Knowing the drugs, how they work, and how to use them as safely as possible is a good start.
One of the most common harms from chemsex is catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Knowing about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and condom use, as well as getting tested frequently, is one way to protect yourself from STIs, and to play more safely.
Drug-induced psychosis happens when we use mephedrone and/or crystal meth; some people are more prone to it than others, and it can be more likely to happen if you are sleep deprived, of if you inject. It might manifest as feelings of persecution, conspiracy theories, or feeling paranoid. People experiencing psychosis may have thoughts that are associated with technology, cults, or people wishing them harm, or may think that people are listening outside the door or whispering about them.
If you feel like this is happening to you, the best thing you can do is call the police or visit an A&E department. It’s not a crime to have drugs in your bloodstream – only in your possession – so presenting to A&E or the police won’t get you in trouble if you’re not carrying any drugs. This is the safest thing to do, whether you’re having psychosis, or in actual danger.
GHB and GBL are very dangerous when mixed with ketamine, alcohol or benzodiazepines (like valium). Overdose is very possible, and can be fatal. Measuring doses correctly and dosing at appropriate intervals is crucial. They can also be physically addictive, with unmanageable, even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. You can find more information on this here.
Click on the links below to find more information about mephedrone (Meph, MKat), crystal methamphetamine (Tina, Ice, Meth), GHB and GBL (G, Gina), including how to use these drugs more safely, tips for safer injecting, and information on GHB and GBL dosing.
Taking a break between “benders” can help your body recover, ensure you don’t lose interest in non-sexual social activities, and reassure yourself that you are in control of the drugs, not the other way around. The video below can help explain why, and how to play more safely.
Another way to play more safely is to have a clear set of boundaries before getting high: a list of things you will do on chems, and things you absolutely won’t do on chems. This might include certain drugs, how long you stay awake for, what you’re prepared to do sexually (and what you’re not), things you’ll communicate online, people you’ll play with and people you won’t. It can be hard to stick to this when in the grip of a chem high, but having a list pre-prepared while you’re sober can increase your chances of making those safer choices when high.