Do you know anyone who uses Meth?

Just curious…what?

Freshman year in high school, there was this tweaker who had a PE locker directly above mine. And yeah, he was really fucked up.

Uses, no. Used, yes.

My stepdad used to shoot up meth. He doesn’t talk much about that period of his life, but I get the feeling it was part of a very, very self-destructive phase after he returned from 'Nam.

I’ve done it. Ain’t no big deal.

Those photos are bullshit, BTW. Oh, sure, they’re probably real people who had those very real problems after using meth, but I’ve known lots and lots of meth users (San Diego was once considered the nation’s capital of meth abuse, and, for all I know, still might be) and have never once met someone in that kind of shape. To call it a “poison” is a bit of a stretch, since more people than you would ever know use it to feel good, and, like most drug users, emerge from it completely unscathed once they tire of it.

Now, I’ve certainly seen a couple of people fuck up their lives pretty bad on that stuff. I’ve got horror stories that I’m not going to share because I don’t like the general overtone of fear and loathing in this thread, but trust me, they’re bad. Thing is, though, the people involved were always people with shitty lifestyles who were going to fuck up their lives anyway. Crank fucked them up bad for a year or two, then they got over it and moved on. It’s impossible to say how their lives would have gone otherwise, but knowing these folks, I’m guessing it wouldn’t have really been any better. That said, I wouldn’t wish the pain and agony of meth addiction on my worst enemy.

But keep in mind that the squeaky-wheel fallacy is in effect here: the most terrifying examples are also the only notable examples, since your average weekend crank warrior is not going to tell you they use it–because you’ll go apeshit over the most terrifying examples. It’s a self-reinforcing endless cycle that represents one of the many problems with the War on Drugs; one of its many deleterious effects is that people in the early stages of addiction are not helped because nobody knows they’re on the stuff. I think that if there were less of a statutory and cultural stigma, it wouldn’t be such a big deal, and we could pull our loved ones aside for “a little chat” before it got completely out of hand.

As for the implied question in the OP, I was willing to try it because I had researched and tried a lot of other stuff (pot, coke, etc.) and found that it really wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the fearmongers claimed they were. Meth didn’t turn out to destroy my life either, although I would definitely classify it as a waste of time and money at best. I don’t think I’m better off for having done it, which is pretty different from how I feel about most of the other drugs I’ve done. I wouldn’t say I regret experimenting with it, but if I could do it over I’d spend the time and money on other things.

Don’t let fear rule your mind.

It’s just the truth: he saw three friends use meth, one of them died of an overdose (not a favorable depiction of the drug), and the other two seem not to be permanently affected by it. We have nothing to fear from the truth.

Oh, come on. You sound like a 1930s PTA mother who just saw Reefer Madness.

ETA: Just to make it perfectly clear that I’m not trying to rationalize meth abuse by saying that those folks would have been fucked up anyway, I’m going to come out and state for the record that meth is bad and you shouldn’t do it. It’s just that letting fear rule your mind is not really the way to handle this.

I’ve used crystal a few times in the past. The first time I tried it, I smoked a twomp with my neighbor. My god, it was the greatest thing ever! It was like a liquid orgasm being poured into my head. But the good feeling wore off after about 20 minutes. Then I wasn’t able to sleep for 2 days. It really sucked because I was tired, exhausted actually, but I just couldn’t fall asleep. The last time I tried it was 2 years ago during my senior year in college. I snorted a few lines on Saturday and by Monday I still hadn’t fallen asleep. I snorted one more small line on Monday morning to give me an energy boost before class. I collapsed later that morning in the middle of my real analysis class. I thought I was having a damn heart attack. Some of my friends helped me get to the student health center and the doctor there told me I was going to be fine, that I was just exhausted and dehydrated. She gave me valium to help me sleep. That will be my last experience with crystal meth, I have no desire to repeat that.
As for my neighbor who first sold it to me, he’s now in jail. He started breaking into cars and houses to pay for his habit.

So, using a sample size of 3(:dubious:), you conclude that it’s really not that bad because only 33% of your non-randomized, post-hoc-derived sample died, and the other 67% “seem to be fine”. You see how silly this line of reasoning is, don’t you?

The problem you run into with harmful habits (smoking, drinking, drugs) is that users always point to examples from their own experience and say (in effect) “See, she/he used/smoked/snorted for years and they’re ok”. The problem with that line of reasoning is that you never know who is going to be “ok”, and you frequently don’t really know for sure that they are “ok”. Human beings are enourmously variable, both genotypically and phenotypically, so one person may handle a particular assault better than another. So you can’t just look at a selection of your buddies and think, “I’ll be fine”. You have to look at thousands of people who have experienced the particular substance under question. When you do that, the risks come into better focus. I don’t care that my Uncle Earl lived to be 87 even though he smoked a pack a day for his whole life; looking at the smoking data from literally millions, the conclusion is inescapable. The sample size is not as large with illicit drugs, but it’s still pretty large, and the conclusions are the same.
Besides which, let’s say your sample of 3 is valid. You are comforted that only 33% of people died???:smack:

I was going to let this drop, but since you didn’t have the courtesy to respond directly to me, I feel justified in the following.

