Thursday, 30 January 2014

Crystal: More Balls


2014 marks an important anniversary.
It was twenty years ago that the first article in the UK gay press warning about Crystal Meth was published in the short-lived magaine, Phase.
Every year ever since we have been warned by the gay and straight press that the UK gay scene is about to get taken over by Crystal AND WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!
You may have noticed this has not happened.
To mark the 20th anniversary we are being taken over by a new flood of warnings about meth.
Maybe it's been helped cause boring people may have now heard about it from Breaking Bad and the "shamed Crystal Methodist" Paul Flowers
The other week the Independent On Sunday was warning about a "meteroric rise" in "slamming" (injecting at sex parties).
Based on some data that showed this wasn't really happening.

Today Channel 4 News joined in the hysteria with an item; Is Crystal Meth Behind London's Rising HIV Levels?
Viewers learn that some gay men in London take drugs, some take crystal ("a very small proportion"), some like having sex on drugs - and some people even use something called "Grindr" and tell other gay men they take drugs!
It was all shocking stuff.
An expert says there is a "public health nightmare".
Antidote said that at London's two clinics for gay male drug users, 187 men had meth as their main problem in 2010.
[Channel 4 News admitted a recorded rise in meth users at the clinics "must be treated with caution - it may reflect greater awareness of the clinics."]
Crystal can certainly do terrible things to some users - so I wouldn't be surprised if a high proportion of gay men are having problems, even if they are a very small proportion of users - and Antidote are doing a great job helping them, but out of a London gay male population of maybe 200,000-500,000 is this really inidicative of such a big problem?
Or is this just more media gay + sex + drugs = death hysteria?

PS The Daily Mail join in the fun!

Update: An excellent piece by Professor David Nutt on the UK press this week reporting a woman's "Death by cannabis". Last week Anorak did a nice montage of tabloid stories about the EVIL ACID HOUSE MENACE!

4 comments:

  1. You absolutely haven't got a clue about this.

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    Replies
    1. A devastating and detailed critique!

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  2. Good level-headed look at what the figures actually say about meth use here:

    http://www.aidsmap.com/Crystal-meth-and-London-gay-men-examining-the-evidence/page/2568846/

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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