11th September 2018, Resort 12 team

Crystal Meth Addiction in the LGBT+ Community

Crystal meth is cheap, readily available and hyper-addictive; the estimated number of addicts worldwide is quickly approaching 25 million. Among LGBT+ people, rates of addiction are far higher than that of the general population. What draws people to meth and what are the signs of addiction? We’ll explore these questions as well as the hope available to break free from meth’s destructive power.

Ice, tina and meth, these are just a few of the many names for crystal meth, a powerful drug with an estimated 24.7 million addicts worldwide. This incredibly powerful stimulant works quickly by hijacking the brain’s reward centre, and causing it to release all of its dopamine in a single rush. This creates an intense euphoric high that can last for 8-15 hours from just a single dose. Put in perspective, crystal meth releases four times the amount of dopamine that cocaine does.

Meth is hyper-addictive because the brain craves that extraordinary pleasure again and again, and as that craving grows, so does the need for more drugs. But meth overloads our brain, and the body can only take so much before it crashes. It may require days of sleep for the body to begin to recover. When used habitually, meth can overload—even destroy—dopamine receptors and seriously impair the ability to feel any pleasure at all. This leaves the user wanting only one thing… more meth. The paradox of crystal meth is how people first use it to feel intense pleasure only to end up in the horrifying and painful grip of addiction.

Meth is cheap, easy to make and found everywhere. When it becomes the focus of a user’s life, it takes a serious toll on their physical health: deteriorating internal organs, skin and teeth. Psychologically, long term use may result in permanent brain damage, psychotic episodes, loss of relationships and financial ruin. Crystal meth addiction can be thought of as a slow suicide.

Meth addiction requires professional treatment. Resort 12 offers therapies that ensure our clients can resolve both their substance-driven behaviours and underlying psychological issues that make them want to use. In most cases, these are rooted in distressing early-life experiences. If you or a loved one is suffering with crystal meth addiction and need understanding and support to break free, please make contact with Resort 12 today.

Crystal Meth Addiction in the LGBT+ Community

Crystal meth is an epidemic in the LGBT+ community and more and more users are becoming addicted. Among LGBT+ people, rates of addiction are between three and four times higher than across the general population. What makes this community so susceptible to the lure of such a destructive drug?

Growing up LBGTQ is often a lonely and isolating experience. As a community, LGBT+ people have endured a lot of pain, shame, harassment, discrimination, rejection and bullying which can create a desperate need for acceptance. Renowned speaker, author and addiction expert Dr Gabor Maté believes, “the decisive influence in all cases of addiction is personal trauma, emotional loss in childhood, experiences of abuse and…social or cultural dislocation.” Unfortunately, these are influences LGBT+ people know all too well. In an attempt to mask and manage these uncomfortable feelings, many turn to the ‘superhero’ chemical escape of crystal meth to feel attractive, desirable and invincible. Meth creates a sense of alertness, increased physical sensitivity and high self-confidence. Many feel they can do anything and be anyone while on meth.

The Party and Play culture (PNP), or chemsex, is prevalent in the LGBT+ scene and many try crystal meth for the first time at sex parties. The drug lowers inhibitions, increases the libido and provides nonstop energy for dancing and sex until dawn. In between parties, the rise of gay dating websites and mobile social apps has made it easier than ever for meth users to find interested partners for hook-ups. However, what begins as a fun time can quickly turn into a dependency or, in the case of tina, a particularly devastating addiction.

The Signs of Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal meth depletes the body and brain of their natural abilities to balance the body. As a user spirals deeper into addiction, a wide range of behavioural and physical changes can occur, including: depression, high anxiety, loss of physical control (tweaking) and delusional thinking. If you or a loved one display two or more of these symptoms, you may be addicted.

Behavioural

  • Development of a tolerance (i.e., greater quantities are required for the desired effect)
  • An increase in unsafe sexual behaviours such as unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • Suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harming behaviour such as cutting
  • Paranoid or delusional behaviour after prolonged use of crystal meth
  • Sudden outbursts or extreme mood swings
  • Prolonged periods of lethargy
  • Decreased motivation
  • Pronounced depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion

Physical

  • Deterioration of the teeth and gums (also known as ‘meth mouth’)
  • Increase in blood pressure or heart rate
  • Open sores or lesions on the skin
  • Picking at skin or hair
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Intense scratching
  • Reduced appetite
  • Thinning body
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tweaking

Resort 12 Offers Effective Ice Addiction Treatment for the LGBT+ Community

The LGBT+ Community is an amazingly strong community and we can help each other to heal. Resort 12 staff professionals are LGBT+ people and provide a safe and non-judgmental environment to help you in your recovery. Our tranquil, comfortable and relaxing facility is located in beautiful northern Thailand; known for its strong history of tolerance of people with ‘alternative’ sexualities and gender identities.

We guarantee a culture of understanding, respect and support. At Resort 12, the circumstances and consequences of drug use can be openly explored as they relate to a diverse variety of lifestyles. Resort 12 is part of the world-renowned Cabin Addiction Services Group and offers their unique therapeutic Recovery Zones model and proven addiction recovery techniques.

Remember, addiction to meth is only a symptom of underlying issues. We work with clients to unearth and heal the roots of their suffering so they can live the lives they were meant to. Changing habits or patterns of behaviour is critical, as is developing relapse prevention skills.

If you think you or a loved one may be addicted to crystal meth, make contact and begin your journey to recovery today.

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