A dedication ceremony was held Friday for a substance abuse treatment center aimed at helping gay men recover from crystal methamphetamine use.
The Friends Health Center is a collaboration between the Van Ness Recovery House, which provides substance abuse treatments for gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgendered people, and the Friends Research Institute, a researcher of substance abuse treatments.
The center will conduct a four-year study of 240 gay men who abuse crystal methamphetamine in an attempt to understand the link between its usage and subsequent high-risk sexual behavior, said Dr. Steve Shoptaw of the research institute.
He said the drug's usage in the gay community is different from abuse patterns among the straight male community.
"By evaluating the treatment we hope to inform the country about the best way to treat gay men who are abusing crystal meth," he said.
Treatments at the center, located at 6769 Lexington Ave., will be free. They are available to any gay or bisexual man who is abusing crystal methamphetamine and seeking treatment, Shoptaw said. Information: (888) 822-6384.