“‘Breaking Bad’ Style Outdoor Meth Lab Uncovered on London’s leafy Hampstea Heath,” says The Sun on September 15, 2018. Europe is seeing increasing headlines of this type in most of the countries in Western Europe and all of them in Eastern Europe.
Methamphetamine Use across Europe Based on Wastewater Analysis Source: European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
The World Drug Report of 2017 documents the rising use of methamphetamines in the UK, and across Western and Eastern Europe. The chart above shows the major centres of drug use (based) on wastewater analysis. The UK is not included. But another report shows that about 10 per cent of the UK population from the ages of 16 to 24 have tried meth.
Here’s the personal side of the story:
“I was first introduced to crystal meth when I was 25, and initially it was just another substance to add to the mix,” writes a former methamphetamine addict in London.
“The London gay scene had become raw. I found myself submerged in a scene with many people smoking crystal meth. The apps were awash with the offers of sex and ‘slamming’ parties (injecting crystal meth and having sex with unkowns), most of which lasted the majority of the weekend. I quickly embraced this new era. Being part of this new and hedonistically exciting ‘chemsex’ world was fun at first, but at the same time extremely dangerous. People didn’t seem to care about each other, who they slept with or, more importantly, about themselves.”
ChemSex is the new abnormal, and it’s building demand from all the new meth labs that are springing up in Western Europe. Once the cheap drug used mostly in Eastern Europe, now even Switzerland has a rising number of meth labs linked to prostitution, but also to a new kind of sexual experience.
Thai prostitutes who reached Eastern Europe, with most in the Czech Republic, brought meth with them – it is sadly popular in Southeast Asia. Their clients took the practice with them all over Europe, and demand rose as the weird ChemSex high took off all over Western Europe. As demand rose, so did the number of meth labs, which are very cheap and easy to start up. But the price of the drug rose steadily on the back of the increasing popularity of this new abnormal.
But meth kills. It’s that simple. It makes no difference if you shoot it or sniff it; your body will suffer devastating damage within months, your teeth will fall out, gradually your cardiovascular system will decay, you lose weight and soon after you die.
So ChemSex isn’t about life. It’s about death. And it’s spreading like a disease across the UK and Europe. “We are seeing an increasing numbers of methamphetamine consumers in the context of ChemSex, largely with men,” reports a spokesperson for the addiction recovery facility Zentrum für Suchtmedizin in Zurich, in an interview with Gli Occhi della Guerra.
Spain is seeing an rising epidemic of meth use and the meth labs that feed it; as you can see from the chart above, Germany has cities where the meth use has become epidemic. “Police in Malaga dismantle ‘Breaking Bad’ style Meth Lab.”
Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are the cities with the highest European rates of illicit drug use to enhance sexual pleasure, a trend health experts say greatly exacerbates STD and HIV transmission. According to research at Madrid’s University Hospital, between 29 and 37 per cent of people taking part in ChemSex in Spain are HIV positive.
The problem is that having sex with unknowns under the influence of meth makes you do dangerous things, like forgetting to use protection. It also encourages getting violent. And the risk of contracting AIDS is extremely high, as the Spanish research shows. According to a study published in the BMJ, those who engage in ChemSex run a 30 per cent greater risk of contracting AIDs than other gay males.
And, in Germany, as the chart shows, the trend is just as alarming. “People want to test their boundaries with drugs, and overcome them,” says one Berliner, to get away from the normality and boredom of the day-to-day grind. The drugs help them to become intimate and trusting, or to get over shame.” Meth takes away the inhibitions and represses fears of risks.
As the chart shows, is the situation very different in France, especially in the Paris area. “Le chemsex, une pratique dangereuse,” warns the newspaper Le Figaro on May 9, 2018. “It was a great high,” writes one French addict. After two years of using meth, I cannot live without it and you cannot imagine how it takes control of a person’s life. My physical health is ravaged…I hope someday I will get away from it…”