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(06.30.76) archives: a drug of our own.

Methamphetamine, or "meth," has become the drug of choice for many gay men [see story, page 481. Nearly three decades ago, as featured in The Advocate's first cover story on drug abuse, it was amyl nitrate, or "poppers."

When compared with crystal and its devastating effects, poppers was a relatively mild threat. In fact, many only saw its benefits. "Amyl nitrate is the only drug gay people can claim to know better than straight people," wrote journalist Karen West. "It smells worse than rotten socks.... [But] there's no risk of addiction, and you never read headlines announcing, 'Police Raid Baths, Confiscate Poppers.'"

Pharmacologist Norman Kramer warned, however, that 'the fact that there are no publicized reports of serious adverse effects ... may well be a reflection of the fact that most who indulge are young and healthy." The popularity of the drug waned in the early '80s as its association with sexual abandon led to a rumored connection with AIDS infection.
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Title Annotation:FROM THE EDITOR IN CHIEF; amyl nitrate
Author:Romesburg, Don
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 27, 2005
Words:160
Previous Article:Time line: "don't ask, don't tell".
Next Article:Relating to Chad.
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