‘Tweakerworld,’ A Memoir

"Tweakerworld" by Jason Yamas.

Jason Yamas has been an actor, a writer, a filmmaker, and a drug dealer. It's his time as a drug dealer which is the subject of "Tweakerworld," his first book.

"Tweakerworld" seeks to shine a light on the crystal meth epidemic plaguing the gay male community, an epidemic that Yamas is all too familiar with. It's a world he was part of and he recounts his story in this harrowing yet impossible to put down tome.

As his story begins Yamas is breaking up with a boyfriend. He makes his way to San Francisco, where he abandons his career as a filmmaker in favor of crystal meth. In addition to getting caught up in addiction he begins dealing, very quickly becoming one of the city's biggest dealers. This leads him into a cesspool of sex addiction and run-ins with some very unsavory, even dangerous characters. 

Readers will learn everything there is to know about this dark underworld, and how its inhabitants connect with each other. Meth, and other dangerous substances, are only a click away. Apps like Grindr are filled with users and dealers who use a coded language to communicate with each other. By the end of the book, readers will have learned that language fluently.

Yamas had many disturbing experiences while in this world, such as car accidents that happened while he was high and after he had gone several days without sleeping. He's ripped off. During one encounter he passes out. While he's sleeping his new friend taps into his phone, stealing the account numbers and passwords not only for his bank account, but for the bank accounts of his mother and his ex-boyfriend. They all find their accounts drained. 

The world of crystal meth is a world where violence is a constant threat. Yamas has a few close calls, but manages to get through it all relatively unscathed. Of course the possibility of arrest and imprisonment hangs over his head, and he becomes paranoid, even delusional. Yet he is unable to remove himself from this world. 

Yamas today is living a very different life. He has been through rehab and has been clean for several years. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he is working on a novel and pursuing a career as an actor. The story of how he found his way into the world of meth and how he found his way out of it is an unforgettable and cautionary tale. When he wrote "Tweakerworld" Yamas wanted to shine a light on this gay community epidemic which is rarely talked about. He has succeeded is painting a terrifying portrait of that world. Reading this book will make readers who are thinking of indulging in crystal meth think twice about using the drug.

Yamas is one of the lucky ones. He came out of his experience in one piece and never faced the criminal prosecution that could very well have sent him to prison for a long time. Others weren't so lucky. In the book's epilogue he recalls a former associate who ended up dead after using fentanyl laced meth. That Yamas lived to share his story will hopefully convince gay men not to get involved in the meth world.

"Tweakerworld: A Memoir" by Jason Yamas 

c. 2023, unnamed press, $28 270 pages


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