The Chems Advisors at 56 Dean Street are on hand for an informal, judgment-free chat (one to one) about all things sex and drugs. Our Tuesday evening team (Code) also includes advisors from our partners Antidote at London Friend. Whether you want to:
To watch a collection of chemsex support videos, click here.
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Slamming drugs can be more dangerous in comparison to other methods of taking chems. We’re here to reduce the harm injecting could potentially have. Keep yourself informed and come in and speak to us for a judgement-free consultation. We can offer you clean needles and guidance on how to take drugs safely.
Safer injecting practices
Injecting over a long period of time can result in:
Crystal meth is a strong, highly addictive amphetamine stimulant which is usually snorted, smoked, mixed with water and injected (slamming), or injected inside the anus (booty bumping). It releases the brain’s stress hormone norepinephrine and ‘feel good’ chemicals dopamine and serotonin which makes people feel high, full of energy, confident, invincible, impulsive, less likely to feel pain and very horny with fewer inhibitions. It also increases the appetite and energy levels, so people taking Crystal can go for days without eating or sleeping. It is often used during non-stop sex sessions and on the clubbing scene.
Sex on Crystal Meth
Crystal can make people feel extremely sexually aroused for long periods. People using this drug may do things they wouldn’t normally do, including risking picking up or passing on HIV. It often makes it difficult for men to get an erection or ejaculate (known as ‘crystal dick’). It can become hard to think of having sex without being on meth and – like G and mephedrone – it can have a big impact on your ability to have sex sober.
Health risks of Crystal Meth
Useful to know
Although Mephedrone (Meph) is now illegal, it developed popularity in 2009 along with other so called “Legal Highs”. It is a stimulant that causes speediness and euphoric effects.
Psychological dependance is common with Mephedrone. If you’re worried this applies to you come and see us.
Mephedrone is most often a powder and can be snorted, mixed with a drink, “bombed” (wrapped in paper or put in a capsule and swallowed), booty-bumped (syringed up the anus) or injected.
Meph is very irritant and commonly causes inflammation.
Snorting the drugs can cause nose bleeds. Swallowing it mixed with a drink can cause a sore throat.. It is particularly damaging to your veins. The best harm reduction advice (besides not doing it at all) would be to “bomb” it in a paper wrap or capsule, to avoid the aggravation to nostrils, veins and throat.
Side effects include heart palpitations, anxiety, sleeplessness, temperature fluctuations and in some cases hallucinations and fainting.
GHB/GBL causes a feeling of euphoria and reduced inhibitions, but when used carelessly it can also be very dangerous.
There are many common dangers with GHB/GBL including accidental overdose, “going under” on a dance-floor, date-rapes in saunas, or visits to A&E. People using the drug frequently can become physically dependent (addicted) to the drug. They may find themselves forced to dose hourly to avoid difficult and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Dependent use means that your body has formed a biological dependence on the drug, and your body will struggle to function properly without the drug. Do not stop “cold turkey” (suddenly) if this is the case; it is best to keep taking the drug, and seek professional advice first, from a doctor or from a drug service. It might mean that a structured, gentle reduction plan is required, or in more extreme cases, it might mean a “detox” with a specific plan and medicine.
GHB and GBL are not the same thing; GHB is the chemical produced in the body when we drink GBL. (The liver converts the GBL to GHB after ingestion.) And sometimes, though less commonly, GHB is a different form of the drug that can come as a powder or liquid, different from GBL. In regard to the effects on the body, they are essentially the same; but when it comes to dosing, it is important to understand the difference.
GBL is the most commonly used form of the drug, and the one you are most likely to find available on the internet, often sold as a liquid cleaning solvent. Concentrations of GBL when bought on the internet rarely vary enough to cause concern in regard to dosing. Take appropriate doses at appropriate time intervals. A commonly used dose of GBL might be between 0.5ml and 1ml. Never dose again within the same 3 hour period. If unsure or inexperienced, always start with the lowest dose, and if it doesn’t work after 45 minutes, you might increment up; in this case, make sure your second dose is never more than half of your first dose.
