Slamming is another way to describe injecting or shooting up drugs. The practice of slamming methamphetamine has picked up steam in recent years, particularly among some members of the gay male population.
Using stimulants such as meth increases the risk of addiction and accompanying health problems. Slamming meth may also place some members of the gay population in particular jeopardy because of meth’s reputation as a party drug.
The practice of slamming has a reputation for jacking up the sex drive. The combination of drugs and sex is known by several names, including chemsex, party ‘n’ play, PnP, high and horny, and wired play.
Methamphetamine, or meth, is a potent and extremely addictive psychostimulant. It also has other nicknames, including crank, crystal, ice, and speed.
Whether it’s smoked, taken in pill form, snorted, or injected, meth affects the central nervous system by firing up the brain’s reward circuitry. Specifically, it causes levels of the pleasure-producing neurotransmitter dopamine to escalate, leading to intense (but artificial) bliss.
Sniffing meth or taking it orally takes longer to achieve an effect, but the high lasts longer. Smoking or shooting up methamphetamine produces a quick, intense rush, which can fuel more frequent use.
After taking meth, a person may experience:
- Increased restlessness and hyperactivity
- Reduced appetite
- Faster heart and breathing rates
- Irregular heart rate
- Raised blood pressure
- Sense of exhilaration, improved mental and physical performance
Users can quickly plummet into addiction and experience a number of accompanying problems. Despite such outcomes, in 2018 the National Survey on Drug Use and Health stated that nearly 2 million people ages 12 and older reported that they used meth within the past year. Even worse, overdose deaths involving psychostimulants such as methamphetamine are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Methamphetamine use on its own is dangerous, but slamming it carries its own risks. To slam meth is to inject it into one’s veins using a needle and syringe.
The combination of the needle and syringe is sometimes known as a rig. Sometimes people inject meth or other drugs into their muscles (also known as muscling) or under their skin (also known as skin popping).
As with any injected drug, depending on the health of the users and the cleanliness of the needle (if needles are being shared), injecting meth can do more than get people high. People who inject meth and share needles also risk contracting a host of diseases and medical conditions.
These conditions may include bacterial infections from any contaminants in the drugs or in the needles and syringes. They may also include HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. Injecting drugs also raises the risk of overdose.
It may be worth noting that slamming drugs is not exclusive to the gay community. Other populations use the practice and the term as well.
Dangers of Slamming Meth
Slamming methamphetamine may put gay men in particular jeopardy. The practice has been on the rise in the gay community, used to intensify some users’ sex lives. It may provide a quick rush and a boost to the libido (as well as lowered sexual inhibitions), but it comes at a high cost: the potential for overdosing or acquiring a deadly disease.
It’s reported that slamming sometimes takes place at sex parties that can last for days. Some areas have reported higher rates of HIV, and experts fear that the practice may be the culprit.
Studies have found that incidents where people have injected drugs to enhance sexual experiences — sometimes with multiple partners in a short amount of time — have quadrupled in recent years.
Effects and Side Effects of Doing Meth
Using meth is risky. Dangers of long-term use include:
- Extreme weight loss
- Dental problems that include tooth loss (also known as meth mouth)
- Itching, which can lead to scratching and skin sores
- Memory loss
- Violent behavior
- Mood disturbances
- Delusions (such as feeling as if insects are crawling on or beneath the skin)
- Increased risk of contracting infectious diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or HIV.
Paranoia can lead to suicidal or homicidal tendencies. That can prove especially dangerous in the party scene, either via violent or forced (or both) sex.
Abusing meth can also change how the brain functions. Some studies have found nearly half a person’s dopamine-producing brain cells can be damaged from long-term exposure to even small levels of meth.
Stimulants such as meth can also damage serotonin levels, which in turn can affect mood and motor skills. Coordination, learning, emotion and memory troubles may result.
Quitting is the best way to stop (and possibly reverse) damage. That may take at least a year, however.
Meth abuse also may put people at a higher risk (almost a two times higher risk according to a study) for developing Parkinson’s disease. In the case of an overdose, organs can be damaged due to overheating, and the user may be at risk of a stroke or heart attack (due to slowed blood flow). Talk to a Intake Coordinator
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Meth Addiction Treatment
There are no government-approved medications designed to treat methamphetamine addiction. Finding help may seem like a huge hurdle for members of the LGBTQ community, too, considering the lack of widespread acceptance for their orientation and lifestyles.
There are options, though.
So far, behavioral therapies have shown to be the most effective. Cognitive behavioral therapies and options that include one-on-one and group counseling, education, drug testing, 12-step (or equivalent) approaches, and the encouragement of drug-free activities have proven effective.
Cognitive management interventions, which offer incentives for staying in treatment and remaining abstinent, also achieve good results. Meth is a deadly drug. Addiction is an insidious disease, but it’s one that can be treated.
- theconversation.com – Gay Men Who Use Crystal Meth Need Integrated Care
- dea.gov – Drugs of Abuse: A DEA Resource Guide
- samhsa.gov – Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health
- drugabuse.gov – Overdose Death Rates
- tweaker.org – Slamming
- rollingstone.com – The Last Frontier: Inside Alaska’s Meth Epidemic
- thebody.com – Injecting Meth? Here’s What You Definitely Need to Know
- independent.co.uk – Experts Warn of Rise in Gay “Slamming”
- drugabuse.gov – What is Methamphetamine?
- healthline.com – What Does Serotonin Do?
- ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Methamphetamine and Parkinson’s Disease
- drugabuse.gov – What Treatments Are Effective for People Who Misuse Methamphetamine?
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