Fort Lauderdale, FL - Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, methamphetamine addiction was causing a drug abuse and overdose crisis in the US. Today, the issue has grown exponentially and is disproportionately affecting LGBTQ communities like the one in Fort Lauderdale’s thriving Wilton Manors neighborhood. Methamphetamine, also known as meth, crystal meth, Tina, crank, speed, chalk, ice, or Christina, is an extremely potent and addictive drug created in unregulated meth labs. It can lead to rapid dependency, compulsive drug use, and a host of health concerns.
According to a national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the meth epidemic has become a public safety concern for the US Department of Health. Meth is contributing to rising rates of overdose deaths, increasing users’ risk of contracting infectious diseases, and causing other chronic health issues that require long-term care.
Meth is a central nervous system stimulant that, in the beginning, increases a user’s energy and sense of well-being. It can be smoked or injected to provide a brief rush, or it can be ingested or snorted to give the user euphoric sensations within minutes as dopamine floods the brain. These effects are short-lived, so users often continue to binge the drug repeatedly (known as “tweaking”), foregoing sleep, food, and everyday life responsibilities to take more meth. A physical dependence forms quickly as the brain stops producing dopamine on its own, and withdrawal symptoms appear if the person tries to stop.
Short-term crystal meth abuse can cause violent mood swings and agitation, malnutrition, psychosis, insomnia, isolation from friends and family, and increases in risky behavior. Long-term meth users may experience severe health problems, seriously harming the body and causing brain changes that may not be completely reversible. These include heart, lung, liver, kidney, and dental issues, mental health problems, memory loss, and brain damage due to substance abuse.
The gay community is disproportionately affected by the meth crisis and overall drug abuse in general. Gay men in America report higher rates of drug use and addiction than straight men. Mental health experts believe this is due to the traumatic experiences gay men are more likely to face including bullying, being forced to keep parts of themselves secret, and fearing family rejection for being gay. Trauma, and the mental illnesses that can result from it, leave gay men vulnerable to alcohol and drug use as a means to escape emotional pain.
Gay men are also more likely to use “party drugs”. This may include mixing meth with other substances to stay awake longer or enhance the party experience, escape reality, and increase dopamine in the brain as an aphrodisiac drug.
Social media and dating apps like Grindr and Tinder have made finding meth, and someone to use it with, exceedingly easy. Users sprinkle their profiles with diamond emojis or capital Ts short for meth’s street name “Tina”. Meth in the gay community is closely linked to sex parties that often result in risky behaviors like unsafe sex and IV drug use, both of which increase the risk of HIV transmission and meth overdose.
The Source Addiction Treatment Center in Fort Lauderdale is a place where anyone struggling with substance use can find solace and begin their addiction recovery journey. The Source’s philosophy of providing an unconditionally caring, family atmosphere for addiction recovery creates a welcoming environment for anyone who needs help with addiction. Read the article, "Gay-Friendly Meth Rehab in Fort Lauderdale" to learn more about how meth is impacting the gay community in Fort Lauderdale.
The Source offers a partial hospitalization program (PHP) for treatment for meth addiction and other substance use disorders, with luxurious single-family accommodations that include amenities like pools, backyard barbecue grills, and proximity to the Fort Lauderdale beach. There are 25 hours a week of cognitive-behavioral therapy and other methodologies, holistic treatments such as art therapy and exercise programs, and special weekend activities for community building. Other treatments provided include relapse prevention counseling, group therapy, process groups, and trauma therapies like neurofeedback, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and rapid resolution therapy (RRT).
Rehabilitation treatment does not need to feel like a punishment, and The Source not only provides a safe and sober residence, but also trauma-informed treatment focused on healing underlying issues like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
Prevention and treatment of meth addiction take patience, time, and accountability. At The Source, patients receive a completely individualized recovery plan that will give them the opportunity to explore what led them to substance abuse as clinical and support staff gently guide them through the process of recovery.
Anyone in need of help with addiction to meth, or any other substance, can speak directly with a member of The Source’s team by calling (800) 204-0418. To learn more about what makes The Source stand out from other treatment centers, visit www.thesourcetreatmentcenter.com.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
The Source Treatment Center is the #1 addiction treatment center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Specializing in alcohol, rx and drug rehab. We are excited to help everyone who calls or walks through our doors.