Substance Abuse

Perhaps most important to note is that THERE REMAINS a difference between substance use and addiction. This applies to all populations, including gay men!

Some of us take drugs to get high. Some of us use drugs to enhance our sexual pleasure. Some of us “party and play” (PNP), having sex while high on party drugs like ecstasy and crystal meth. Some guys use erectile drugs at the same time because party drugs can make them lose their erections. Poppers (solvents like amyl butrate and nitrate) are inhaled from a small bottle during sex. Some guys use poppers to get hard, some to loosen up for anal sex, and some find it can make them lose their erection.

When it comes to enhancing sexual pleasure, nobody does it better than the gay guys. If you end up regretting what you do while you’re drunk or on drugs, it can ruin the fun. So, here are some tips to make sure you are in control when taking drugs:

  1. Mixing booze and some pills can be risky
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask about certain drugs before trying them
  3. Side effects and come-downs can look different for everyone
  4. Plan ahead – if you’re looking for PNP and use certain risk reduction strategies like condoms and lube bring them along with you – know what you’re going to ask for/insist
  5. Recovery time is important as part of your party plans
  6. Some drugs can have specific side effects with HIV meds. Make sure you check this out before
  7. Know your dealer
  8. Don’t share drug injection equipment if you’re snorting or injecting
  9. HIV poz and on meds? Your liver may take a beating – consider what party drugs you’re using
  10. Ask yourself, remain conscious of why you’re using drugs – if you feel like things might be getting out of control; ask for help!


For more on this check out:

Stay tuned for some highlights and important facts about gay men and substance use from across Ontario via the Sex Now survey that was originally built and designed by the Community Based Research Centre in Vancouver, BC… You should check out this brand new campaign by our friends in Vancouver from the Health Initiative for Men (HiM) called “The High Life”


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