Originally posted in: http://www.prideinstituteflorida.com/our-weblog/archive/September-2010/
Say you just came out. You want to make friends so you go to the clubs. You meet some interesting people. You want to fit in so you learn what “partying” is. Everybody is doing it so you start using crystal meth. You loose your inhibitions and your sex drive is insatiable. You have unprotected sex with multiple partners and become HIV positive.
Or you like to experiment. You love living on the edge and are always looking for the next great high. You find crystal meth. It gets you to cloud nine while you’re using and to heaven when you’re having sex. It’s too addictive. You use more crystal meth and have more sex. Before you know it, you test HIV+.
Perhaps you’re in a high-pressure job or in school with mounting academic and financial obligations. You just want a reprieve. Crystal Meth is your safe haven. When you’re on it, all your concerns and worries melt away. You don’t care what you’re doing and who you are with. It turns out one of the people you were with was HIV+ and you had unprotected sex.
Maybe you’re already HIV+ and you feel isolated and alone. You’ve been turned down because of your status. You start to use crystal meth to alleviate the rejections. Normally, you would have safe sex but when you’re using, everything is on an equal playing field. You don’t care anymore.
Regardless of the scenario and rest assured there are many more, research and statistics overwhelmingly show that crystal meth addiction augments the rate of HIV transmission, especially in the GLBT community. To cope with the stigmatization and ostracism of being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, many use crystal meth to make themselves feel good. Users fail to realize the good feelings are temporary while the damages can be long lasting, if not deadly.
Using crystal meth lowers your inhibitions and as a result, you engage in risky behaviors. Increased risk increases your chances of contracting HIV. Drugs, like crystal meth, may feel like they alleviate pain or suffering but like a bandage, they only offer temporary relief while the deeper underlying emotional and psychological wound continue to fester.
But many crystal meth users have found a way to break the addiction. With a combination of psychotherapy, medical and psychiatric treatments and a strong support system, crystal meth addicts can turn their lives around and find the happiness that had eluded them in the past. They learn new coping strategies and a healthy approach to dealing with life’s adversity.
Addiction is never easy to overcome, especially with crystal meth. But there are solutions to help overcome the addiction. Help is out there. You don’t have to ask for help, all you have to do is come in.