Contact us to discuss your drug or alcohol issues on 020 7833 1674 (10am-6pm, Monday to Friday). Ask for one of the Antidote Team.
Playing and partying with Crystal Meth, or Tina, might be fun and manageable for some: for others it can be about chaotic sexual encounters or distressing highs and lows.
Crystal meth is not physically addictive so you are not in any danger from stopping, although it is very “more-ish” while you are still high or coming down and the days after can be incredibly difficult. It is however psychologically addictive.
The feel-good factor can be an intoxicating and engaging relief from daily troubles or unhappiness, and the temptation to continue using can be overwhelming. Tina can start to dominate your social life, and you can lose many of your non-sexual, social contacts and routines and become isolated and lonely as the sexual encounters fade into a series of faceless blurry memories.
The immediate dangers come from risky sexual encounters as incredible highs distort our perspective of what risks we’re prepared to take. Not being aware of condoms breaking, damaged tissue in the arse or on our penises, or hastily-made decisions to bareback are all part of the risks.
Staying awake for many days can lead to hallucinations or psychotic episodes. We can also ignore our hygiene and nutrition, or forget to take HIV medications. Tina can also make us more prone to violence and depression.
Poor injecting practices can also be very dangerous. You can ask a health worker at your GUM/HIV clinic about harm reduction in relation to injecting, or your local drug service or Antidote can teach you safer injecting techniques. Click here for our information on safer injecting.
Many people think that since they’ve chosen to have unprotected sex with their sexual partner it may be safe to share needles. But Hepatitis C can be caught more easily by sharing needles than by unsafe sex, and the treatment for Hep C is much less successful if you are using Tina – in fact many doctors will refer you to a drug service for help before they consider beginning your treatment.
Our partnership CODE clinic with 56 Dean Street and the Club Drug Clinic at Chelsea Westminster Hospital both offer sexual health screens for people who may feel less welcome at other clinics because of their drug use or sexual identity. We offer judgement-free specialist care with LGB&T workers.
Watsons pharmacy, part of the Soho Medical Centre on the corner of Frith Street and Soho Square, provides free, clean needles. The pharmacy at Boots Piccadilly Circus will also provide free, clean needles, and they are open daily until midnight.
This lifestyle can be difficult to give up. It requires work to redevelop a social network that’s not just about sex or drugs and can be daunting and difficult. Many people feel unable to have “sober sex” at all. Antidote can support you in the process.