Written on : 2011-08-12
Most gay and bi guys, like most people, use one type of drug or another. Whether it’s cigarettes, coffee, energy drinks, steroids, anti-depressants, painkillers, alcohol, party drugs, marijuana or something else, drugs can make us feel more relaxed, more energetic, more sociable, or loosen our inhibitions. Drugs can make our lives feel a whole lot easier, especially as guys who have to deal with a lot of stigma, discrimination and crap in our lives.
Some of us take drugs to get high. Some of us use drugs to enhance our sexual pleasure. Some of us “party and play” (PNP for short), having sex while high on party drugs like ecstasy and crystal meth. Some guys use erectile drugs at the same time because party drugs can make them lose their erections. Poppers (solvents like amyl butrate and nitrate) are inhaled from a small bottle during sex. Some guys use poppers to get hard, some to loosen up for anal sex, and some find it can make them lose their erection.
When it comes to enhancing sexual pleasure, nobody does it better than the gay guys. If you end up regretting what you do while you’re drunk or on drugs, it can ruin the fun. So, here are some tips to make sure you are in control when taking drugs:
- Mixing alcohol with some drugs can be risky, including GHB, benzodiazepines (Valium or Ativan), ketamine (K), or opiates (codeine, heroin, oxycontin, Demerol, morphine, or percs) is a risky plan. It’s usually a good idea not to mix ‘uppers’ with ‘downers’. It’s like pulling your body in opposite directions at the same time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or read up about a drug before you take it. Find out what kind of effect it is supposed to have on you, so you know what to expect and aren’t taken by surprise.
- Remember that the effects of drugs are different on everyone, and they can change from time to time depending on factors like how much food you’ve eaten and what mood you’re in. Get to know your own limits.
- If you’re planning on drinking alcohol or taking drugs, take condoms and lots of lube with you, or know where to get them. Plan ahead what kind of sex you’re comfortable with. Drugs can affect your judgment, so it helps if you prepare in advance to make your decisions easier when you’re not sober.
- Build recovery time into your party plan.
- Both legal and illegal drugs can have negative effects on your health, especially if you are already on another medication such as HIV meds. Don’t mix poppers with oral erectile drugs.
- If you use illegal drugs, know the law and know your dealer. Unregulated drugs are often cut with adulterants which can be harmful to your health
- If you’re snorting or injecting drugs, don’t share your equipment. Everyone should have their own straw and their own needles, tips, cookers, filters and sterile water to prevent the transmission of HIV and especially hepatitis C. Avoid snorting with rolled-up bills, because they’re dirty and can give you a sinus infection. Click Here to find out where you can exchange your used equipment for clean equipment and other harm reduction tools.
- If you’re HIV-positive and on treatment, your liver may be more stressed due to the medications you’re taking. This can make drugs take a bigger toll on your health. Some drugs such as alcohol can also make you forget to take your medications.
- Think about the reasons why you use drugs. If you have an underlying problem that drug use is helping you cope with, the underlying issue could put you at greater risk of infection, and if left unaddressed it can create a dependency on the drug. There is support for you in the community if you need it.
Although drugs do not cause HIV, some of them can have effects that increase the risk of HIV transmission:
- Poppers and oral erectile drugs are believed to increase the risk of transmission in HIV-negative guys who bottom without condoms, because they can cause the blood vessels inside your ass to dilate – giving the virus a better chance of entering the bloodstream.
- Crystal meth can increase the HIV viral load in poz guys, which increases the likelihood of passing on HIV to their partners.
- Cocaine, ketamine, alcohol and other drugs can dull pain, which can make you not feel pain during anal sex and therefore put you at greater risk of injuries and infections.
- Cocaine, crystal and ecstasy are linked to immune suppression, which makes you more vulnerable to infections, including HIV.
Many guys use drugs and stay in control -- practicing safe sex while high. Some guys don’t. The most important thing is that you’re aware of how drug use makes you feel.
For more information about drugs, their side effects, and how to do them safely. (An English only resource).