News articles, and research
These lists are neither definitive nor complete but they do provide a common thread spanning two decades. and a springboard for you to explore further.
Please contact us if there's something you think we should include.
Chemsex is top of the list of risk factors for HIV infection in gay and bisexual men in England | nam aidsmap | 2 Jul 2021
Chemsex becoming the ‘new normal’ in Thailand thanks to lockdown, activists warn | PinkNews | 21 May 2021
UK Confirms Harsher Punishment for GHB Users, After Moral Panic | Filter | 31 Mar 2021
GHB: Killer drug to be made a Class B substance | BBC News | 30 Mar 2021
Grindr killer jailed for life after poisoning dancer with date rape drug Devil’s Breath | Pink News 30 Mar 2021
Gang who ran WhatsApp chemsex drug order service in London and lived a luxury life with supercars jailed after £3m drug bust | MyLondon | 26 Mar 2021
Psychedelic drugs: how the brains of informed users are different | The Conversation | 24 Mar 2021
Sexualised drug use, chemsex and treatment access: Dr Matt Hibbert talks to the SSA | Society for the Study of Addiction | 10 Mar 2021
GHBoy – Charing Cross Theatre | The Reviews Hub | 6 Mar 2021
Loneliness and isolation drive some gay men to break lockdown rules and seek sex | Queerty | 18 Feb 2021
How a Chemsex Activist Teaches Yoga as Harm Reduction | Filter | 16 Feb 2021
No sex during lockdown? Gay men in London say otherwise | nam aidsmap | 16 Feb 2021
Watch: A Visually Stunning Chemsex Support Campaign | Filter | 14 Feb 2021
COVID-19 restrictions and changing sexual behaviours in HIV-negative MSM at high risk of HIV infection in London, UK | BMJ | PDF | 18 Jan 2021
Call for tougher penalties in UK for possession of chemsex drugs | The Guardian | 20 Nov 2020
Killer drug GHB 'should be reclassified', says official report | BBC | 20 Nov 2020
Assessment of the harms of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, gamma-butyrolactone, and closely related compounds
In January 2020 the Home Secretary commissioned the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) to review the evidence for the classification of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and related compounds under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA), and the scheduling of these compounds under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 (MDR). In response the ACMD provided this report which reviews the evidence of harms, use in crime and prevalence of GHB and related compounds that have emerged since the ACMD’s last significant assessment of the risks in 2008.
Assessment of the harms of gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, gamma-butyrolactone, and closely related compounds | Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs
An old, dangerous drug [GHB] has made a comeback with a new generation of users | NBC News | US | 13 Aug 2020
People are still going to chemsex parties, just in a different way | VICE | 19 May 2020
Crystal meth: Europe could now see a surge in supply and use | The Conversation | 15 May 2020
People are still meeting for chemsex under lockdown and police warn the risks are greater than ever | BuzzFeed News | 4 May 2020
The UK is ramping up its efforts to tackle a wave of chemsex crimes | BuzzFeed | 12 March 2020
Police officer under criminal investigation after collapse of two chemsex trials | Brighton & Hove News | 3 Mar 2020
There have been 60 deaths linked to Chemsex in London alone | Gay Star News | 1 Mar 2020
Man who dumped body after chemsex death jailed | BBC News | 28 Feb 2020
Reynhard Sinaga: court to decide on whole-life sentence for rapist | The Guardian | 16 Jan 2020
Reynhard Sinaga: 'Evil sexual predator' jailed for life for 136 rapes | BBC News | 6 Jan 2020
Priti Patel urges review of date-rape drugs after Reynhard Sinaga case | The Guardian | 6 Jan 2020
Reynhard Sinaga: How the Manchester rapist found his victims | BBC | 6 Jan 2020
GHB: The drug used as a 'rapist's weapon of choice' | BBC News | 6 Jan 2020
High sex, low risk: how gay and bisexual men who use drugs are protecting themselves from HIV | The Kirby Institute | 10 Dec 2019
Why do gay men do chemsex? | nam aidsmap | 29 Nov 2019
Inside the rising chemsex response in Europe | Filter | 16 Nov 2019
HIV-positive gay men in England report highest chemsex rates in four-country survey | nam aidsmap | 13 Nov 2019
Thousands of gay men asked this chemsex adviser for help on grindr with their drug problems. the app blocked him | BuzzFeed | 12 Oct 2019
Gay 'chemsex' is fuelling urban HIV epidemics, AIDS experts warn | Reuters | 12 Sep 2019
