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Crystal meth

Also known as

  • crystal
  • methamphetamine
  • meth
  • Tina
  • And in the US, ice, crank and speed (not to be confused with the British use of speed for the weaker amphetamine)

To tweak means to use crystal, so a tweaker is a user of crystal. Slamming means injecting the drug.

What is crystal meth?

Meth is a powerful stimulant made from industrial chemicals and cleaning products (often toxic). It comes as white or colourless crystals which are crushed to make a white-ish powder. This is usually snorted but can be mixed with water, then injected (called slamming). The crystal can be smoked through a glass pipe. Meth sometimes comes in pill form.

Crystal makes the brain release stress hormone norepinephrine and feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin.

The drug has a bad reputation from the many casualties it's caused among gay clubbers in Australia and the US in the 90s. The drug has now become more available in the UK.

What's the attraction?

As crystal is an incredibly strong stimulant, it gives people more energy to party and have sex for longer. On crystal people may feel:

  • very horny
  • euphoric
  • more alert
  • confident (sometimes invincible)
  • impulsive
  • less inhibited.

They may also feel less pain.

Crystal meth and sex

Crystal can make the user feel very sexually driven, maybe compulsive, going on long sex binges with many different men. While on the drug someone can take sexual risks and have types of sex they wouldn't normally. Sex on crystal has been described as aggressive, cold or disconnected.Crystal often stops men from coming and causes loss of erection (crystal dick), which makes wearing condoms trickier. Viagra-type drugs are often taken to get over hard-on problems.

Crystal has been linked to the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, including syphilis and hepatitis B and C, passed on through:

  • sore, bleeding skin during long, rough (often unprotected) sex sessions
  • damaged lining of the arse from taking crystal anally
  • inflamed or bleeding mouth and gums (seen in long-term users).

Long or rough sex sessions are more likely to cause condoms to break. Rubbers should be checked during sex and changed after about half an hour. Wearing two at once makes them more likely to break (from the friction of them rubbing against each other).

Lots of lube cuts down the risk of condoms tearing or slipping off.

Last review: 30/09/2011
Next review: 01/06/2014

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