Don’t be a dick. As you’ll note, I explicitly said drugs are bad. I explicitly said that (my) anecdotes are not data. The bulk of your response to Hostile Dialect (thanks, BTW) just hashes out those two points. FTR, I know (knew) a lot of other people who used meth, but I’m no longer in contact with them and don’t know where their lives have taken them.

The three examples I gave are the ones I do know; obviously, it can’t get much worse than ODing; it must’ve been a horrible way to die, one that I’d not want anyone to suffer. However, just as obviously, not all of the meth users I know fit the storyline presented by the before/after photo montages that are indubitably served up for consumption in anti-drug campaigns.

The fact is that I’ve heard otherwise sensible people say, in all seriousness, “Try it once and you’re hooked!!!1one!”. Which is both propaganda and a load of crap. Fairly effective propaganda (based on meth use stats I’ve come across, which is a good thing in its way), but things are not quite so simple. As anyone with an iota of actual experience, honesty, and mental acuity will realize.

To reiterate what is not at all a rationalization: drug abuse is bad. Based on both statistics and a plethora of case studies, meth is one of the worst in terms of the damage it does with long-term use…physically, mentally, and considering the ultimate affects on many/most users’ lives.

None of which justifies your drive-by post, nor does it make you less of a dick.

AFAIK, I know no one who uses meth. I know few who or none who still use coke. I know a few who probably smoke pot, but only a few. I don’t run in those crowds anymore, so I don’t know those kinds of people.

I worked at a homeless drop-in and crisis intervention facility for two years. So although I never was friends with or technically “knew” anyone who did meth, I certainly interacted with a lot of tweakers. Methamphetamine can really make someone psychotic on top of all the physical stuff it does (permanently sometimes, it’s sad but true). People on meth get into all kinds of activity from indecent exposure to disassembling bicycles. Some that I met were gregarious and nice, but most seemed aggressive and paranoid. There may be recreational meth users, if so they are nicely under the radar, but the people who become addicted to it have scary lives.

Right back at ya, pal. And, I’m not sure I need to justify any posts I make. And, you continullay cite data which are wrong. The fact is, there are very good data to suggest that even ONE use of meth permanantly down-regulates receptors in your CNS, causing ever-increasing use of the drug in an attempt to re-gain the initial euphoria. Do a MEDLINE search if you don’t believe me. Does it happen to everyone? Of course not, but that is my point.

Stop minimizing the risks of illicit drugs to justify your own use of them, A-hole.

I used to run a shelter also and I saw hundreds of meth addicts over the years. They’d start out reasonably healthy and sane and end up all sucked up with their teeth rotting out of their mouths and their minds shot from constant use. There was almost nothing that they wouldn’t steal or sell to get it and they brawled amongst themselves constantly over who ripped who off. It was like watching slow suicide.

I also known a number of occasional users and they seemed to handle it fine and stay healthy. They’re just annoying when using it.

Crystal was pretty common in the rave scene back in the late 90’s and early 00’s here in Toronto, along with ketamine, ecstasy and GHB.

It’s not like I ever took a survey, but I’d estimate that about half the people I knew in the scene back then had tried meth at some point, though strictly on a recreational basis - I can’t think of anyone that I would have considered an addict.

The crowd I ran with were respectable employed citizens who showed up for work on time, paid our bills when they were due, and contributed to our communities. The drugs were, for the most part, confined to the parties. The idea of becoming an addict and letting the drugs run your life was very much looked down on.

I’m sure there was a much darker side to the scene, but thankfully I never really had any contact with it.

(1) you don’t, (2) I haven’t cited anything beyond personal experience, and (3) that’s exactly my point also. Glad we could clear that up.

I don’t believe I’ve minimized anything, the only drugs I use are nicotine and caffeine (habitually; I do take ibuprofen when I have a headache and perhaps twice or thrice a year I’ll have a beer or two), and you’re still being a dick. Since I don’t expect that to change, I’ll refrain from further response.

A long time ago, I knew quite a few drug users. Heroin addicts, crackheads, coke whores, potheads, etc. Not casual weekend users, either. The only ones that would ever be outright scary would be the crankers. Just a fucking crazy look in their eyes. If you’ve seen it, you know what I am talking about.

Meth just chews up people and spits them out.
After a while, even if they go clean, a lot of times they are just wrecked as humans. Not employable, not too many functioning brain cells, and a host of serious chronic health problems.