Sex, drugs and Murder | Channel 4 Dispatches | 6 Sep 2020
The sex drug that kills, part 1: The hidden epidemic of abuse, overdose, and death caused by the sex drug G | BuzzFeed | 5 Sep 2019
The sex drug that kills, part 2: The lethal sex drug GBL is being sold through Facebook | BuzzFeed | 6 Sep 2019
The sex drug that kills, part 3: He found his husband dead from a GHB overdose but is now fighting to uncover the truth about what happened | 7 Sep 2019
The sex drug that kills, part 4: A warning has been issued that rapists are mixing the drug GHB with lubricant | Buzzfeed | 8 Sep 2019
This is what it’s like when your son dies from the chemsex drug GHB | BuzzFeed News | 4 Aug 2019
Gay and bisexual men with problematic chemsex are a diverse group with significant sexual and psycho-social risks | nam aidsmap | 15 July 2019
Four modes of chemsex: study participants describe their experiences | Filter | 18 Jun 2019
Decline in chemsex over time in three English clinics | nam aidsmap | 9 May 2019
Chemsex survival kits come with color-coded syringes and a booklet on what to do if you’re arrested | Queerty | 15 Apr 2019
English clinic survey finds that 40% of gay men with new hepatitis C infections are HIV negative | nam aidsmap | 7 Apr 2019
Chemsex: Brits more likely to combine drugs with sex, survey finds | BBC | 2 Apr 2019
10 years of Grindr: A rocky relationship | BBC | 25 Mar 2019
Chemsex comedown: What's behind the rise in people seeking therapy for 'sober sex' | HuffPost | 14 Mar 2019
A message from the guest editor of this special “Chemsex” edition of Drugs and Alcohol Today | Marcus Day | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 Mar 2019
Chemsex experiences narratives of pleasure | Maitena Milhet, Jalpa Shah, Tim Madesclaire, and Laurent Gaissad | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 Mar 2019
Chemsex origins of the word, a history of the phenomenon and a respect to the culture | David Stuart | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 March 2019
The problematic chemsex journey a resource for prevention and harm reduction | Tom Platteau, Roger Pebody, Nia Dunbar, Tim Lebacq, and Ben Collins | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 Mar 2019
The psychological roots of chemsex and how understanding the full picture can help us create meaningful support | Katie Evans | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 Mar 2019
Too painful to think about chemsex and trauma | Stephen Morris | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 Mar 2019
What is sober sex and how to achieve it | Remziye Kunelaki | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 Mar 2019
Yes, has no meaning if you can’t say no consent and crime in the chemsex context | Stephen Morris | Drugs and Alcohol Today/ Emerald Insight | 4 Mar 2019
Crystal meth: The myths and realities of chemsex in the queer community | Now (Canada) | 23 Feb 2019
The drug GHB is killing gay men | BuzzFeed | 22 Jan 2019
Chemsex and PrEP reliance are fuelling a rise in syphilis among men who have sex with men | The Conversation | 28 Nov 2018
This is how the justice system is trying to stop the chemsex crimewave | BuzzFeed | 31 Oct 2018
Adverse effects of GHB-induced coma on long-term memory and related brain function | Filipa Raposo Pereira, Minni T.B. McMaster, Nikki Polderman, Yvon D.A.T. de Vries, Wim van den Brink, Guido A. van Wingen | 1 Sep 2018
Research shows club drug GHB associated with brain and cognitive changes | Medical Xpress | 8 Oct 2018
Overtones singer Timmy Matley died from balcony fall while on crystal meth | Gay Star News | 4 Oct 2018
Brian Paddick was one of Britain's most senior police officers. Now he's speaking out about his ex-boyfriend dying from a chemsex drug | Buzz Feed | 29 Sep 2018
The chemsex problem is now so bad that families of those involved can get help | BuzzFeed | 15 Aug 2018
Gay men having chemsex are five times more likely to have a new HIV diagnosis than other gay men | aidsmap.com | 23 May 2018
Far more harms associated with crystal meth than other chemsex drugs | aidsmap.com | 24 Apr 2018
Sharing solutions for a reasoned and evidence-based response: chemsex/party and play among gay and bisexual men | A Bourne, J Ong, M Pakianathan | 9 Apr 2018
Chemsex exemplifies much wider issues with drugs and sexual consent | The Conversation | 3 Apr 2018
Loneliness and community are key to chemsex | 2 Apr 2018
The connection of chemsex: Does it offer a real sense of community? | Gay Times | 23 Jan 2018
