Why Do I Ask Women Who Slam Meth To Contact MeBy Doc
People often question as to why I am so interested in needle meth use, especially by women.
That’s a legitimate question.
I have been studying drug addiction, primarily cocaine and more recently meth, for about 35 years. Much of my work has been in a research laboratory, but a few years ago I started going out into the local community to speak to meth users face-to-face. I have met with them in treatment centers, in prisons, and even in my office. I have talked to men as well as women. I can honestly say that I have learned so much more from talking to meth users, and actually listening to them, than I ever did from all the medical books and journals I read.
First, let me assure that I want to help everyone struggling with meth, men as well as women. I don’t discriminate.
But there are several reasons for my specific interest in women.
Methamphetamine is a drug used by people all around the world. And while men are two to three times more likely to use most other drugs, women are as likely to use meth as men are.
The reasons for this are not really clear.
Historically, at least until relatively recently, medical and scientific research focused on males only, unless it was research on a female-specific disease such as endometriosis. There were a variety of reasons for this (including bias), but the result was that many diseases were not studied in women for many years.
The same holds true for methamphetamine. This is starting to change now, but if you really dig into the medical and scientific research on meth, you will soon discover that the vast majority of this research has been conducted in men.
One very significant line of research is meth use in men who have sex with men. This research has been conducted because meth is often associated with sex (more about that in a sec). Meth tends to increase sexual arousal while decreasing inhibitions. Therefore, safe sex is not often practiced.
Doctors and scientists soon realized that the rate of HIV/AIDS was higher in men who have sex with men and who also use meth. Some research even suggested that meth makes it easier to be infected with the virus that causes AIDS.
So there has been a lot of research focusing on the effects of meth in men compared to research on its effects in women. But there are other reasons for my interest in women.
In my opinion, drug addiction, whether it is meth or even some another drug, is especially difficult for women.
We all know that a woman can become pregnant, whether intentional or not. And when she becomes a mother, she also becomes responsible for her child. In an ideal world, the father would share in the care of the child that he shares with the mother.
But we also know the reality. In far too many cases, the mother becomes the primary caregiver for her baby. What if this mother is also struggling with meth or other drugs? Who is going to take care of her baby if mom is on a three-day meth binge?
Who makes sure that her baby is fed? Who gives her a bath? When she is older, who helps her with her homework and gets her ready for school? Too often the child depends solely on her mother.
So my interest in women is, in part, because of the innocent children that often become victims of meth.
Meth often starts being used as a means to survive. A mother can take care of her children and work a full-time job and become “supermom” if she can just find the energy. Many people unwittingly fall into the clutches of meth because they initially turned to this insidious chemical as an energy boost, and they usually start by smoking it.
And then she tries injecting meth for the first time in an attempt to really boost her energy levels. She can handle it, right?
But then everything changes.
As already suggested, more than most other drugs, injected meth is so often associated with sex. Some women claim that meth produces sexual desire and/or arousal and reduces inhibitions. Some even claim than the euphoria associated with an injection of meth, when it is of sufficient purity and dosage, is very similar to sexual pleasure.
But it is never quite as good as that first time ever again. It can still be quite euphoric – for a while, but just not quite as good. So she continues to use meth, seeking that first high.
It’s as though the drug is calling out to her – but lying to her. Inside her head a little voice tells her that all she needs to do is to inject just a little bit more meth. Maybe she just needs to make the meth solution in the syringe a little thicker. Maybe if she can just find that dealer that sold her the “really good dope” that time…
But as with most things, too much of a good thing often becomes harmful. I think that God created us this way.
Meth increases levels of the brain pleasure chemical called dopamine more than any other pleasurable activity. Other drugs also increase dopamine – that’s why people enjoy using them too. But meth increases dopamine three or four times more than even cocaine or morphine.
However. the massive amounts of dopamine that meth releases in the brain actually begin to damage the very nerve cells that release the pleasure chemical. So over time, the user realizes that meth doesn’t make her feel as good as it used to. So she uses more and more of the drug, trying to find that euphoria she covets. But it’s to no avail. The more she uses, the more her dopamine cells are damaged.
Eventually she gets to the point that she feels like she has to slam meth just to feel normal – just to get out of bed.
She feels helpless and lost and so afraid.
But there’s more.
If a man first “introduced” a woman to meth, sometimes he can gain tremendous control over her. The euphoria is so sexual, women often resort to sex to get meth. In addition, men are typically bigger and physically stronger than women to begin with, and if a man is the source for meth, women will often do anything to get more meth.
I have talked to men as well as women. Many of the men were in prison and told me about their exploits with women. But men on the outside told me many of the same things. I often heard of instances where a man was able to convince women to do literally anything that he wished or demanded – all for just another shot of meth. They’ve shared their stories with me – men and women alike.
I have heard of so many cases where women ended up as prostitutes or in other forms of sex trafficking after becoming addicted to meth. That’s slavery and it’s wrong! Sex trafficking is a real and growing problem in the United States – and meth is often a contributing factor.
I have also heard, primarily from women, about how slamming meth is different from smoking or snorting the drug – especially with respect to the sexual effects I mentioned above. That is why I specifically ask for women with experience slamming meth to contact me. Everyone tells me about this difference, but you won’t find it mentioned in any medical book or journal. I intend to change that.
Most people in this field, unfortunately, do not take the time to actually listen to the people that they are trying to help. They just run more tests and prescribe drugs. How sad!
I have asked some of the women I have talked to if they had ever discussed many of the things that we talked about with their counselors. They almost always say no. When I ask why not, they tell me that they were never asked.
In my opinion, that’s just tragic. I want to make a difference and change things. Women matter to me – people matter to me! And like I always say, if I can just help one person, then it has all been worth it.
I honestly believe that God has placed this mission in my heart.