Crystal is a really strong amphetamine stimulant. The effects last longer and the come down can be considered worst when compared with other amphetamines. It can be smoked, snorted and injected and can also go by the names of 'meth', 'ice' or 'tina'.
Crystal can produce a number of effects including a feeling's of alertness and over confidence, euphoria, increased levels of energy and urges to have sex which will result in less inhibitions and as such it will affect the way you evaluate and decide upon the level of risk you are willing to take sexually.
Sex sessions can go for longer and the risk of breaking the skin or anal lining along with bleeding are increased, and therefore if condoms and water based lubes are not used the potential for transmitting HIV and other STI's including Hepatitis C is increased.. In long fuck sessions, check the condom regularly, continuously add lube and change it every half an hour or with every new partner.
Meth can be smoked, injected, swallowed, snorted or booty bumped (taken anally) If you choose to inject make sure you are with someone who knows what they're doing and remember 'A new kit for every hit' For five things to know about safer injecting check out VAC's Safer Injecting video on YouTube and for a list of places to get clean injecting gear via our Useful Links page
It is not unheard of that guys while under the influence of crystal can have sex for days on end with little or no sleep or food. This puts the body under great pressure and affects the immune system.
The legal consequences for using, possessing, making and selling crystal can include fines and imprisonment. Furthermore, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of crystal and this can result in a disqualification of your licence.
Long term side effects
The body builds up a tolerance to crystal very quickly, which means that when using crystal there is a need to increase the amount to get the same desired effects. . This increases your risk of overdosing, puts a much higher economic burden on you, and increases your dependency upon crystal to function socially.
Crystal causes high blood pressure, irregular heart beat and other heart related complications.
It increases your risk of liver and kidney damage, strokes and aggravated dental and gum problems along with brain damage, anxiety, depression and paranoia.
When mixed with other stimulant drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine or poppers it puts the heart under pressure and it increases your risk of overdosing, overheating and strokes.
Crystal speeds the body up the body. When it is combined with depressant drugs such as alcohol or GHB which slow the body down it increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Because crystal increases blood pressure and Viagra decreases it, mixing them increases the risk of strokes.
If you take protease inhibitors as part of your HIV treatment and add crystal to the mix, it can elevate the amount of crystal on your system which significantly increases the negative side effects of the drug with potentially fatal results.
Touchbase has recently launched 'Be-longing For It' - a digital exhibition with real gay, bi, and queer men's stories of their journey with crystal meth. 'Be-longing for it' will stimulate and challenge viewers to reflect on the meaning of connection and intimacy for gay, bi and queer men in 2017 and our relationship to sex and drug use, and encourage conversation on taking care of ourselves and each other. Head to the Touchbase website to refelct on these men's stories, and seek support and counselling services if you need them.
'Be-longing For It' explores themes of sexual identity, finding community, seeking connection, intimacy, mental health, risk taking behaviours, stigma, drug use, harm reduction, sex, living with HIV and the desire for belonging
In an emergency
Dial 000 if an overdose or an adverse reaction is observed due to crystal consumption and remember paramedics are not obliged to involve the police.
If you need help on dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, please contact DrugInfo at 1 300 85 85 84 or visit www.druginfo.adf.org.au