Tina’s Territory: Methamphetamine in the Urban Gay Scene

by Jake Colton

Introduction to Tina: Breaking Meth Stereotypes

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, often conjures images associated with poor, rural white populations, particularly in the western half of the United States. This stereotype has been further popularized by TV shows like “Breaking Bad,” reinforcing the notion that meth is predominantly a rural issue. However, in the Midwest and Eastern U.S., while meth use is generally more confined to rural areas, there’s a notable exception: the urban gay party scene.

In my practice, located in the heart of downtown Chicago, this exception becomes glaringly evident. Among the hundreds of clients I’ve seen for meth addiction, only one straight individual reported meth use, and his addiction began in Utah – an area more traditionally associated with the meth epidemic. In stark contrast, within the gay community, the prevalence of meth, especially known as ‘Tina’ in these circles, is significantly higher. 

Meth "Tina" - A High Class Party Drug

Many of my clients, were regulars at clubs on Halsted or attendees of annual events like Market Days, IML, and Chicago Pride Fest. According to them, it was hard to find people not using meth. This phenomenon indicates a unique and concerning pattern of meth use that diverges from the common rural stereotype and is firmly entrenched in the urban gay party scene.

Tina, in these circles, has seemingly garnered a reputation as a ‘high-class’ party drug, akin to the status cocaine held for many in the 1980s. Correspondingly, many of these individuals held high-salary, high-status positions, a stark contrast to the typical demographic associated with meth use in rural areas.

Erotic Orgies on Tina? Everybody's Doing It

In nearly every instance I’ve encountered, the initial lure to Tina was its widespread acceptance and prevalence within the social spheres my clients frequented. 

What stood out were the tales of extravagant escapades that often accompanied regular Tina use. These stories painted vivid pictures of weeklong orgies, where sleep and food were rare commodities, overshadowed by relentless indulgence in sexual adventures. The allure of Tina wasn’t just in the drug itself, but in the promise of these wild, uninhibited experiences.

While a few did mention increased work productivity as a perk, it was mainly the intoxicating blend of Tina’s effects and the promise of erotic escapades that drew them back, time and again. This led to a recurring pattern: strategically taking time off work around major events or festivals, plunging into non-stop partying for 2-3 days, sometimes stretching to a week, followed by a crash period of intense rest and recovery.

"Tina" Takes Over - The Consequences of Meth Addiction

Initially, this cycle seemed to function seamlessly, but as time progressed, it began to unravel, revealing a host of serious issues. What began as a pattern reserved for special events soon morphed into a more frequent occurrence. Many realized that the lure of Tina wasn’t confined to these occasions; it was accessible virtually any time through the maze of gay hookup sites. Here, they found others readily equipped with Tina, eager to engage in the euphemism of “partying.”

As this reality took hold, boundaries began to blur and then disintegrate. The lines that once demarcated recreational use from daily life were increasingly crossed. This shift brought significant consequences: careers, once thriving and successful, started to falter and, in some cases, were completely lost. Relationships, both personal and professional, suffered damage, often irreparably.

You may also like

Leave a Comment