BRITAIN’S first real taste of crystal meth came thanks to the popularity of an award-winning television show.

Walter White was the chemistry teacher turned criminal mastermind who, with aide Jesse Pinkman, revealed the huge profits associated with the drug in the series, Breaking Bad.

But don’t for one minute think meth, also known as crank, ice, glass or, to give its correct name, methamphetamine, is a new phenomenon.

Although in recent years it has become far more powerful, and it’s techniques for manufacture evolved greatly, it was first made in Germany in 1887 and later used to keep soldiers awake during the Second World War.

Japanese kamikaze pilots were also given high doses before suicide missions and, after the war, it was prescribed as a diet aid and anti depressant.

Socially it was used by college students and truck drivers as a stimulant. As abuse spread, the United States government made it illegal and forced its production underground.

Fast forward 20 years and illegal laboratories began popping up all over the States. As quickly as the authorities clamped down, more and more opened up.

Today it is widespread in Eastern Europe, China, Thailand and the Philippines.

But what’s more worrying is, it has reared its ugly head far closer to home. Right here in Brighton.

After a series of raids earlier this month, police are confident they have smashed a suspected meth dealing drugs ring.

“It has become increasingly more prevalent and come to the attention of a number of other partners, including health and drug support services, as well as police,” said Detective Inspector Julie Wakeford.

But what is a concern is its use among the city’s gay scene, especially involving chemsex – male sex parties, often organised on dating apps, which are fuelled by illegal drugs.

A former addict says its use here is rife and taking meth, often with other illegal substances, is part and parcel of the dark underbelly of the community.

Sam Jones, who has been clean for six months after two years of chronic addiction, said: “The chemsex scene is incredibly dangerous as it offers a whole way of life built from three highly addictive components – crystal meth, along with other drugs typically taken with it, the enhanced feeling of sex you have while on it and the compulsive searching of hook-up apps and sites for your next hit.”

DI Wakeford added: “We are concerned where the drug is being used by the community generally in Brighton and Hove and the serious effects that it has on those who use it.”


SAM Jones spent two years of his life chronically addicted to crystal meth. Sam, not his real name, has been clean for six months. Here he tells us how the drug left his life in tatters.

THE first time I came across crystal meth, it was through a stranger I met on the gay hook-up app Grindr.

He lived locally and I went round to his house for what I thought would just be no-strings-attached sex.

I’d been drinking that evening. When I arrived he offered me a line of “meow” and then, later, asked if I’d like to try crystal meth.

I’d never smoked meth before. Having heard the horror stories and seen the pictures of what it can do to people, I was incredibly wary. But I had a couple of drinks inside me and, before I knew it, I’d accepted.

Two years later, my life was in tatters. I’d quit the well-paid job I had, moved back in with my parents, and spent £20,000 on credit cards buying the drug.

I was fortunate to be able to spend 28 days in a rehab centre. I’ve now been clean for six months and am slowly rebuilding the life I had.

During my twenties, I’d tried most drugs.

Crystal meth, however, was different from all the others and quickly took control of my life.

I would go a week at a time, neither eating nor sleeping, moving from sex party to sex party, using Grindr to find my next destination.

I wasn’t the only one doing it. Both in Brighton and London, I met a number of gay guys who had also found themselves in too deep. Meth is here to stay.

This chemsex scene is incredibly dangerous as it offers a whole way of life built from three highly addictive components: the crystal meth (along with the other drugs typically take with it), the enhanced feeling of the sex you have while on it, and the compulsive searching of hook-up apps and sites for your next hit.


OFFICERS from Sussex Police carried out simultaneous raids at addresses across the city earlier this month.

Warrants were executed at addresses in Pankhurst Avenue, New England Street and at two city centre hotels.

But one location that stood out among the rest was Tongdean Lane. This leafy road in the heart of Withdean isn’t your usual drug dealing hotspot.

Five people from Brighton were arrested during the series of raids. They were questioned over a variety of drug related offences. Police also arrested two women and a man from London.

Six of them have been released under investigation while the 41-year-old London woman and 50-year-old Brighton man have been released on bail.

Earlier this month a porn star was spared jailed after he was exposed as a crystal meth dealer. Alan Pollard, 28, from Brighton, was caught with £1,000 of class A drug crystal meth when police raided his home.

Judge Charlies Kemp sentenced Pollard to two years’ imprisonment, but suspended the sentence for two years to allow him to focus on drug rehabilitation.