the frequency of your use may be the way to go."
"Cutting down frequency can mean lengthening the time between use -- from bump to bump or run to run; the more time you take off from speed use the better for your body and mind."
"Maybe you can extend the time between hits? Wait 20 minutes this time then 30 minutes the next time and so on. Maybe you'll find you don't actually want or need that next hit."
"Ask your friends who don't use to do stuff with you on days you usually use. Periodically but regularly breaking the pattern may lead to less frequent use."
Back to the GMHC Treatment Issues July/August 2005 contents page.
This article was provided by Gay Men's Health Crisis. It is a part of the publication GMHC Treatment Issues. Visit GMHC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.