CNN no Plural+: Methamphetamine in the LGBTQIAP+ community

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I wanted to make a deal before we go on with today’s column.

Let’s put all prejudice aside.

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Let’s put all hypocrisy aside.

Let’s focus on what really matters, because the matter is very serious.

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It is known by the most different names: rivet, ball, tina, crystal, there are people who even call it the crack of the rich… What matters is that they are all methamphetamine .

And why am I bringing this subject to the column of CNN no Plural+ ? Because more and more this drug has been circulating within the LGBTQIAP+ community.

Mainly among gays and bisexuals, men who have sex with men (MSM).

Shall we agree one more thing? Let’s not stigmatize. This is not a drug used only by gays, but everything that starts in a niche always ends up reaching other groups.

You know what it is chemsex ?

The word comes from the expression chemical sex – chemical sex – in English. It is when sexual relations have the help of psychoactive drugs.

Since ancient times, we have reports of drug use and sexual intercourse together. But thinking about the LGBTQIA+ community, which has always had to face an issue regarding their sexuality – not because it is a problem, but because we live in a society that is LGBTphobic. This use of drugs in sexual intercourse ends up being or could be a way to better deal with this issue, to disinhibit, to enjoy sex better, to put these issues aside a little.

Bruno Branquinho, psychiatrist specializing in LGBTQIAP+ mental health

The relationship between sex and drugs has not been new for a long time. What we see today is that methamphetamine has gained more followers, mainly because of this practice.

“Until about four years ago I had no cases of methamphetamine in my office. I honestly had barely heard of methamphetamine. For me, it was kind of like Breaking Bad, you know? That he had in the United States and everything. I know that this drug existed, but it is not something that I participated in my daily life, it is not something that I saw in my psychiatric residency, for example, as a problem. And then from about three years ago I started to receive a lot of cases in the office and nowadays it is a really big problem”.

Who makes clear the increase in the number of patients in his office is the psychiatrist Bruno Branquinho. The focus of the calls is the LGBTQIAP+ population.

For those who don’t remember, and Dr. Bruno mentioned, methamphetamine gained worldwide visibility with the American series breaking bad .

I confess that when I watched a chapter I thought it was a work of science fiction, but today the reality is different. And she is scary.

“It is a class of substances that, in general, produce an activation in the body. So you will be very euphoric, you will increase your sexual pleasure, you will have an activation effect on the body with an increase in heart rate, an increase in temperature, you will have a disinhibition. This makes you loosen up more, you don’t get tired, you feel less sleepy and less hungry”, explains the psychiatrist.

With the mood and no desire to eat, those who use the drug can go days without sleep.

I don’t need to explain the result after all this passes, right?

I had heard about crystal (one of the names for methamphetamine). A friend of mine from Rio de Janeiro had told me. He said to me: ‘look, this is very dangerous, I have friends who are sunk. It’s good, but very bad, because you end up becoming a little dependent’. And I told him: ‘I’m never going to wear something like that, for God’s sake, far from me, I’m not an idiot’

Who gave this statement to us is a boy who fights against dependence on tub –another name for methamphetamine. As we will not identify him, I will call him Roberto from now on.

Roberto didn’t wake up one day and think: ‘I’m going to use crystal’. He himself told me that he was always open to using what was offered to him, but always, according to him, he had the control to stop.

I stayed awake for almost a whole week, because you are immersed. I thought to myself: ‘if I sleep, I’m wasting time’. And it was along with the methamphetamine that I started having sex with a lot of male escorts, both for free and for free. And I got that because I used methamphetamine to attract them. I used to say: ‘I have tina, I have crystal. Do you want? Come here, we like it’. I was completely crazy

Roberto*, man undergoing treatment for methamphetamine addiction

Hours, days, and sometimes weeks awake, chasing more pleasure methamphetamine provides.

On the other hand, personal and professional life crumbling, because it is humanly impossible to have both things together.

Roberto needed the help of his parents and friends to be able to accept that that “control” he thought he had with drugs was broken.

Today, he has been clean for exactly seven months. but he has no idea when he will be able to get rid of the addiction one hundred percent.

Maybe it’s an eternal struggle.

As I said at the beginning of our column, let’s not be hypocritical.

We’re not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your life.

But like Roberto and so many others I talk to about this drug, the answer is always the same .

Not. Don’t get into it, because we don’t know how, when and if we’re going to make it out.

I would ask people to be careful, to inform themselves at least. Because we often prove something without knowing the consequences, without knowing the effects. It’s almost like he’s signing a blank contract there, you know? It’s one thing for you to consciously read all the little lines, and say ‘I agree, I’ll take it anyway’. It’s another thing for you to prove it and not know what you’re getting into. So if you’re a gay or LGBTQIAP+ man, you know someone who is using it or has contact with it. It’s closer than we think

Bruno Branquinho, psychiatrist specializing in LGBTQIAP+ mental health

  • Production: Letícia Brito and Carol Raciunas

Source: CNN Brasil

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