OK, so maybe it’s 6 a.m., the three guys you found on Grindr yesterday afternoon just left, you have to be at work in two hours and you’re still skipping-off-the-stratosphere tweaked. Or you just lost your partner or your job to crystal. Maybe you’ve simply decided it’s time. However and whenever you reach the end with meth, or even the beginning of the end, know that you won’t have to face the climb back all by yourself—all kinds of resources are as close as your phone or computer.
If you need to talk to someone right away, Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) has a 24-hour help line: 1 (877) CMA-NOW1 (262-6691). Alcoholics Anonymous, which welcomes users of any drug, also has a 24/7 line—1 (800) 923-8722.
If you’re ready to go for full-on abstinence, there’s a variety of routes. CMA (cmala.com), AA (lacoaa.org) and Narcotics Anonymous (todayna.org) all have meetings spaced throughout the day in West Hollywood and other spots in L.A. Check out their websites for details. There’s also a list of CMA meetings at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s website, lagaycenter.org. Even if 12-step isn’t your thing, try a meeting anyway. I’m not a 12-stepper either, but back at the beginning, I always found it very beneficial just to be among those who have quit or are trying to. The meetings are usually fun, and you’ll meet some great people.
Residential programs are available too. Call the Van Ness Recovery House (vannessrecovery.org) in Hollywood at (323) 463-4266, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s also the Tarzana Treatment Center (tarzanatc.org) over in the Valley, at 1 (800) 996-1051. The Tweakers Project’s website (tweakersproject.org) has a more complete list of treatment facilities, as well as a host of other resource references.
Not ready to check in at the Sobriety Suites? Then you might want to investigate the free “Friends Getting Off” program (friendsgettingoff.com) at the Friends Community Center in Hollywood. “The program combines group counseling with a behavioral intervention that gives rewards for clean urine samples,” the website says. “Participation is eight weeks, followed by optional ongoing support groups, and one follow-up interview.”
The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is also a great resource. The Center’s website includes a ton of basic information about meth and links to all sorts of meth-related groups and services. Better still, the Center’s Meth Recovery Services sponsors four weekly crystal meth groups, two geared towards abstinence and two focusing on harm and use reduction. One of the harm reduction groups is designed specifically for LGBT youth. Check the website, call (323) 993-7448 or email email@example.com for details.
The Center also provides mental health/counseling services, including substance abuse therapy. Call (323) 993-7669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
So there’s good news and there’s good news. The good news is recovery rocks! The other good news is you don’t have to do it alone.
Peter DelVecchio is a reporter for Frontiers magazine and an attorney. He is also writing a book about his experiences with meth. You can friend him on Facebook.