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The price of Tina mounts within gay community

By |2018-01-16T00:08:41-05:00October 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|

John Leone watched helplessly as his young cousin, a successful engineer at Ford Motor Co., was consumed by a crystal meth addiction.
Within six months, the drug took his life.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon tale, and Leone is reminded of that in his work overseeing a weekly crystal meth addiction support group in Ferndale.
Crystal doesn’t discriminate. It’s found in rural towns, with soccer moms, and has crept into the gay community with deadly consequences. Through films like “Gia” and a new expose and meth memoir by Patrick Moore called “Tweaked,” crystal is receiving more and more exposure about its devastating effects.
“I think addiction is a spiritual disease,” Moore told The Advocate magazine this month. “The inclination to use drugs, at least for me, came out of a feeling of not belonging – not being connected to some feeling of well-being.”
If a friend or family member is using crystal meth, Moore recommends letting them go.
“You have to tell them that you can’t be in their life,” he said. “There is nothing you can do to help them. They are the only person who can help themselves.”
This week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that people who use crystal methamphetamine are at least three times more likely to be infected with HIV than those who don’t use the drug, according to a new government-sponsored study.
The drug is popular in the gay community because of its energy boost and link to increased sexual activity. But the fallout is an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections.
According to Craig Covey, CEO of the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project in Ferndale, there is no recent data on meth use in Michigan’s LGBT community. Covey said that a survey done two years ago showed that 9 percent of gay men statewide had used meth at least once – double the number from the same survey in 1997.
These numbers clearly indicate the making of an epidemic – and the increase in one that already exists: HIV. The powerful stimulant in meth leaves many users with lowered inhibitions. Chat room users go as far as seeking out those looking to “Party and Play,” also known as PnP. Party meaning snorting, smoking or shooting up meth or other drugs. Play, as in sex – usually unsafe.
The information for recovery is available for LGBT meth addicts on several Web sites, including www.tweaker.org, which analyzes the correlation between the risky drug and sex.
Meth addiction is growing in the gay community, and we need to take action to curb the resulting increase in HIV cases and other STIs. It’s a game of Russian roulette, and one that comes with a price.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.