Dramatic shift in drug use trends caused by growth of formerly legal highs | Drs. Rob Ralphs, Paul Gray | 27 Feb 2018
Sex, drugs and research—review probes the world of 'chemsex' | Jason Ong | 6 Jul 2018
Why high rents and loneliness are driving chemsex in London | Gay Star News | 22 Feb 2018
Chemsex is an issue among gay men living with HIV in the UK, study reveals | Avert | 30 Jan 2018
Chemsex drugs and former legal highs targeted by Home Office | The Guardian | 14 Jul 2017
The Inside Story of London's Chemsex Scene | Vice | 12 Jun 2017
An observed rise in g-hydroxybutyrate-associated deaths in London | Forensic Science International 270 (2017) 93-97 | Imperial College London | Jan 2017
Observed rise in "G" associated deaths in London | Toxicology Unit, Imperial College London | 25 Nov 2016
Chemsex: why is gay sex causing straight panic? | João Florêncio | The Conversation | 12 Apr 2016
Gay sex survey: why preventing HIV means calling an end to finger pointing | Ford Hickson | The Conversation | 21 Jun 2016
Sex, drugs and self-control: why chemsex is fast becoming a public health concern | Alastair Macfarlane | FSRH | 30 Jun 2016
Sexual transmission of HCV is increasing among gay and bisexual men with HIV | Liz Highleyman | nam aidsmap | 18 Sep 2015
The rise of chemsex on London's gay scene | BBC News/ Radio 4 | 5 Jul 2015 | 10m 33s
Acute HCV infections observed among HIV-negative gay men in London | NAM Aidsmap | 10 Jun 2015
Chemsex and care-planning: one year in practice | D Stuart, J Weymann | HIV Nursing, 2015; 15
Chemsex and gay men: Has the issue been overblown? | Pink News | 7 Apr 2015
wp-svg-icons icon="globe" wrap="i" size="12px" color="#000000"] Recreational drug use, polydrug use, and sexual behaviour in HIV-diagnosed men who have sex with men in the UK: results from the cross-sectional ASTRA study | M Daskalopoulou et al | Lancet HV, Vol 1 | Oct 2014
Chemsex risks are not restricted just to gay men | The Guardian | 10 Apr 2014
Gay men warned on risks of 'chemsex' | The Guardian | 8 Apr 2014
The chemsex study | Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham | Sigma Research | Mar 2014
Slings, slamming and Chemsex | Huff Post Lifestyle | 10 Feb 2014
Experts warn of rise in gay ‘slamming’ | The Independent | 19 Jan 2014
Men attending group sex 'slam parties' don’t all use or inject drugs | Gus Cairns | nam aidsmap | 3 Oct 2013
HIV, HCV, and drug use in men who have sex with men | Sean R Hosein, David P Wilson | The Lancet, Correspodence, Vol 382 | Sep 2013
New HIV diagnoses in London's gay men continue to soar | Kirby, T, Thornber-Dunwell, M | Lancet, Vol 382 | Jul 2013
Crystal meth | GMFA | 13 Jun 2013
Getting slammed | GMFA | 10 Jun 2013
Slamming adverts and slam packs: Burrell Street Clinic | QX Magazine | 6 Jun 2014
The meth-fuelled, week-long orgies ravaging London's gay sex party scene | VICE | 3 Jun 2013
High-risk drug practices in men who have sex with men | Victoria L Gilbart et al | Lancet, Correspondence, Vol 381 | Apr 2013
Sexualised drug use by MSM: background, current status and response | D Stuart | | HIV Nursing | Spring 2013
Slamming | QX Magazine | 27 Mar 2013
Slings, slamming and chem-sex | HuffPost | 10 Feb 2014
Liam Cole interview (Slammed) | Marc E Andrews | 14 Jan 2013
High-risk drug practices tighten grip on London gay scene | Kirby, T, Thornber-Dunwell, M | Lancet, Vol 381 | Jan 2013
A qualitative descriptive study of perceived sexual effects of club drug use in gay and bisexual men | J J Palamar, M V Kiang, E D Storholm, P N Halkitis | 16 May 2012
The haunting spectacle of crystal meth: A media-created mythology? | T C Ayres, Y Jewkes | 24 Jul 2012
Drug use among men who have sex with men: Implications for harm reduction | Sigma Research | Harm Reduction International | 2012
Can mirtazapine assist recovery from crystal meth addiction? | CATIE | 20 Dec 2011
Our crystal meth hell | The Express | 23 Sep 2011
Use of crystal meth, viagra and sexual behaviour | D Fisher, Grace L Reynolds, Lucy E Napper | 1 Feb 2011
Dynamics of methamphetamine markets in New York City | National Institute of Justice | Jan 2011
"In our experience, many gay men do not want to access generic mental health or drug services as they do not see themselves as having generalised mental health problems or experiencing the same issues as other problem substance users. This is even though the detrimental effects on their lives can be similar. Traditional harm-minimisation and risk-reduction strategies for recreational drug use also appear to have poor success in supporting people taking crystal meth."
