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.
DANGERS OF USING CRYSTAL METH
The immediate dangers come from risky sexual encounters as incredible highs distort our perspective of what risks we are 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.
Poor injecting practices can also be very dangerous. You can ask a health worker at your sexual health clinic about harm reduction in relation to injecting, or your local drug service or check out our information on safer injecting practices.
Many people think that since they have 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.
CRYSTAL METH HARM REDUCTIONS TIPS
Crystal meth produces effects which users often want to repeat, and this can be part of its appeal as a psychological addictive substance. To reduce becoming psychologically addictive, make sure that you take breaks in between your using sessions. Using every weekend does not allow for your brain and body to recover from it's effects.
Do not inject crystal meth as the higher you get, the less likely you will be able to inject safely. Do not mix crystal meth with any other drugs (especially other stimulants), or alcohol or you may run the risk of overdosing.
Never buy crystal meth in large quantities, since you run the risk of what you may intend to be a one night session, turning into multiple nights of no sleep, impaired functioning, and longer comedowns. Crystal meth lowers inhibitions, and sex can become risky and condom-less.
Only use crystal meth in small amounts so that you have some awareness of what is going on, and you also lower the risk of stroke or heart attack. The higher the dose of crystal meth you take, the more risk you have of hallucinating, experiencing paranoia, or having a psychotic episode.
Crystal meth can make users quite unpredictable, therefore only use crystal meth with people you know and trust. 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.
Crystal meth can cause the most severe comedowns, so ensure you are able to take time out, and it does not impact your work, social life etc.
Crystal meth is a class A drug, with a seven year jail term for possession, with a life jail term for supplying it to others, so do not carry on the street, or share what you have with others you come into contact with.
OTHER SERVICES TO SUPPORT YOU
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 LGBT 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.
Antidote helpline: Contact us to discuss your drug or alcohol issues on 020 7833 1674 (10am-6pm, Monday to Friday). Ask for someone from the Antidote Team.