I’m all for legalizing many drugs, and even serious users of heroin and coke can function enough to get by. But meth? A strong meth addiction makes smoking crack look like a walk in the park.

Does anyone else think that most of those people in the ‘faces of meth’ link in the OP don’t actually look bad at all? One or two of them look better in the after pictures than in the before. Some of them do seem extremely bedraggled but what do ya know after 5 years some people look older than they did 5 years previously. This isn’t to trivialise the problem of crystal meth, it’s just an observation about that particular piece.

Lots of sources likes to claim that a location near them is the meth capital of the world. I haven’t seen anything yet to suggest it isn’t a bunch of malarky. In my experience, San Diego has its tweaker problem but it is equivalent to the problems faced by numerous other locations. It’s a part of the “fear-mongering” process that you mention in your post.

True that I have seen. I know numerous people that were hooked, and those who pulled themselves out are still a bit off. The vast majority are great people, productive citizens, trustworthy, and some are amongst my closest friends; but they were definitely changed markedly by their use. The question is - are we sure that it is directly due to the meth? I’m inclined to say yes, with the addendum that psychotic factors which were pre-existent may be drawn out or worsened by drug use (meth or otherwise).

What does that have to do with anything? Did I miss something?

I agree with the general message of your post. When I was using it we used to joke that with tweakers you couldn’t see the soul of a person in their eyes, you could only see the drug. Lots of times that was true, but was it just the meth or was it a part of the lifestyle they were leading? Sometimes people are very predatory, and meth use cultivates an environment in which those types of people can prosper. As a result, sometimes you had to adopt a crazy look in your eye or you were going to be made to be someone’s bitch. Speaking for just myself, part of the emptiness in my eyes was a result of some of the stuff that I saw go down; it definitely dehumanized my life outlook for quite a while. It is probably some combination therein that results in the shell-of-a-person look. I still have personality traits that I doubt would have manifested as they have without those experiences. Regardless of what I went through (I am still reaping what I have sewn in some ways), I believe all drugs should be legalized.

What are you trying to accomplish? What is your opinion on meth? You’re arguing against nothing but perceived slights.

jali, is there something in particular you want to know about meth or the lifestyle or are you just trying to get a handle on how prevalent it really is? If you want to know anything deeper I can offer up my experiences, not only as a (mis)user but also as someone who was entrenched in the culture.

For one thing, I’m not the one who gave the examples. For another, you are the one who has drawn that conclusion. You’re attacking a straw man. The poster who gave the examples didn’t say that meth was just fine based on his sample size of 3. He just recounted his personal experiences and you jumped all over it. You are the one making the connection between his three friends and the rationality of meth use.

It’s not my sample, and no, I’m not, and I never said I was. Try reading for (a modicum of) comprehension next time.

Do you think that you might have had a skewed sample, working in a homeless drop-in and crisis intervention facility? Could you, in fact, have ever met a weekend meth warrior in that capacity?

He doesn’t need to “justify” the choices he makes in his private life to anyone, and you have no reason to believe that he uses meth. You’re big on jumping to conclusions, aren’t you? Has he struck a nerve here?

BTW, am I the only one who thinks it’s hilarious that PharmBoy’s inflammatory nonsense is always followed by “Better living through chemistry”?

Don’t you think meth would be less likely to leave those addicts “wrecked as humans” if it were certifiably pure and free of brain-damaging additives?

I know a former Meth user. He’s married to a co-worker. He’s not like most drug users in that he was well over 20 when he did any illegal substance, didn’t really have a “gateway” period or anything, just basically picked up the hard stuff while dealing with some major personal issues (the death of his sister and mother within a week of each other). It broke up his marriage and he ended up going to prison for a year for possession/sale, but happy ending of sorts: he and his wife (my co-worker) actually got back together upon his release and he’s been sober for about 4 years.

Near as I can tell he was a user for about 3 years. He’s now about 30. I’ve seen pictures of him when he was in his early 20s, just before he started- good looking guy- sorta kinda young Burt Reynolds-ish. Today, just a few years later, he’s pasty (not fat, but pasty) and has majorly messed up teeth. Unbelievable what a difference the meth made in his appearance. He’s also a major Fundie now- a nice enough guy in general, always super nice to me even though he knows I’m gay for instance- and Fundie-ism beats the meth addiction, but it’s annoying nonetheless, especially when he gets preachy.

I have a cousin I strongly suspect of meth use. He swears he just uses pot (excessively) but pot doesn’t generally do to your appearance the personality things that have changed over his in the past few years. Luckily I don’t see him except at the occasional funeral.

Yikes! I never knew Fundamentalism could be a side effect of methamphetamine! Why don’t they publicize that!? :eek:

Now that I think about it, I know a speed freak who became a fundie too. This guy was absolutely the worst, most soul-rotten person I have ever met, and by far the worst worker I have ever had the displeasure of calling my coworker.