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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.
Agitation

Paranoia

Decreased appetite

Euphoria

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.