Friday, 11 January 2013

Drugs: Crystal Myths

The first feature in the UK press about how crystal meth was taking over the London gay scene was in a short-lived gay magazine called Phase in 1994.
At least once a year every year since then there’s been at least one scare article claiming the same thing - Crystal Meth Is Coming!
Almost always written by people who know about as much as drugs and gay clubs as I know about Chinese opera.
Here's another one on Pink News via The Lancet.
It’s a great sensationalist story – gay sex and drugs and death and all that – but has never been based on any reliable research, just hearsay and drugs hysteria – and often homophobia.
And it's never happened.
Year after year after year.
Odd that.
Do you think they were just making it up?

But this is the economy of the media - gay and straight - this is how it works.
If you're a journalist you can't sell a story to an editor by saying; "All evidence indicates use of this drug among British gay men is negligible and stable."
And similarly, why would an editor want to run an article pointing out the same uninteresting fact to their readers?
'Dog bites man' isn't news.
'Drug-crazed gay men are fucking themselves to death!!!' is.
The facts can go hang. *
One thing that's become apparent to me after writing this blog for a few years is how certain gay groups also often overstate certain "problems".
It won't look good on your grant application if you just say; "Yes, there are problems, but things are about the same as last year, really. And any comparisons to what has happened in the States are ridiculous."
And then point out how you're working in this field and can you have some money, please?
A cynic might say they're just trying to secure government/local authority/lottery/whatever funding.
That's quite understandable - this government is cutting so much health funding to nothing.
But this is just a load of stupid nonsense.
Warning: Drugs - or rather writing or reading about them - may damage your brain.

* There are two things you can tell the most stupid and unbelievable lies about in the UK media - and sleep assured almost no-one will question or try to check them.

1. Drugs.

2. This week 's Officially Declared Enemies; Iran and Syria are quite popular at the moment.  
"But I read they eat their gay babies!"

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