"Crystal City" goes to Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival


America's opioid crisis has overshadowed the worsening crystal meth epidemic hitting gay communities across the country. As portrayed in films such as Beautiful Boy, addiction to methamphetamine is one of the fastest growing public health issues being treated today-- with 10,721 overdose deaths recorded in the United States in 2017 alone (up from 7,600 the year before).

Crystal City investigates the origins of the gay meth epidemic, tracing its roots to the aftermath of the AIDS crisis in 1990s New York City. However, my team is most interested in how gay meth users find recovery and attempt sobriety. Abstinence based programs are still the most widely practiced when it comes to treating stimulant dependence primarily due to their robust sense of community and structure.

Above all else, this documentary rejects the negative stereotypes about addicts portrayed in so many other tragic stories and intervention specials. This is not a tale of hopeless cases. Crystal City is about the strength of addicts to overcome their chemical dependency and the people who help them along the way. This is not just a call to action but a call to compassion.