Chemsex and Mental Health Harm
All drugs can impact on mental health, but many report that chemsex drugs such as crystal meth, mephedrone, and G (GHB/GBL), are particularly potent in causing both short, and long term mental health issues.
Mental Health issues caused by chemsex drugs:
- If you have a pre-existing mental health diagnosis, this may worsen when using chemsex drugs.
- If you begin to feel anxious, paranoid, or start to hallucinate when using chemex drugs then stop using immediately, and these feelings should start to fade.
- Crystal Meth when taken in large amounts can lead to the experience of psychosis, which can be defined as a split from reality. This can be a frightening experience, and you should stop using immediately. If symptoms persist in the days following a session, then go to A&E.
- Prolonged use of crystal meth can result in psychological addiction. If you feel that you are psychologically addicted to crystal meth then we can offer you support at our drop in service, or you can also speak to your GP for further advice.
- The negative effects of some chemsex drugs such as hallucinations, paranoia, and psychosis, can mean that the interactions you have with others can often be clouded, or misinterpreted. You may also be left with a lack of clarity about the truth of events. These can be difficult psychological experiences to navigate on your own and you may need to access professional help to support you moving forward.
- Take breaks between chemsex sessions so that you can minimise their impact on your mental health and general wellbeing.
- The comedowns that follow chemsex sessions can be particularly difficult to navigate, and you may experience fear, depression, and regret for days after. These feelings should fade as time passes, though continued use of chemsex drugs can result in various long term mental health issues. If you are concerned about your mental health then you can come and see us at one of our drop-ins for a chat, or speak directly to you GP.
- Comedowns can also be a time when you may experience suicidal thoughts, at which point we suggest you go straight to A&E. Alternatively you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123.
Other issues surrounding mental health:
- Impaired decision making caused by chemsex drugs can result in you making choices about sexual partners you may later regret, which can impact your self-esteem.
- Some of the sex you have during chemsex sessions, as well as the number of sexual partners you engage with during a chemsex session can conflict the values you have when not high. This can impact on your mental health and general opinion about yourself, and you may need professional support in processing these feelings.
- Having sex with others in exchange for drugs, may result in you developing a negative perception about who you are, and you may need to work with professionals to counteract these beliefs.
- Unfortunately it is a reality that when people are high, they can act in ways that are contrary to who they are when they are sober. Sometimes this can be positive, and will enhance the experience you have with them. There may be other times though when people act aggressive, violent, strange, or creepy, which can leave you feeling oppressed, manipulated, controlled and often violated in some way. This may also occur when you are with a group, and you may be unclear about what the group's intention is towards you. If you are fearful of your safety and wellbeing it is important to talk to a professional who can help you make sense of these experiences, and support you in moving forward.
If you think you would benefit from talking to someone, then check out our counselling service.
Contact us to discuss your drug or alcohol issues on 020 7833 1674 (10am-6pm, Monday to Friday). Ask for someone from the Antidote Team.