The ChemSex: The Interface Between Sexual Health, Substance Use and Psychiatry; A Public and Mental Health Priority?

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Presenting Author(s): Dr. Bradley Hillier

Date and time: 24 Mar 2023 from 10:20 to 11:20

Location: Wildrose Salon C  Floor Map

Learning Objectives

  1. To appreciate the relationship between GBMSM and increased risk of mental disorders, including substance use;
  2. To appreciate Chemsex and the developing definition of this, including how it may present in clinical settings;
  3. To understand the minority stress theory and problematic Chemsex pathway as frameworks to describe the increased risks in GBMSM groups;
  4. To have increased awareness of offending behaviour associated with Chemsex and how this may present.


This presentation will describe the phenomenon of Chemsex, namely the use of substances (primarily GHB, methamphetamine and mephedrone as well as other substances) in association with sexual behaviour in Gay, Bisexual and Men who have sex with Men (GBMSM). The relationship between the concept of minority stress as a developmental explanation for the increased rates of mental health problems, addiction and substance use in GBMSM will be explored, including in relation to mental health outcomes, including the intersection between Chemsex and other vulnerabilities. Persistent Methamphetamine Psychosis (pMAP) will be described and emerging evidence as to whether this is a distinct diagnostic entity to other forms of psychotic illness. Finally, the emerging association between Chemsex and offending behaviour will be described through presentation of a number of cases and the challenges they pose for the legal system.

Literature References


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