Chemsex, Chills, Sex & Drugs8. September 2023
What is it?
Crystal Meth (Tina, Crystal, Ice, Yaba) is a highly potent drug, the active component is methamphetamin. Crystal is similar to speed, but its effects are stronger and last significantly longer. Meist ist Crystal Meth in Kristall- oder Pulverform erhältlich, seltener als Tabletten (“Thai-Pille”) oder Kapseln.Meth is usually distributed in the form of crystals or powder, rarely in the form of pills (“thai-pill”) or capsules.
The potency of methamphetamin can vary strongly. Often caffeine, ephedrin, paracetamol or lactose are used to thin out the powder.
How is it taken?
Crystal can be taken in different forms. You can sniff, smoke, “bomb” (rolled in a piece of paper and swallow), drink, booty-bump or inject it into your veins.
A dose of methamphetamin is usually around 5 – 10mg; an average dose is between 10 and max. 40 mg. People who use meth often tend to dose higher, since they have build up a tolerance.
If you smoke/inject meth the effects set in immediately. When sniffing or booty-bumping the effects set in in a few minutes, “bombing” it takes around 30 – 40 minutes (can be more). It takes long for the body to catabolise meth. The effects can last from 4 to 20 hours, with high doses even well beyond 24 hours.
Meth is very bad for the mucosa –depending on how you consume, meth might hurt the bronchia, the mucosa in the nose and the gut-mucosa. Sniffing usually leads to pain in the nose and a burning sensation in the throat.
Slamming (injecting) can lead to injuries of the veins and if the solution isn’t sterile enough, the area can also get infected.
How does it feel?
Every substance has a different effect on different people. The effect of crystal meth depends on personal factors (body mass, habituation, type of drink, amount ingested, on a full or empty stomach, …). An important role is played by the setting and your mental and physical condition.
When illegal substances are consumed, it is usually not known how much active ingredient is in the drug or parts of it. This makes accurate dosing difficult and increases the likelihood of effects that were not intended.
- feeling of self confidence
- feeling of power
- high motivation
- strong urge to move/talk
- suppressed feelings of tiredness, hunger and thirst
- low pain sensation
- heightened pulse and blood pressure
- body temperature rises
- increased libido
- longer stamina during sex
- orgasm might be delayed/harder to reach
You may find more or different people attractive than when you are sober, and get very horny. For these reasons, it is one of the substances that are commonly used for chemsex.
Side effects and long-term impact
Common side effects of crystal meth use include:
- Dry mouth
- jaw spasms (“chewing flash”)
- inner restlessness
- increased aggressiveness
- concentration disorders
- muscle cramps
- compulsive, repetitive movements
- erection problems
Higher doses may cause visual disturbances (double vision), overheating, tremors, dizziness, hallucinations, panic, or paranoid episodes (persecutory delusions).
The use of crystal meth can trigger subliminal psychoses even with single use, which remain even after use.
After using crystal, it is common for unpleasant after-effect to persist. The crystal hangover can last for several days.
You probably feel after consumption:
- very hungry
- unfocused, distracted
- restless, sleepless
- Also, you may have more skin blemishes, pimples and inflammation on your skin after using crystal.
Crystal meth triggers a strong craving for more. You probably experience coming down from crystal as unpleasant. Here, the urge to refill or use other substances may be especially strong to get around the negative mood. If you do this, it will probably be harder to stop using. Try to find an end to consumption.
Crystal is neurotoxic. This means that the substance in high doses contributes to the death of nerve cells Crystal is particularly toxic when smoked/inhaled and slammed. Regardless of the form of use, regular use over a long period of time leads to impairment and changes in the nervous system, which in some cases are irreversible. Crystal meth severely depletes the body. Long and regular use may be beneficial to changes in the heart.
Consumed regularly or permanently over a longer period of time, the following effects may increase in severity:
- Permanent changes and damage to the nervous system
- Increased blood pressure
- Inflammations of the skin
- Vascular diseases
- personality changes
- Sleep disorders
- severe weight loss
- weakened immune system (and thus more infections)
- movement disorders, “tics”
- kidney damage
- damage to the teeth
- Anxiety disorders
- cardiac arrhythmias or heart attack
- Cerebral hemorrhage or stroke
Signs of overdose may include:
- severe fever, heat
- sudden drop in blood pressure
- rapid breathing
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
In case of persistent malaise, breathing difficulties or reddening of the skin, get medical help. If you find a passed out person, check if they’re breathing, provide first aid and call an ambulance (112).
For more info on first aid for chemsex emergencies, click here.
You can also contact these hotlines:
Drug emergency phone: 01805 313031 (24 hours)
Drug crisis hotline: 030 19237 (24h)
Generally speaking: consuming more than one substance at a time puts your body and your mental state under more pressure. Individual effects can be intensified, weakened or delayed. The probability of an overdose or side effects is not calculable.
- Crystal + Alcohol: Crystal masks the effects of alcohol, which can cause you to drink too much. Alcohol poisoning is easily possible! The combination also increases the likelihood of overheating.
- Crystal + Cannabis: Cannabis intensifies the effect of crystal. Cardiovascular system is extremely stressed. If cannabis is used for a longer time to facilitate coming down from Crystal, this increases the likelihood of mental illness and (combined) addiction.
