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Author Topic: Crystal Meth  (Read 18557 times)

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Offline AustinWesley

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  • Posts: 815
    • HIV Discussion Group on Myspace!
Re: Crystal Meth
« Reply #50 on: February 26, 2007, 02:32:42 PM »
Hey Scooter,

That was amazing.

You're right!  People don't think it will happen to them.   Just like HIV.   


You know it's interesting you brought up your own perspective.   If I'm at a club or party now I see the signs clear as day.   I mean come on, how many guys take thier pals with em to take a leak?   You think they're in their sharing recipies? ; )   And, from my experience most aren't doing just coke.   The powdered stuff all looks alike so for whatever reason cocaine is more accepted than meth.   Somehow more glamorous I guess.

But thinking back before I'd ever done any drugs I wouldn't have noticed how rampant they were.   Crystal meth is a horrible drug because people loose all inhibitions.  Only, it's different than alcohol.   You think you have good judgement, and you are wide awake.   I was lucky I never went completely overboard with the crap.   I guess I always had a fear of ending up broke and homeless or with HIV.    Although drugs played no role in that for me I know they have for many.   


Diag. 3/06  Infected aprx. 2 mo. Prior
Date        CD4   %      VL
4/6/06     627    32    36,500     NO MEDS YET!
6/7/06     409    27    36,100
8/23/06   408    25     22,300
1/2/07     354    23     28,700
2/9/07     139    30     23,000  Hep A Vaccine same day???
2/21/07   274    26     18,500 
3/3/07    RX of Truvada/Sustiva Started.
4/5/07    321     27      Undectable 1st mo.  
5/16/07  383     28    Undectable 2nd mo.
8/10/07  422     32   UD <48 on new scale!

Offline ScooterTrash

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  • Posts: 69
Re: Crystal Meth
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2007, 06:58:59 PM »
One thing I will add, for those that don't understand the nature of Crystal and that was why Bear60 began this thread is this:  Of all the drugs out there, or at least of the major ones used there are two really addictive ones:  methamphetamine and heroin.  These two drugs are really demonic evil twins, though not fraternal.  They are indeed flip sides of one coin.  One is an extreme upper, the other an extreme downer.  If you get hooked on either, you will be going down a really bad, desperate road of addiction and will either die, or at least ruin 5 or more years of your life before you hit bottom and end up in rehab and a lifetime of Narcotics Anonymous meetings.  At least that's what I've surmised.

I have to agree with this. I think that crack cocaine should also be added to the list.
These drugs,, and the people who use them should be avoided at all costs. (With the exception of professional intervention.)
IMHO An addict will not only destroy his/her own life, but also the lifes of the people associated with him/her. And you will not be able to change them. They have a disease. They will not change until they want to, and most often that is when they have hit rock bottom. Thinking that you can change a addict is lying to yourself. And in trying to do so you will most likely be sucked into the vortex of missery. Unless you are a professional, the process of trying to help an addict will most likely result in being stolen from, lied to, and emotionally abused.
I just can't stress enough that these drugs WILL destroy lifes.
This is a personal opinion. I don't have charts and scientific data. This is based simply on a lifetime of personal experience.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 07:05:33 PM by ScooterTrash »

Offline ndrew

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  • ....-.-.-.-.-.....
Re: Crystal Meth
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2007, 07:15:00 PM »
Personally, I am tired of having alcohol pushed on me and getting a shitty attitude if I don't want to drink.  I will not argue that  crystal meth is a real problem, but alcohol does much more damage in our society and enjoys a more widespead use and acceptance.


Offline Ihavehope

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  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Re: Crystal Meth
« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2007, 11:11:58 AM »
The viral loads of HIV-positive people who use the recreational drug methamphetamine are significantly higher than those of individuals who do not take the drug, according to research conducted in San Diego and published in the December 15th edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The investigators believe that methamphetamine users have higher viral loads, not because of any interaction between methamphetamine and HAART, but because users of the drug are less likely to adhere to their anti-HIV treatment regimens. However, the evidence is not clear-cut, and another study published recently shows that methamphetamine use appears to exacerbate HIV-related damage to the brain.


Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant. The purest form of the drug, `crystal` or `ice`, will typically keep users high for 18-24 hours, and is either injected or smoked. Use of the drug is widespread in North America, South East Asia and Australia, but it is less common in Europe. In the United Kingdom the vast majority of amphetamine used illegally is amphetamine sulphate, which is less pure and less potent.