Crystal methamphetamine: an intractable problem | Thorley, F | HIV Nursing | Sep 2010
"In the global north, however, the phenomenon that has caused the most alarm is the epidemic of crystal meth use that started amongst gay men in the western USA in the early 1990s, spread to the east coast around 2000, and shows signs of becoming a problem in London’s gay scene now."
The lonely drug: crystal meth in the UK | Gus Cairns | nam aidsmap | 1 Mar 2010
"An opposite trend has been observed in the use of GHB, which, according to data from high and medium quality studies, more than doubled between 1999 and the mid-2000s."
The impact of drugs on different minority groups: a review of the UK literature | D Beddoes, S Sheikh, M Khanna, R Francis | Jul 2010
"Crystal meth is a highly addictive synthetic stimulant. Although reported use among school students has declined, it has devastating effects on those who become dependent. Use appears to be increasing in the difficult-to-study high-risk groups such as street youth
and gay men."
The burden and management of crystal meth use | J A Buxton, N A Dove | 3 June 2008
"Because of its ability to reduce inhibitions and increase sexual drive, an emerging body of research has repeatedly identified crystal methamphetamine as a key variable in explaining new HIV transmissions among men who have sex with men (MSM)."
In the shadows of a prevention campaign: Sexual risk behavior in the absence of crystal methamphetamine | C Grov, J T Parsons, D S Bimbi | 2008
"About 40 men sit on fold-up chairs arranged in a circle in the upstairs room of Metropolitan Community Church. They’re all crystal methamphetamine addicts in recovery. Some have been sober for two weeks, some two years."
Time out for a guest writer on crystal meth | Pink News | 12 Sep 2007
"It is possible that the overwhelming majority of our participants were initiated to methamphetamine in a purely social, non-sexual setting simply because they were all recruited at club settings. The young gay and bisexual methamphetamine users who use the drug primarily for sexual purposes may not frequent club venues."
Initiation into methamphetamine use for young gay and bisexual men | J T Parsons, B C Kelly, J D Weisera | 29 Mar 2007
"The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has recommended to Home Secretary John Reid that the currently Class B drug should be moved to Class A, giving police the right to crackdown on it. Crystal meth is a popular clubbing drug with the gay community, also known as ‘tina’, ‘krank’ or ‘ice’, the ease of production and euphoric effects have ensured dramatic escalation of the drug’s distribution worldwide."
Government advisors push to reclassify gay clubbing drug | Pink News | 12 Jun 2006
"The government is considering the reclassification of a drug believed to be taking hold in the gay club scene after police warnings that it is dangerous and is now being made within the UK for the first time."
Creeping menace of crystal meth, the drug more dangerous than crack | The Guardian | 15 Nov 2005
"Crystal meth is impacting the health and wellness of gay and bisexual men in King County and it shows no signs of going away. New ideas, new strategies, and new commitments are clearly needed to reverse the damaging course of crystal use in our community."
