Ice or crystal meth are the most potent and dangerous street drugs being sold.
In Part One of the series on methamphetamines, we took a look at the origins and use of street meth, commonly known as speed. In the late 80's a new, far more potent form of this drug was becoming known for it's extreme potency and long lasting, intense highs.
Instead of the sludgy often semi-liquid meth normally sold, this was a crystalline, rocklike substance, that produced an immediate and very euphoric rush. Again the West Coast and Hawaii were the first to feel the impact of this designer meth.
One of the most troubling problems to come out of using crystal, is increased, often uncontrollable sexual urges. Male users have been quoted in major studies, stating they have had up to 500 sexual partners, while using crystal meth. They can go for hours on end, without ejaculation, leading to multiple sexual encounters without the use of condoms. They claim the urge for sex is insatiable, and they can't seem to exert any control over their actions while under its influence. Yet, while crashing, they end up feeling empty and spent.
In the gay community, party clubs are often hubs for groups of these users, who dance to a dull throbbing music, and endlessly seek sexual gratification. Los Angeles and San Francisco are experiencing a huge increase in antibiotic resistant STD's and HIV, including more virulent forms, that are directly attributable to the use of crystal meth.
The gay community is not the only sector of our society impacted by this hypersexualized behavior. Mainstream rave and party clubs provide, and even encourage both the use of ice and the mindless sex that accompanies it. In addition date rape drugs like rufi's and ecstasy are freely available, leaving many young men and women totally unaware of the dangers they face-not only from multiple rapes to HIV exposure.
In my opinion, the saddest are the children who are living in homes where this drug is available. The incidences of sexual molestation and rape are extremely high. Given the above information, it isn't hard to understand why this would be common. If an adult-and I use that term loosely here, can't find another outlet, what better than a helpless child?
These are the true victims of this epidemic, our children. Not only do they suffer from neglect and the violence they witness between adults, they suffer environmental effects that can impact them all their lives. When sexual abuse is present, the shame is overwhelming. These children rarely talk about home or confide in anyone. They live with the huge outbursts of rage and paranoia this drug induces, and are terrified to even hint at what's happening at home. If they place trust in the wrong person, they know perfectly well they will end up dead.
Meth users range in age from 8 to as old as 60 in rare cases. Many women use the drug to lose weight and attain that anorexic ideal so espoused by our society. Men may begin by taking it to alleviate depression or experience an increase in power and acuity, only to find themselves hopelessly addicted.
If you even suspect a loved one or friend is using this drug, you must try and help get intervention. So many families and lives are being destroyed by this hugely popular narcotic. Learn to look for the signs of meth use, and be aware of where your children are and who they spend time with. If you notice these signs, get help.
Heavy perspiration, even in cold weather
Periods of sleeplessness and hyperactivity, followed by depression and prolonged sleeping.
Irregular breathing and accelerated pulse rates, accompanied by flushing and pinpoint pupils.
Wait until you feel it safe to calmly discuss the issue with your child or loved one. Don't threaten or confront anyone who is actively high, you could become a statistic. Talk with your police department, and ask for help in dealing with the problem. Many police agencies have highly trained counselors who can offer suggestions and direct you towards resources to help.
Remember, there is no typical user, and not one of us can safely assume our loved ones are exempt from danger. Methamphetamine addiction is a national problem of staggering proportions. We all need to become involved, particularly where children are concerned. They need us to care enough to intervene when we see they are endangered. If we don't, this will become another multi-generational problem that in the end will end up defeating us all.