Monday, June 02, 2008

Understanding Crystal Meth

I found a post written over on Joe.My.God about NYC's Crystal Meth problem. It's been a problem for such a long time that discussing it has become a non-issue. When that happens, unfortunately, some people assume that since everyone's not talking about it anymore, it's not a problem anymore. And the thing is, it's still a HUGE problem.

Several years ago, I ran into a colleague of mine that told me about his Crystal Meth addiction and how it had destroyed his ministry and career. While I thought that was shocking, his next statement blew me over: "The weird thing about it is, even though its destroyed my career and my health, and even though I have been clean for about two weeks, I want to do it and will do it by week's end. I just miss it so much."

I am not a drug user, so there is something about drug use that I have a hard time getting my mind around. Why do something so dangerous? One of my past problems in not understanding Crystal Meth was that there was a significant detail that I was missing: the correlation between being HIV positive and Crystal Meth use. It seems that most Crystal Meth addicts in NYC who are gay men, are also HIV positive.

That colleague I told you about is HIV positive and I hadn't made the connection between that and Crytal meth until now, today. That colleague had told me that the dangers of using the drug severely affects one's HIV. He had said that while he only had HIV for about a year, once he started using the drug, within 6 months of using, he had developed full-blown AIDS. Usually that takes 20 years--but not on Crystal Meth.

Check out this video below. Hopefully if you know someone who is both HIV+ and uses Crystal Meth, you'll find a growing sense of compassion for your friend, even if you believe it's insane to actually use Crystal Meth. I believe one goal of my faith is to be filled with compassion as I go about doing good. For only a compassionate heart can bring the right balm to those who suffer--and upon doing so, bring less judgment and condemnation on those we are called to serve.

1 comment:

kayakotto said...

Any addiction, but especially meth, can be difficult to understand for friend or loved ones never caught up in it. It does not surrender to the usual laws of reason. I am an ex-addict myself and like to peruse the blogs and such on the subject. I found a good article on the mechanics of addiction at thay may help you gain a little understanding.