Meth use among gay men is a major concern, particularly in the western United States, says the Seattle Times. In King County, Wa., about 10 percent of gay and bisexual men used crystal meth in a given year; these rates are twice as high in men under the age of 30. Gay men who use meth are among the highest risk for contracting HIV, perhaps because of the drug’s libido-boosting effect or the lack of inhibitions and invincibility people feel when using.
Local organizations have been reaching out to meth users in the gay community, hoping to pave their path to recovery by offering counseling, support groups, and other resources. “While meth affects everyone because its so highly addictive, it’s a particular problem for those in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) community,” said Arnold Martin, who works for project NEON, a program for gay and bisexual men struggling with meth use. “The shame of being gay and an outcast, the low self-esteem  the drug allows you to not feel, to not care; it knocks down the barrier around self-esteem.”