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Chemsex Briefing Launch

Friday 25-01-2019 - 00:00

Today I’m incredibly excited to be launching our Chemsex briefing which will help SUs better support their LGBT+ students who use drugs. This work is built upon the foundation we set last year by releasing Taking the Hit, the first ever report in student drug use, in collaboration with drug charity Release.

Chemsex, a term first coined by David Stuart, refers to the practice of using drugs during sex. Chemsex is primarily engaged in by men who sleep with other men (MSM) and can be linked to unhealthy patterns of behaviour relating to substance use and sexual health. Chemsex is broadly considered by sexual health experts to be a fairly new phenomenon and has been the source of a media moral panic in previous years, so it is vital that our understanding and practice is built upon facts instead of fearmongering.

Watch the full video below for more details: 

Both the UK and international research has indicated that LGBT+ rates of drug use are higher than the general population, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean every LGBT+ person has a substance misuse problem. It simply means that any response to drug use must take into consideration the contexts in which substances are being used, as well as the additional stigma LGBT+ people face.

This is why we’re encouraging students unions to link up with their local community’s sexual health services and LGBT+ groups to break down the barriers many LGBT+ students have to go through to access even the most basic level of support.

If you have any questions on the briefing or would like further advice on how to implement our recommendations, don’t hesitate to get in touch! My email is rob.noon@nus.org.uk. 

Read the briefing here.

In solidarity,

Rob Noon

LGBT+ Officer (open place)

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