Deconstructing Tina | Gay Men, Drug Use, and HIV Workgroup et al | PDF | US | 2004
"Step into the world of crystal meth – also known as Tina, hydro, crank or ice – and enjoy boundless energy, increased sensation, horniness, killer confidence and zero sexual inhibitions. The problem is that outside crystal meth land, reality can end up seeming so inhospitable you just want to retreat back into Tina’s version, where it’s okay not to eat or otherwise take care of yourself. Crystal meth is the perfect party and play (P ‘n’ P) drug – except that the meth men I talked to have a tough time maintaining a use that’s purely recreational."
Crystal palace: Doing Tina is so much fun, everything else is a pain | Shaun Proulx | Xtra | PDF | CA | 24 Nov 2004
"In recent years, methamphetamine has become a drug more commonly used among gay and bisexual men in New York City. Findings indicate that among self-identified club-drug–using men, methamphetamine is widely used by men across age groups, educational level, race/ethnicity, and HIV status."
Longitudinal investigation of methamphetamine use among gay and bisexual men in New York | City: Findings from Project BUMPS | P N Halkitis, K A Green, P Mourgues | PDF | US | 28 Feb 2005
"The use of recreational drugs in the UK is on the increase, as is the range of available substances. One relative newcomer to the drugs of misuse that is achieving popularity in the UK among 'raver' and bodybuilders is gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHb), also known as 'liquid ecstasy'."
Liquid ecstasy - a new kid on the dance floor | J Rodgers, C H Ashton, E Gilvarry, A H Young | Feb 2004
"Methamphetamine is well documented for its association with sexual activity. Users report that it significantly enhances the sexual experience. Tina, as it is known by many of its gay users, enjoys the reputation that it makes sex so good that it is difficult to think about anything else. In South Florida, the use and abuse of this drug appears to be increasing."
Methamphetamine and other potentially risky sex-enhancing drugs | D M Fawcett, A E Taule | Florida, US | PDF | US | Dec 2004
"The viral loads of HIV-positive people who use the recreational drug methamphetamine are significantly higher than those of individuals who do not take the drug, according to research conducted in San Diego and published in the December 15th edition of the Journal of Infectious Diseases."
Does methamphetamine affect HIV viral load? | Michael Carter | nam aidsmap | UK | 17 Dec 2003
"Some know it as crystal. Others refer to it as Tina, a campy abbreviation of its other name, Christina. But among the habitués of New York's frenetic gay club scene, the extraordinarily powerful stimulant commonly known as crystal meth is earning a new nickname: the Evil One."
Friend of tina | Google answers (string) | 13 May 2003
"Also, many of these drugs have central and neurotoxic effects (GHB, methamphetamine), which may have effects on neurotransmitters, involved in the central initiation of the erectile pathway. More worrisome is the increase in high-risk sexual behaviour and sexual assault. Young adults need to be informed of the risks that these drugs pose to their sexual health."
‘Club drugs’ and erectile function: Far from sexual ‘ecstasy’ | J C Lee | 2001
"Australian doctors have reported what they believe to be a fatal interaction between ritonavir and methamphetamine, commonly known as crystal or crystal meth. Crystal is a popular recreational drug amongst gay men, especially in North America and Australia, but this is the first report of a potentially harmful interaction since the introduction of protease inhibitors more than four years ago."
Potential fatal interaction between protease inhibitors and crystal meth | Gus Cairns | nam aidsmap | UK | 5 Mar 2001
"GHB – Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate – first became a fixture at raves and gay “circuit parties” in the early nineties. The FDA declared the drug unsafe and illegal to market in 1990, and several states have banned it because of its use as a date-rape drug."
Nightlife ‘99: Clear And Present Danger | New York Magazine | 22 Nov 1999
"Products containing gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) * are marketed for many claimed purposes, including to induce sleep, release growth hormone, enhance sexual activity and athletic performance, relieve depression, and prolong life."
Adverse events associated with ingestion of gamma-butyrolactone Minnesota, New Mexico, and Texas, 1998-1999 | CDC | US | 25 Feb 1999
"DEA is seeking information on the GBL trade so that diversion of GBL may be prevented with minimal impact on legitimate trade, in the event that GHB becomes a controlled substance. The DEA is soliciting information on the manufacturing, distribution, consumption, storage, disposal and uses of GBL."
Industrial Uses and Handling of Gamma-butyrolactone; Solicitation of Information | Department of Justice | US | 23 Oct 1998
↑ Back to top