Talking to my Doctor about Tina

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For Patients talking Doctors

Science and medicine are searching for aides to help support people in recovery, in managing urges, and cope with crashing. There are medications that your Health Care Provider might be able to offer you, if you can have a conversation with them, and open up about your Tina use.

Being able to have these conversations can help you ask for PrEP or PEP.

Sometimes our problem Tina-use is due to underlying, concurrent conditions. Talking to your Health Care provider can lead to support for you if you are using Tina to cope with underlying Trauma from your past, Anxiety and Depression, or ADD/ADHD. Getting proper treatment to support underlying causes can be key to being able to get control of your Tina use.

You might want to try Wellbutrin. There have been some studies to support that it can help reduce Tina cravings, and some other studies that say it is not useful. Part of the problem with these studies, is that regular Crystal Meth use is associated with non-compliance: not taking medications on time as directed, making it hard to track if things like Wellbutrin work. Given there are not a lot of other options in terms of Pharmacological supports, you might want to talk to your Doctor about it and see if it will work for you, and get their help in taking meds regularly.

After various trials of Pharmacological medications, psychosocial therapy remains the mainstay treatment for Tina, specifically Cognitive-Behavioural as well as Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, also known as CBT and DBT respectively.

Meth can have a real impact on your physical health. Bringing your Healthcare Provider into the loop can ensure that if serious problems start happening, they can support you. For example, if you get an STI because of Tina sex, you need to be able to have open and honest conversations with your Doctor to be treated.

If you find yourself repeatedly walking into Walk In clinics to be treated for STIs, or on your 3rd round of PEP in 1 year, it’s not as great for your follow-up health to not have a continuum of care a regular Health Care provider can give you.

Be ready for their first response to be alarmed and fear when you disclose your Tina use. Give them a second chance. It’s a little like coming out of the closet to parents. Tina use has been blown out of proportion by the media and not everyone knows very much about it, including your Family Doctor. If your Doctor freaks out the first time you tell them about Tina, give them this website as a resource, or some other resource. Give them a second try and see how they are with you then.

You can direct your Doctor to the Chem Sex Care Plan™ as developed my 56 Dean Street, London’s preeminent sexual health clinic, who have developed this tool to be a guys for meth-using gay, bi and queer guys’ health plan. The Chem Sex Care Plan™ provides a health plan based on where you’re at, whether that is: Abstinence, Taking a short break, Play more safely, Still not sure what I want to do…

If you find that you cannot have conversations with your Doctor about being safer in your Tina use, it might be time to find a better Doctor. It can be hard to find a new doctor, but if things do not go well after this process, it might be a good time to start looking.

For Doctors talking to Patients

Traditional substance use treatment approaches for other substances, such as alcohol, which use confrontation tactics in order to break through patient’s denial or resistance regarding their drug use is not appropriate or useful with crystal methamphetamine. The shame with meth use is so big, that any attempt to confront your patient’s problem-use will likely shut down the conversation and from their getting the health care they need.

The most useful approaches involve the following:

  • Sex-Positive and Patient-Centered approach
  • Motivational Interviewing techniques
  • Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) strategies for psychosis
  • Dialectic-Behavioural Therapy (DBC) for managing urges
  • Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) for substituting using behaviour

This means talking to your patients about their meth-influenced sexual activity. While it can seem shocking or intense listening to your patient’s meth-related sex stories, doing so without judgement is critical so as not to shame your patient further, and avoid driving him into defense mode. It is likely he is aware of the discrepancy between his behaviour and his ideals. Meth can cause dark fantasies to bubble up from the subconscious.

It is possible that your patient is struggling with ADD/ADHD, Mood and Anxiety, PTSD problems, or fatigue related to HIV. These problems may be underlying any problematic meth use. Treating meth use problems may require addressing concurrent mental health problems.

Consider taking your patient through a Chem Sex Care Plan™ as developed my 56 Dean Street, London’s preeminent sexual health clinic, who have had successes in connecting meth-using MSM to care. The Chem Sex Care Plan™ provides a care plan based on what your patient wants to and is read to do, whether that is: Abstinence, Taking a short break, Play more safely, Still not sure what I want to do…