- Crystal + speed (or other stimulant substances): ncreased likelihood of overheating and circulatory collapse. Unpleasant side effects such as heart palpitations are increased.
- Crystal + Ecstasy/MDMA: Crystal masks the effects of Ecstasy/MDMA. This can cause you to take too much ecstasy or to take it too fast. The combination puts extreme stress on the circulatory system, and overheating becomes more likely.
- Crystal + cocaine: cardiovascular system is put under extreme strain. Possible effects are: Inner restlessness, irritability, trembling, heart palpitations up to life-threatening breathing problems.
- Crystal + Ketamine (or other sedative/numbing substances): Organism becomes severely stressed, may lead to circulatory collapse.
- Crystal + beta-blockers, MAO inhibitors or antidepressants: blood pressure rises sharply, which can lead to life-threatening conditions.
Addiction potential and withdrawal
- When using crystal meth, tolerance develops very quickly. This means that over time you will need to take significantly more to achieve the same effect.
- Crystal meth has a high potential for dependence.
- Crystal meth triggers strong cravings for more. This can make it harder to stop using and cause you to use repeatedly and excessively (actually unintentionally). Unpleasant feelings and upsets when coming down make it harder to stop using.
- Self-organized “cold turkey” withdrawal without medical consultation and care can be very stressful. Find out which hospitals in your area offer medical withdrawal/addiction treatment.
- Pay attention tof current substance warnings and, if possible, use drug-checking offers. When using, test only a small amount, wait for the effect and do not do more until the first dose shows its effects. he active ingredient content of methamphetamine can vary depending on the drug. Other substances may be added as extenders, or completely different substances may be sold as crystal. As a result, accurate dosing is not possible and unexpected effects may occur
- Crystal meth damages the mucous membranes of the nose.. To protect your nose while snorting, you can chop the powder as small as possible and do a nasal rinse after taking a line.
- Use only your own consumption utensils. Beim Teilen von Röhrchen oder Spritzbesteck werden Infektionen übertragen.Sharing straws or injecting equipment will spread infections.
- Always measure out your dose yourself. Do not delegate your responsibility to others. That way, you’re guaranteed to stay on top of things.
- It is never okay to administer substances to other people without their knowledge and consent! You endanger the life of a person and are liable to prosecution. If you’re witnessing such a situation, get help from other people and protect the person who’s being spiked.
- For jaw-spasms: Chewing gum helps to save your teeth and cheeks.
- When dancing, don’t forget to stay hydrated to keep your circulation stable. .
- Crystal should not be taken alone. Use with people you trust and feel comfortable with.Ideally, there should be someone who can stay sober and help if necessary.
- Use only when you are well and in a place where you feel comfortable.
- Think ahead about how long you might stay awake. If the party is about to end, stop using in time.
- Try to find an end to your use. If you use substances to shorten your downtime, you may become addicted. Also, don’t treat your hangover by using again or using more substances! If it’s hard for you not to use again, you can get support.
- Take breaks from consumption. This will give your body a chance to recover and reduce the habituation effect. The standard recommendation for breaks is 6 weeks.
- Plan a sufficient recovery period into your week and take it a little easier. After consumption, you may feel disgruntled, exhausted, or irritable.
- Do not use pif you have mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or hyperthyroidism.
- Crystal can be disinhibiting and cause you to pay less attention to safe sex when intoxicated. This increases the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
- The painkilling/numbing effect tempts you to have sex longer and harder, which can lead to injuries and infections.
- Crystal prolongs your erejction. If you use condoms during sex, change it every half hour – or consider another protection strategy.
- Sex and crystal work only with mutual consent and trust. Clarify in advance which sex practices you both want and which you don’t want.
- Only use enough to be able to defend yourself or to recognize defensive signals from your partner. Crystal can increase your aggressiveness during sex.
- Before getting down to business, get sufficient amounts of sex utensils (gloves, condoms, lubricant) ready.
- Pay attention to your body! If you notice any abnormalities, you should consult a doctor.
- If you have more than one sex partner, get tested for sexually transmitted infections at least once a year and check your vaccination status for hepatitis A/B.
- Information on first aid for chemsex emergencies can be found here.
Interactions with HIV treatment
- Under booster medications (e.g. Norvir® and Tybost®), the use of crystal should be reduced. The drugs inhibit the breakdown of crystal meth. This can cause the substance to be present in increased concentrations in blood levels, resulting in higher circulatory stress.
- Take drugs and HIV medications at different times. This might decrease the chance of side-effects.. Always dose drugs lowwhen taking medications at the same time
- Often a night can last a long time, take enough medication with you and keep to the time you take it.
- Talk to your doctor about the interactions of your HIV medication with drugs!
- Information on interdependence of substances and HIV-medicine can be found here.
- Would you like to talk about your use, have questions, or are looking for support about substance use?
- Do you want to share and/or reflect on your substance experiences with someone?
- Feeling that you are using too much?
- Are you worried about friends or acquaintances and want advice or tips on how to cope as a friend*?
- You have the feeling that you are using too much?
- The drug advice services in your area will be happy to help you! You can find the addresses here.
- Information on interactions between substances and HIV medications . can be found here
- Acute drug emergency phone: 01805 313031 (around the clock)
Sources: This text has been translated from German. Some sources may only be available in German.