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Here at SPACED we understand that people use drugs including alcohol for a variety of reasons, we are not here to condone or condemn substance use – but what we do hope to do is reduce some of the risks associated with the behaviour.

Research suggests Alcohol is the most commonly used substance among the LGBT+ community and has many risks associated with it such as heightened anxiety, a variety of cancers and physical dependency.
For more information around alcohol click here
Alcohol and Cocaine is a regular combination used by people, the alcohol reduces the anxiety from the cocaine and the cocaine reduces the drowsiness from the alcohol one would think it was a match made in heaven… not so much Cocaine and Alcohol used concurrently produces a 3rd chemical in the body Cocaethylene, this 3rd chemical is toxic to the body and adds additional strain on the heart and liver.

Click here to find out the risks associated with alcohol & cocaine

or watch this video


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Whilst ChemSex is only practised by a small cohort of gay men, the risks associated with it are huge!

ChemSex is a broad term used for sexual activity under the influence of drugs, from one-on-one to multiple participation.
The most common drugs associated with ‘Chemsex’ are:

Mephedrone (4-methyl ephedrine) Known as MKAT, 4- MCC, Meow Meow

Still very popular on the gay scene – despite its demise nationally since the NPS legislation.
Can be taken orally, snorted or injected ‘slammed’.

Methamphetamine Known as ‘Tina’ or ‘T’ on the scene.

It appears to be only really used by gay men at the moment in the UK.
Can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected ‘slammed’.

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine) Most commonly called ‘Molly’ on the scene.

Can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected ‘slammed’.

All of the above are commonly ‘slammed’ (injected) in the context of ChemSex

GBL (gamma butyrolactone) and GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) both known as ‘G’

Can be taken orally. Used gradually (1 ml at a time) leaving a good 30mins in between each dose.

Very dose dependant, overdosing can result in unconsciousness.

GHB/GBL is lethal if injected.

High Risk when mixed with alcohol as the two drugs work in a similar way in the brain. This can result in high levels of intoxication -which can lead to delusions, seizures, unconsciousness and possibly coma. GHB is often termed the ‘date rape’ drug as it can leave the consumer blacked out or unconscious, vulnerable and unaware of their surroundings.

Viagra (sildenafil, sildenafil citrate)

Viagra is a tablet taken orally for erectile dysfunction, as this can be a common issue when using stimulants like the ones above.
Viagra can not be bought in the pharmacy without a prescription. Viagra bought online has the potential to be fake.

Viagra is designed to move the blood away from the heart to the penis. When taken with stimulants this can cause additional strain on the heart, sudden changes in blood pressure which can result in chest pains, heart attack or stroke.


Whether you’re slamming, snorting or swallowing, always Start Low and Go Slow.



Snorting cocaine, ketamine and mephedrone is common practice among drug users.

Although MDMA & Methampethamine can be snorted it is very painful for the user as those substances are made from crystals shards which don’t absorb in to the mucus membranes as easily.
Snorting delivers the drug through the mucus membranes into the blood stream pretty quickly so the effects from snorting are generally felt in about 10mins or less.

  • Use your own snorting tube/straw. Sharing bank notes, straws or snorting tubes can spread BBVs such as Hep C
  • Place your snorting tube high up in the nostril to avoid powders getting stuck to the nostril wall and causing irritation.
  • Ensure the drugs are chopped into a fine powder to ensure it is all absorbed and to avoid additional damage to the nostril.
  • Alternate nostrils to avoid excessive damage to just one nostril.
  • Wash out your nostrils at the end of each session, to avoid residue corroding the skin.


Bombing is when you wrap the substance in a cigarette paper/tissue and swallow it.
Dabbing is when you lick your finger and press the wet finger into a substance and then lick your finger.

Taking drugs orally will have a slower onset to snorting, injecting or smoking as the substances need’s to enter the digestive system to then be passed into the blood stream. Taking powdered substances orally can result in up to an hour’s wait for the effects.

  • Wrapping the substance in cigarette paper prior to swallowing will reduce the irritation to mouth, throat and digestive system.
  • Crush Dab Wait – this is a slogan created by the Loop.
    Crushing your powders into a fine powder to break down any chunky crystals will help you get a more consistent dosage.
    Dab your licked finger into fine powder is a helpful guide in regards to dosage
    Wait up to an hour before re-dosing. Swallowing powdered drugs orally can result in a slower onset which can result in people re-dosing before the first dose has kicked in.

Swallowing G is a different matter – it must be diluted in a soft drink or water, drinking neat will burn your mouth and throat. Do not dilute in alcoholic drinks as this will increase the effect of the drug and increase your risk of “going under”.


Crack cocaine and methampethamine can be smoked in a glass pipe.
Ketamine and heroin are smoked on foil.
Cannabis can be smoked in a joint, with or without tobacco or a bong/pipe

Smoking drugs gives a quick onset of the effects as the fumes from the drugs are delivered into the lungs and in to the blood stream very quickly.

  • Never share a pipe, tube or spliff with someone with cold sores – this can spread the herpes virus.
  • Never share a glass pipe with someone who has cracked, chapped or bleeding lips. This could result in the spread of BBVs
  • Aluminium foil brought in the shops tends to have a thin layer of plastic on it and when smoked this can be carcinogenic.
    Some Needle Exchanges provide foil fit for smoking.

Booty Bump

Booty Bumping is when drugs are inserted in the anus. Inside the anus is a thin layer of skin knows as the mucous (similar to up your nose) which allows for drugs to get passed through into the blood stream.

Powders can be dabbed and rubbed against the lining of the anus wall.
Pills and powders can be wrapped in cigarette paper and “Stuffed” in to the anus
Powders and pills can also be mixed with water and then syringed in to the anus – without the needle on it!!!

  • Drugs inserted anally can have a much quicker on set than taking it orally and people find the effects to be stronger too!
  • You can always take more but you can’t take less.
  • Drugs are irritating to the skins and can cause sores, inflammation and bleeding, so “stuffing” is advised.


If your starting to feel unable to go out without using drugs including alcohol or you feel the party needs to slow down please contact us.
We can offer you confidential free advice and support to start to reduce you drugs and alcohol use.


If you are interested in learning more about how to stay safe when using drugs and having sex. Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is a wealth of knowledge and understanding.
Click here for THT Chemsex Resources Friday/Monday

Whether you are newly diagnosed with HIV or have been managing your condition for many years, National services from Terrence Higgins Trust is a place where you can access:

  • Free online counselling
  • Free online advice
  • Community forums THT Direct
  • THT Direct provides support, advice and information when you need it and in a way that suits you. Call them on 0808 802 1221 Monday to Friday from 10am to 8pm.
    Advisers can provide emotional support if you are worried about your sexual health or have concerns about living with HIV. They can help you access services local to you across the UK, whether provided by us or by someone else.
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