Best Practices

The problematic chemsex journey: a resource for prevention and harm reduction

Chemsex is a global phenomenon in gay, bi, men who have sex with men (GBMSM), trans and non-binary people. The goal of this paper is to differentiate chemsex use from other sexualized substance use and problematic chemsex use. The paper explores the various challenges that impact GBMSM to explain the underlying factors that predispose one to chemsex and/or to problematic chemsex use. The outcomes are a strength-based and client-centered harm reduction approach.

The psychological roots of chemsex and how understanding the full picture can help create meaningful support

“We are all flawed, and we all struggle.” This article explores the human side of chemsex and investigates further into desire, pleasure, and intimacy. The analysis is drawn from years of psychotherapy work with gay, bi, men who have sex with men (GBMSM). While clients may have their issues, many of their themes are familiar to each client. The article explores how to lay aside the negative impacts, adopt a sex-positive approach and analyze the need for human connection and belonging.

Current Research on Methamphetamine: Epidemiology, Medical and Psychiatric Effects, Treatment, and Harm Reduction Efforts

Methamphetamine is widely used and has a high prevalence of use and abuse. The heavy use and high dose of methamphetamine used results in neurobiological deficiencies, which cause negative health outcomes. It is administered via intranasal, smoking, oral, and injected. Methamphetamine use has implications for psychiatric care, dental, medical, and STBBIs. The research explores the efficacy of various treatments for methamphetamine addictions.

Party and play in Canada: What is its impact on gay men’s health?

The resource by CATIE, is an essential guide to learning more about party and play (PnP) or the sexualized use of substance by some gay, bi, men who have sex with men. It discusses the why, who, what, the prevalence in Canada and tips for service providers when working with PnP clients.

Interventions to address substance use and sexual risk among gay, bisexual, men who have sex with men who use methamphetamine: A systematic review.

Methamphetamine use is common in some subcultures of the gay, bi, men who have sex with men (GBMSM) communities. The review explored types of interventions for methamphetamine and sex-related harm for GBMSM. There are three categories of interventions highlighted. Of the three interventions, psychosocial interventions are the most promising for meth and sexual risk-taking.

Equitable Substance Use Disorder Treatment For LGBT Populations: Research, Tools, And Resources For Behavioral Health Providers

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health discusses the role of minority stress for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, and queer (GLBTQ) people. This resource explores organizational readiness to create inclusive services for GLBTQ clients. It explores the steps needed from Board members, clinicians to front-line staff. Training for all, inclusive intake forms, genderless washroom, signage and other requirements to create a welcoming environment for GLBTQ clients.

Harm Reduction Practices and Needs in a Belgian Chemsex Context: Finding from a Qualitative Study

This qualitative research is to understand the harm reduction practices and health care needs of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who engage in chemsex. 20 participants were provided semi-structured interview questions and open-ended questions. The research concluded two groups of chemsex users, planned users, and impulsive users. The planned users had a personal strategy to take care of themselves, while the other group did not. Participants discussed best practices for treatment facilities and sexual health clinics on knowledge exchange.

New Psychoactive Substances: New Service Provider Challenges

This article is most relevant for policy makers, researchers, public health officials and providers working in the substance use sector. The article identifies shortcomings and next steps for service provision in light of findings from a qualitative study with men who have sex with men (MSM) who PnP and service providers who work alongside these MSM in Manchester, UK.

Digital Chemsex Support and Care: The Potential of Just-In-Time Adaptive Interventions

This highly practical article and pilot intervention is applicable for all service providers working with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who PnP and outlines a just-in-time adaptive (JITAI) intervention that providers can introduce in their practices to provide static information and dynamic support, best attending to the ongoing needs of their clients beyond engagements in the care setting.

Investments in Implementation Science are Needed to Address the Harms Associated with the Sexualized Use of Substance Among Gay, Bisexual and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men

Although not directly applicable to practice, this article by Rod Knight is directed toward policy makers, researchers and public health officials, and comprehensively outlines knowledge and service provision gaps which may be limiting the utility of support services directed toward gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who PnP.

ChemSex and Hepatitis C: A Guide for Healthcare Providers

Directed toward all service providers working with men who have sex with men (MSM) who PnP, this comprehensive guide from the UK overviews the intersections between crystal use and HCV, recognizing how a disproportionate HCV burden may be faced by MSM living with HIV who PnP. As well, the case studies and exemplar discussion questions included make this guide highly practical and user-friendly.

ChemSex Care Plan

Geared toward all service providers working with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who PnP, this highly practical and user-friendly template from the UK allows service providers to work alongside their clients to develop an appropriate care plan that meets the client where they are at.

A Blueprint Guide to Supporting Black and Latino MSM Who Use Crystal Meth

Representing an intersectional approach to care, this practical guide is tailored towards all service providers who work with Black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) who PnP and reflects findings from a community provider assessment and conversations with Black and Latino MSM who PnP from across the United States.

Treatment Approaches for Users of Methamphetamine: A Practical Guide for Frontline Workers

This practical guide from Australia is tailored toward frontline workers and harm reductionists, and relies on research, national and international guidelines and expert opinions to inform best practices for working with folks who use methamphetamines. The guide can be extrapolated to inform service provision for working with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who PnP.

Discussing Sexual Health, Substance Use and STBBIs: A Guide for Service Providers

This highly practical discussion guide grounded in sex-positivity, harm reduction, trauma-and-violence-informed care and a social determinants of health paradigm serves as a framework to guide discussions between service providers and folks who use substances and can be extrapolated for providers working with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) who PnP.

Chemsex101: Everything You Wanted to Know (But Didn’t Know Who to Ask)

This easy-to-read and straightforward toolkit is recommended for clinicians, front-line staff and counsellors, and is equally beneficial for MSM and sex workers who PnP. Organizations can adapt this toolkit to serve diverse clients following a client-centered model to reduce stigma, shame, discrimination, and barriers for MSM and sex workers who PnP.