Working With ChemSex
Research shows that LGBT people are significantly more likely to use recreational drugs than the population as a whole and with distinct patterns of use emerging amongst the gay, bisexual & other men who have sex with men, it can be enormously challenging for therapists, drugs workers and sexual health workers to keep up with the trends.
The use of drugs to facilitate sex by gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (often referred to as “ChemSex”) has become a concerning Public Health issue, with HIV and Hepatitis C infections rising, and increasing numbers of men seeking help with issues around sexual well-being and drug use. This one day workshop has been designed to support participants to explore & understand the the motivations, behaviour, and context of use within this client group and to reflect on what constitutes best practice.
As we seek to explore the world of the chemsex client we will look at issues such as what is being used and the prevalence, the impact of online “hooking-up” sites within the msm population, the rise in popularity, & increased normalisation, of injecting practices, challenges that clients may experience around engaging with sober sex, ambivalence of clients towards their use and participants will also be encouraged to explore their own attitudes & potential ambivalence towards working with clients who may be engaging in chemsex.
Practical considerations such as understanding referral pathways and harm reduction strategies as well as therapeutic intervention techniques for safer sex/drug use can sometimes be beyond the normal scope of our experience and training & participants at this workshop will have the opportunity to share good practice and to learn more about working confidently with this client group.
- Increased understanding of what drugs are being used, how they are used and primary effects/side effects.
- Greater awareness of the motivations, trends and context.
- Insight into the relationship between chemsex & identity development.
- Understanding of motivations, underlying issues & contributory factors potentially leading to problematic use.
- Confidence to support clients with harm reduction strategies & ability to develop & deliver effective interventions.
- Greater understanding of therapeutic/clinical considerations when working with chemsex clients.
- Addressing the challenges, stigma and prejudices we may experience when working with this client group.
- Developing confidence to work effectively with these clients, toward better sexual well-being.
Training time is from 1pm to 7pm, registration starts 12:30pm.