Crystal methamphetamine has plagued the local gay community, with addiction to the drug growing steadily during the past five years, according to public health officials.
The D.C. Department of Health (DOH) and the Whitman-Walker Clinic (WWC) announced that they plan to tackle this issue before it wipes out one community and moves to the next. On March 14, they released a 30-second public service announcement titled ''Party 'n' Pay,'' a wordplay on the chat-room jargon ''Party 'n' Play,'' or ''PNP,'' used within the gay male community by those looking to hook up for sex and crystal meth. The ad is a montage of "PNP" visuals portraying the intense lifestyle of those using the drug.
The drug has wreaked havoc on the gay community and, according to Director of DOH Dr. Gregg Pane, ''crystal meth users are three times as likely to contract HIV and four times as likely to contract syphilis.''
WWC Interim Executive Director Roberta Geidner-Antoniotti said, ''Nearly half of the clients treated by our addiction services program have a problem with crystal meth, sometimes in combination with other addictions.''
In addition to television stations, copies of the PSA will be offered to bars and clubs that show music videos. The D.C. Crystal Meth Working Group will premiere the PSA at the Green Lantern on Wednesday, March 29.
The PSA, which cost approximately $30,000, was funded by a grant from the DOH Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA) and produced and directed by David Schulhoff of New York City.