Almost all LGBTQ individuals face some level of homophobia and discrimination, workplace harassment, bullying, and even hate crimes. Consequently, clinical depression, stress and anxiety disorders are common, according to American Addiction Centers.
A 2018 study showed that LGBTQ teens are 12% more likely to abuse drugs. The teens were also 3 times more likely to experiment with drugs such as Ecstasy, Cocaine, Methamphetamines or Heroin.
Crystal Meth: How It Works
One drug that is popular among the LGBTQ community is Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine). Here’s how it works: It releases dopamine and norepinephrine into the brain and acts as a stimulant.
In 2017, crystal meth was responsible for about 15% of all drug overdoses. It is highly dangerous and its long-term effects include brain, liver or kidney damage, memory loss, increased heart rate, severe tooth decay and higher chance of suffering from a stroke.
In the short run, crystal meth feels euphoric, gives you boundless energy before you “crash.” When you crash after 12 hrs. or even days, you feel exhausted, irritable, and depressed, and sometimes experience paranoia. It can cause psychosis in some users that includes delusions, auditory and visual hallucinations.
Signs Of A Crystal Meth User
So, how does a parent know if their adolescent is just moody or tired? Here are the signs to watch out for with crystal meth:
- Rotting teeth (“meth mouth”)
- Intense scratching
- Loss of weight
- Acne or sores
It is crystalline in form. Crystal Meth can be injected, snorted, smoked, crushed or taken orally. It is made in underground labs with ingredients like Draino.
If your child is “tweaking,” he may not sleep for 3-15 days. Other signs include rapid eye movement as well as talking in a fast and jumbled manner and walking in a jerky motion.
Paraphenalia: Also A Giveaway
Other telltale signs include aluminum strips where the drug lays and is heated and then smoked through a straw, hollowed out pen or glass tube.
Because crystal meth is a drug that can cause weight loss, give you energy, and greater sexual performance, it is popular, especially among the LGBTQ population. But its physical effects are easy to spot as are its paraphenalia needed to partake!
Wesley Cullen Davidson
Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting. Currently, she is targeting her writing about recovery to parents whose children have substance abuse disorders.