GHB is less commonly available than GBL; sometimes sold as a powder to be mixed with water (never sniffed, never injected), and sometimes already mixed and in liquid form (liquid GHB). This would be more likely to have been sold to you by a dealer or on the dark web, than via traditional internet shopping. GHB in liquid form (not GBL) is perhaps the most dangerous way to ingest the drug, as the concentration can vary enormously. Some samples of liquid GHB in Holland measured between 350 and 550 mg/ml; but without testing your sample, there is really no way of knowing the concentration of your liquid GHB, so be extremely careful. Don’t assume anything. Carefully check the concentration with your source before calculating your dosage. 2.5ml of liquid GHB might be a safe dose to start with – but again, there are no guarantees, and be sure that it is GHB and not GBL you are using, as a 2.5ml dose of GBL could be fatal.
Always start with a low dose to determine if it works for you, and if there is no effect after 45 minutes, increment up gently with a second dose; this second dose should never be more than half of your first dose.
Whether it is GHB or GBL you are using, appropriate dosing vary person to person, depending on body weight, how much sleep you’ve had, when you ate last, other drugs you might have taken, and other factors. Alcohol and Ketamine are especially dangerous in this regard, and should never be used with GHB/GBL.
Both GHB and GBL are drugs that can develop into a physical dependence, and if this kind of addiction develops, you should not consider stopping “cold turkey” without advice from a doctor or drugs worker, as these withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous, and sometimes fatal. Sexual assaults, poor choices around safer sex, and overdsoses (sometimes fatal) are commonly reported consequences of GHB and GBL.
More GHB/GBL harm reduction tips from our friends at Drugs.ie can be found here.
DEPENDENT GHB/GBL USE
If you are using GHB or GBL dependently (multiple times daily, for more than 2 weeks), then it is advisable that you are assessed for a medically supervised detox. A GHB/GBL detox is not a service that 56 Dean Street can provide; you would need to contact your local borough drug & alcohol service. Below is a list of the London services that provide GHB/GBL detoxes; if your own borough is not there, or if you have no formal connections to a London borough (eg, residence, GP, hostel) then come to see us at 56 Dean Street Chemsex support and we will explore options for you.
TRI BOROUGH (WESTMINSTER – KENSINGTON&CHELSEA – HAMMERSMITH & FULHAM)
CLUB DRUG CLINIC
BARKING & DAGENHAM
RED LION SERVICE
WPD – BARNET RECOVERY CENTRE
THE PIER ROAD PROJECT
WPD – BRENT RECOVERY & WELLBEING SERVICE
BDAS – BROMLEY DRUG AND ALCOHOL SERVICE
CAMDEN AND ISLINGTON
GRIP CLUB DRUGS SERVICE
CITY OF LONDON
CROYDON RECOVERY NETWORK
CGL – EALING RISE
ENABLE – ENFIELD DRUG AND ALCOHOL SERVICE
CGL – ASPIRE GREENWICH
HACKNEY RECOVERY SERVICE
WPD – HARROW RECOVERY SERVICE
WPD – HAVERING
WPD – ARCH
KINGSTON WELLBEING SERVICE
CGL – LEWISHAM
WDP – MERTON
CGL – NEWHAM RISE
WDP – REDBRIDGE
RICHMOND INTEGRATED RECOVERY SERVICE
CGL – WALTHAM FOREST
WANDSWORTH COMMUNITY DRUG AND ALCOHOL SERVICE
If a new pair of gloves is used with each sexual partner you can cut the risk of most infections, you can pick up gloves as well as lube and condoms from 56 Dean Street.
Urine carries no risk of HIV transmission. There is little risk of passing on any infections.
Shared dildos and butt plugs can pass on infections. Wash sex toys thoroughly after use, using warm soapy water or a sterilising fluid designed for baby bottles.
Alternatively use a condom on it and change it between partners.
Using sex toys may cause microscopic damage inside. You may not notice anything but it may increase the chance of HIV transmission if followed by condomless sex.
Shared penile toys such as Fleshlights can also pass on infections As with dildos, you should wash them thoroughly after use, using warm soapy water or a sterilising fluid designed for baby bottles.
Using other household objects can be very dangerous. If you do, avoid anything with sharp edges or anything that may break inside you. If it doesn’t have a base, be careful not to let it go too deep inside you. If you lose anything inside go to A&E.