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PLAY SAFER (DRUG USE) CAMPAIGN

PLAY SAFER | MENRUS.CO.UKThe Gay Men’s Health Collective’s gay men’s health website MENRUS.CO.UK announces the November 2020 launch of play safer - a social media safer drug use campaign.

Linked to information, guidance and support pages, a series of eight 30-second film messages aim to inform gay and bi men about some of the risks associated with recreational drug use and chemsex. In particular, the use of ‘G’ to spike drinks and lubricant, understanding the police do attend with ambulances accidental overdoses callouts and knowing how to hook-up more safely.

Information, guidance and support

Information, guidance, and support can be found under key headings, links to related content:

  • What safer drug use and harm reduction looks like
  • Using GHB and GBL, including spiking drinks and lubricants
  • Calling 999, ambulance callouts, and the police
  • Sex and consent, and safer hook-ups
  • Sexual health, and safer chemsex
  • Drug, alcohol, and chemsex, support services

Spiking

Though 'G' is used recreationally facilitate and enhance sex, there are ongoing concerns about its use in spiking drinks and lubricants. Spiking is when alcohol or drugs are added to a person's drink without their knowledge with the intention of sexual assault or rape. This is against the background of the convictions of Stephen Port, Gerald Matovu and Brandon Dunbar for murder, and Reynhard Sinaga for multiple rapes; and there are reported cases of sexual assaults combined with other crimes, including theft and burglary: UK ramping up its efforts to tackle a wave of chemsex crimes; Buzzfeed, 12/03/20.

Quotes

"Play Safer is a valuable tool to help and inform some younger friends of mine experimenting on the gay scene in London (yes even in a pandemic). Boys will be boys and I don't always have a structured approach or the patience to enumerate all the common sense advice I have picked up over the years to navigate gay life. My memory is not what it once was and I hate nagging. MENRUS.CO.UK is my ultimate cheat sheet.” LO, London

"Frank, easy to read, and packed full of practical information. The guys writing this have taken time to research something which 'does what it says on the tin'. Anyone looking for help should find it here." MS, Uxbridge

“Found some of the legal information; regarding processes with the police and ambulance, really interesting and something about I had no knowledge of before. Play Safer is a mine of hugely useful information." CB, Watford

“Who hasn’t hooked up without telling anyone? Who hasn’t accepted a drink or drugs without knowing what you're taking from someone you don’t really know? Just tell a mate you’ve got lucky, know when and what your taking, and set yourself limits. It’s a start. I’ve volunteered for this campaign and none of this makes for comfortable reading. But its goal is simple: ensure gay and bi men play safer and don’t become statistics.” JD, London

“The LGBT+ Advisory Group welcomes the ‘Play Safer’ campaign. We have been concerned about the developments in the use of ‘G’ to spike drinks and lubricant to incapacitate victims. Whereas the media has raised the profile of these issues, this campaign will give much needed practical and useful harm reduction advice to our community.” LGBT+ Independent Advisory Group

Campaign films

Films made by volunteers, for gay men by gay men. Hyperlinks to Three Flying Piglets at Vimeo (opens in new tab):

Spiking drinks and lubricant with 'G' | "Spike" | 30s
Overdoses, ambulance call-outs and the police | "Just saying" | 32s
The difference between GBL and GHB | "Why it matters" | 34s
Safer hook-ups | "What could possibly go wrong?" | 46s  
Safer hook-ups | "He knows" | 42s
Measuring 'G' correctly | "The drop" | 30s 
Safer drug use | "Out of this world" | 32s
Accepting 'G' from strangers | "Sweets from strangers" | 24s
Sex and consent | "Are you OK with what happened last night?" | 1m

About play safer

Devised by gay men with direct knowledge and experience of recreational drug use, problematic drug use, withdrawal, and recovery. This campaign is a follow-up to our “G Aware: Our Lives Depend On It” campaign (February 2020).

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