Study details

A total of 230 individuals were recruited to the study between 1996 and 2002. Of these, 142 patients participated in a sub-study that looked at viral load in the central nervous system.

Investigators divided the study participants into three categories according to their history of methamphetamine use. Category one comprised individuals who were former users of methamphetamine, category two included patients who had never used methamphetamine, and category three was composed of people who were current users of the drug.

All the patients enrolled in the study had their plasma viral load monitored, and had a comprehensive neuromedical evaluation. A sample of 116 patients had their level of adherence to HAART assessed using a self-completed questionnaire. Investigators also asked individuals if they were using any other recreational drugs.

The use of methamphetamine was significantly related to plasma viral load (p<0.001), with current users of the drug having higher viral loads (approximately 11,000 copies/mL), than patients who were past users (viral load approximately 3,500 copies/mL), or individuals who had never used methamphetamine (approximately 2,500 copies/mL). A similar, but not significant trend was found when the investigators looked at viral load in the cerebrospinal fluid of the three groups of patients (p=0.08).

Investigators then evaluated the potential for interaction between antiretroviral therapy and methamphetamine use, with viral load as the outcome, and HAART status (taking HAART versus not taking HAART), and methamphetamine use (past user, current user, never used), as the variables. The overall result was significant (p<0.001), with evidence that HAART use (p<0.001) and methamphetamine use (p=0.04) affected viral load. There was a trend for an interaction between HAART and methamphetamine (p=0.07).

HAART use was further evaluated. The cohort was divided according to the use of HAART, and then further divided according to methamphetamine use. The viral loads of patients not taking HAART were similar regardless of methamphetamine usage (p=0.97). The authors note: "This [finding] is not concistent with a direct biological effect of [methamphetamine] use itself on viral replication."
However, the investigators found that of the patients taking HAART, those who were currently using methamphetamine had significantly higher viral loads (median 5,000 copies/mL), than in individuals who were past users of the drug or had never taken it (median viral loads 1,000 copies/mL). Of the HAART treated patients who had never taken methamphetamine, 62% had an undetectable viral load, compared to 59% of past users of the drug and 39% of current users. These differences were statistically significant (p=0.07).

The investigators found no significant differences in the cerebrospinal fluid viral loads of individuals, regardless of methamphetamine status, even when they restricted their analysis to patients taking HAART. This result is surprising, they say, because animal studies have shown that methamphetamine does stimulate HIV production in brain cells called astrocytes, and also permits infiltration of HIV-infected cells into brain tissue.

The investigators note that stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine, can increase viral load by dysregulating inflammatory cytokine production. They note that their study found that current users of the drug had higher viral loads than either past users or the drug or patients who had never used the drug, a finding that is consistent with earlier laboratory studies.

However, as viral load was comparable in patients not taking HAART, regardless of methamphetamine use, they believe that poorer adherence to anti-HIV treatment regimens explains the higher viral loads amongst HAART-treated patients who also used methamphetamine. However, they also report that the percentage of patients reporting adherence of at least 95% was comparable regardless of methamphetamine use, and the investigators note in their conclusion that the "response to [antiretroviral therapy] by former meth-dependent persons are similar to those of non-substance abusing control subjects."

The researchers downplay the possibility that a drug interaction between methamphetamine and protease inhibitors might be responsible for the viral load difference, saying that "no consistent reports of altered drug metabolism related to [methamphetamine] use exist," but omit to note that pharmaceutical companies have consistently failed to investigate interactions between pharmaceutical products and illicit drugs, citing the illegality of `street` drugs as a barrier to such research.

Further information on this website

Methamphetamine drastically increases HIV-like virus's ability to replicate in the brain - news story
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Crystal Meth
« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2007, 11:42:59 AM »
The investigators believe that methamphetamine users have higher viral loads, not because of any interaction between methamphetamine and HAART, but because users of the drug are less likely to adhere to their anti-HIV treatment regimens. However, the evidence is not clear-cut, and another study published recently shows that methamphetamine use appears to exacerbate HIV-related damage to the brain.

That's always been what I expected.  It's rather logical if you've seen the lifestyle of the average tweaker.  How anyone can do HAART certainly if it's a regimen that requires doses coincide with food intake and be a non-eating tweaker is beyond me.  And not sleeping for days has to be double damaging.  It's just rather logical.

PS:  would you mind providing a link when you are referencing sourced material in the future?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"


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