In the 4-plus years of this blog, I’ve published only 3 guest posts, including this one. I don’t edit… raw… real… and some great advice.
By Peter Lang
I’ve been addicted to nearly every substance imaginable including heroin, cocaine, and every prescription medication you can think of. I’ve been homeless—living on the street of Philadelphia and the beaches of Maui for the better part of a decade. I’ve been in a wheelchair after drinking both my hips necrotic. And none of that was as destructive to me as crystal meth.
I’ve used meth at various times in my life, but it never got as bad as it did the last time. Four years ago, I was put on methadone. I had legitimate pain issues that were a result of having double hip replacements and a femur replacement following a car accident, but I also had a history of heroin use and prescription painkiller abuse so they put me on methadone. Continue reading These 5 Things Keep Me Clean
According to a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, over 40 percent of people with a substance use disorder also have a mental health condition, yet fewer than half (48.0 percent) receive treatment for either disorder.
This “over 40 percent” number is averaged for all substances, alcohol to heroin. In my experience, the percentage of meth users who use to self-medicate mental health issues is closer to 75. According to epidemiological data, 40 percent of adults using amphetamines have a lifetime history of depression. And that’s just depression. What about anxiety disorder, attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder, impulse control disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. But it’s important to note my evidence for the “75% of meth users are in some way self-medicating” claim is purely anecdotal, not scientific. Still, it’s a lot of us.
The user who self-medicates will have a rougher time in quitting.
Continue reading What About My Depression? ADHD? Anxiety?
Since this will be the last post of the year, I thought it fitting to talk about that “last run.” It’s when we say, “This is it. My last run. I’m quitting right after this eight ball is gone.” Been there before?
(More than once, right?)
Though this post is primarily directed to the person who has just quit or is trying to quit, I think those of you well into your journey of quitting might find this interesting, if not applicable to today. And, of course, many of us had no idea that our last run would be the last. We overdosed, got incarcerated, or some other life altering event changed us so that we wanted to try to get clean. But for others like myself…
Continue reading That Last Run
If you combined sex and crystal, the idea of having sex might seem overwhelming at first. But thousands of recovering meth users have relearned how to have healthy — even hot — sex without crystal meth. It’s just going to take some time and effort.
First, the harsh fact: Life without meth means life without meth-fueled sex. It’s okay, even necessary for many of us (it was for me), to mourn this loss.
Continue reading Done with Meth-Fueled Sex?
“Almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong — and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it.” — Johann Hari
There’s an ongoing debate in the recovery community as to how to diagnosis methamphetamine — or any — addiction. Is meth addiction a disease (majority view)?
Or perhaps it is a kind of learning disorder, like ADD or OCD, where the brain has learned to expect the abnormally high dopamine rush of meth as the new normal? Continue reading The Opposite of Addiction is… What? (Hint: It’s Not Sobriety)
A friend a mine doesn’t understand why he can’t stop using. He’s in his mid-fifties, lives in West Hollywood and like many of us gay men — like many straight men and women, for that matter — we mixed our meth with some serious sexploits. The sex/meth connection makes giving up meth harder for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
He struggles. And, as I’ve written elsewhere, I believe with most gay men and all other “sex tweakers,” that until you are completely okay — and I mean truly, really, okay — with the fact that you never get to have meth sex again, you will continue to relapse — over sex, of course. Once you’re truly okay with letting go of meth sex, letting it go completely, then your odds for successfully quitting are much higher.
Continue reading It’s an Inescapable Fact: at Some Point . . .
Feeling “done” with crystal meth?
Done with a high that isn’t a high anymore, but is more like daily maintenance? Done with focusing EVERYTHING IN LIFE around your dealer and getting more ice?
Done having to lie again and again to your family and friends about why you missed the wedding, graduation, funeral, birthday or whatever? Done with tensing up every time a police cruiser drives by? Done with having complete strangers you meet online inside your home just so you can host the party and play? Continue reading Done?
You probably don’t remember when you first heard the phrase “chronic relapser” bandied about accusatorially at a 12 step meeting. I certainly don’t remember. It seems like some words have always been there from the start — those certain words and phrases exclusive to recovery. Like addict, enabler, and chronic relapser.
Yes sir, when it comes meth, we might get a week or even a month of clean time, only to toss it all away and use again. And again. And again. And again. And…
Continue reading 5 Things to Reconsider With a Chronic Relapser
This is the first blogpost in a series titled: Common Misconceptions About Recovery. Yep, at least two ways to interpret that title. The first goes like this: “Springing from his years of experience, Joseph reflects thoughtfully on recovery.” (That’s the interpretation I prefer and intend.)
The other read of Common Misconceptions About Recovery is: “Joseph gets in touch with his resentments about ‘the program’ and rants in a series of posts.”
Let’s lean toward the first interpretation. Though I recognize that some of the beliefs espoused by 12 step programs are out of date and, medically speaking, factually incorrect — still, Crystal Meth Anonymous saved my life back in 2011. Continue reading Common Misconceptions About Recovery, Part 1
I sat, quietly observing a Crystal Meth Anonymous meeting in West Hollywood that had an unusually large number of newcomers. Many of them, though terrified, were bursting to share their experience. One newcomer — a gay male in his late forties — was speaking, when he paused, let the silence flood the room with anticipation, then blurt out:
“You all know what I mean! After we’ve slammed several times and it’s been a few days without sleep, we get real dark and sick, right? I mean, children, sometimes animals, can even get all crazy into Satan and that shit! But I have never fantasized about necrophilia.”
And there was another pregnant pause of silence, before he half-whispered, “Yet.”
The room was struck, dumbfounded. Not because of the audacity of this man’s claim, because of the normality of it. Our great shame had just been shit, sulfurous and dark, right in the middle of the room for us all to witness. Continue reading Those Dark Thoughts You Had While High On Meth Were NOT Your Thoughts