Last weekend, from Dec. 8 to 11, patrons at more than a dozen gay venues in D.C. were given a simple message: ''Crystal Meth Sucks.'' The message appeared on postcards, posters and T-shirts worn by staff. Christopher Dyer, chair of the social-marketing committee of the Crystal Meth Working Group of Washington, D.C. -- an independent outcropping of several meetings organized by The [D.C. LGBT] Center to address abuse of the drug in the gay community -- says the message seems to have been received.
''Prior to the event, we were getting about 600 hits a day,'' says Dyer, referring to the group's Web site, www.letstalkaboutmeth.org. ''From Thursday to Friday night, we saw approximately 2,400 hits. Then we saw about 1,400 hits on Saturday and 1,200 on Sunday. We think it was an unqualified success.''
Beyond cyberspace, Dyer was also among those from the group hitting the clubs to hand out the postcards. ''We took the clubs back for a night and proved that not everybody is on meth,'' he says, explaining that a primary objective is create an atmosphere in which people are less likely to use the drug.
Dyer says that his group will be analyzing this initial success in hopes of launching a second round of ''Crystal Myth Sucks,'' possibly in January.