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June 8, 2017

Chemsex parties: Gay and bisexual men get high and have sex


Gay or bisexual adults are more likely to take illicit drugs. A five-year research project undertaken by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation reported levels of last-year drug use among their lesbian, gay and bisexual survey respondents in England at seven times the rate found in the general population - especially among males. Christine Schierano and Gary R. Potter report that a small sub-section of the gay population participates in ´chemsex parties´, where groups of gay and bisexual men meet up, get high, and have sex with one another.



The study appeared in the new handbook "Evidence in European social drug research and drug policy", edited by Aileen O´Gorman, Gary R. Potter, Jane Fountain.

"As chemsex parties have not yet been widely documented elsewhere in Europe, European news media have often discussed the London chemsex scene in relation to occasional cases of violence linked to similar sex-and-drug-parties within gay subcultures in their own national contexts. For example, a case in Italy, where a man was killed by a friend during a chemsex party led to media discussion.

One set of health concerns relates simply to the use of substances, particularly when consumed in large doses, for extended periods of time, or in the context of poly-drug use, - especially when legal erectile dysfunction medicine like Viagra, and benzodiazepines (commonly used to help manage ´come downs´ are thrown into the mix. The sex aspect of chemsex adds further risks. A study suggests that a changing culture in the use of recreational drugs could be linked to an inflated level of risk-taking between sexual partners and therefore to the increase of HIV and other diseases.

As well as these public health concerns relating to the drug/sex combination, criminological concerns have begun to arise over violence related to chemsex and the drug distribution that necessarily supports consumption, with the case of convicted serial killer Stephen Port being a particularly high-profile example ..."

 






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