Chemsex – a relatively new introduction to the UK after taking off in the US about a decade ago – involves partners taking recreational drugs to enhance sexual experience.
The craze, which is reportedly common in the gay community but on the rise in heterosexual couples, usually involves seriously addictive drugs such as crystal meth, GHB or mephedrone.
These three narcotics are popular in ‘chemsex parties’.
Mephedrone, which was legal in EU countries until 2010, can create a euphoric and affectionate state in the consumer, GHB, or ‘G’, can reduce inhibitions, and crystal meth, or methamphetamine, can cause a person to feel exhilarated and energised.
However, not only are all three dangerous to take by themselves, particularly GHB when mixed with alcohol, as they are commonly linked to overdoses but due to the reduction in inhibitions, people become more care-free about using condoms – causing officials to worry about the spreading of STDs, particularly HIV/AIDS in the gay community.
According to Sigmaresearch, one in five gay men have had chemsex in the past five years and one in ten have done it in the past month.
This, coupled with stats from the Home Office which states that drug-related deaths increased by 10.3 per cent in 2015, has sent health officials into a state of high concern.
As such, the Government has released a report describing how it will tackle the problem.
The strategy includes appointing a national “champion” to increase drug recovery rates, “targeted interventions” to give addicts “tailored treatments”, increased educational programmes and more support to prison officers.
However, the move has been criticised by charities, who said that officials are tackling the crime after it has been committed, rather than at the source.
Martin Powell, head of campaigns at the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, said: “It won’t protect young people and communities because it is the same failed old recipe of criminalisation and under-funding that has led to record numbers of vulnerable people dying.”
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb added: “The drugs strategy won’t work.
“It totally fails to address a key problem: treating drug dependence as a criminal justice issue rather than a health one.”
Source : EXPRESS