Thursday, Dec 05, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 3, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 36
Youth, meth, and going viral
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Youth, meth, and going viral

by Leslie Robinson - SGN Contributing Writer
'In my brief moments of clarity, I knew my life was supposed to be better than this.'

Who said that? Who had mere seconds of clarity? Yogi Berra? Dan Quayle? Maxwell Smart?

If you guessed Lindsay Lohan, you're getting warm. The speaker was 26-year-old Jordan Duran, who in an interview with The Seattle Times described his addiction to crystal meth. He was part of a story about young Gays contracting HIV through meth use.

As happy a topic as exploding oil rigs.

Though there is some happiness connected with Duran's story: He's alive. Not long ago you'd have gotten better odds on Mel Gibson joining the diplomatic corps.

Duran struggled in his hometown of Puyallup, about 35 miles south of Seattle. By the age of 5, he knew he was different from other boys. In high school, he seized on religion. Duran even went to a therapist who "specialized" in reversing homosexuality. During his senior year, he came out.

After graduation he headed for Seattle, moving in with an older man who apparently took his role as mentor very seriously, arranging official introductions for his protégé - to ecstasy, ketamine, GHB, and then meth.

"From the first time I took meth, I was hooked," said Duran. "It was about escaping from who I was, and meth was the perfect drug to wash it all away."

Chocolate does the same for me, but oddly it doesn't have that effect on everyone.

On his 21st birthday, Duran drank a boatload and then scored some meth. He had unprotected sex with a stranger.

A few weeks later it became clear what he'd gotten for his birthday: HIV. And many happy returns.

Joshua O'Neal, who does HIV-testing research at a local hospital, told The Seattle Times that three-quarters of those who test HIV-positive at his clinic have used meth. Said O'Neal, "When you feel invincible, you don't care about using a condom."

After he tested positive, Duran's downward spiral got a move on. By 23, he was using meth 20 times each day.

Most people don't do anything 20 times a day, except breathe.

He had unsafe sex. Staph infections and MRSA were frequent visitors. He contracted syphilis, which spread to his brain, causing disorientation. He was homeless.

Only Dante could do justice to this circle of hell.

Finally Duran saw a doctor, who happened to resemble his grandmother. She asked if he was using meth, and told him if he continued to use he'd be dead within six months from an overdose or the HIV.

Grandma took no prisoners. Thank goodness.

"Up until that point, I was afraid of living, but suddenly I was afraid of dying," said Duran.

He went directly from the doctor's to an AA meeting, and began the arduous task of getting clean. "Quitting the drugs wasn't the hard part," he said. "Feeling my emotions was the hard part."

Duran has been victorious in the smackdown with his emotions - he's been sober for well over two years. Soon after starting antiretroviral drugs, his viral load was undetectable. He now works for Gay City Health Project, which focuses on Gay men's health.

When someone on the skids comes in and tells him he doesn't know what it's like, Duran must struggle not to guffaw.

In Seattle's King County, in the space of a year, about 10 percent of Gay and Bisexual men use crystal meth. For men under the age of 30, the figure is twice as high.

Combine that with the studies saying Gay men who use meth are at scary-high risk for contracting HIV, and it all adds up to a real problem: tweaking twinks who can't think.

Leslie Robinson will never kick chocolate. E-mail her at lesarobinson@gmail.com, and visit her blog at www.generalgayety.com.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Murray and Pedersen weigh in on Mehlman
------------------------------
DOMA limitations hit home for former Seattle resident
------------------------------
SGN Exclusive Interview: Gay candidate Manning deals with death threat
------------------------------
Right-wing puppet masters tie their strings to Dino Rossi
------------------------------
Youth, meth, and going viral
------------------------------
Eduardo Khawam's toy story
------------------------------

------------------------------
California doesn't have to defend Prop 8, court says
------------------------------
Pentagon to meet with Gay partners of some troops
------------------------------
Pride At Work endorses One Nation Working Together march
------------------------------
Castro apologizes for sending Gays to camps
------------------------------
Chinese court takes first HIV discrimination case
------------------------------
The Outfield: GLAD All over sports
------------------------------
Gay City's Eden party a huge success
------------------------------
To win, Democrats must define, defend, and dumb down
------------------------------

------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2010

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News