Drug abuse is a common occurrence on the party scene, and particularly on the gay party scene. It is common for those who like to party to develop illnesses such as cocaine, ecstasy or mephedrone meow meow addiction. Mephedrone is a very strong stimulant drug and is commonly referred to as meow meow or m-cat. This drug has been growing in popularity in the gay scene and is often used by those practising ‘chemsex’.
Chemsex is the word used to describe those who engage in sex while under the influence of specific drugs such as mephedrone. It is mostly used to describe men who have sex with men. In most instances, the drugs make the users more inclined to take risks, and many are having unprotected sex, which is leading to a host of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
According to David Stuart, who is a substance-use lead at a London sexual health clinic, gay sex has long been associated with drug use. He spoke of a number of new drugs, including mephedrone and methamphetamine that cause users to lose their sexual inhibitions, resulting in high-risk practice without condoms.
Professor Jane Anderson from Homerton Hospital is a consultant HIV physician who agrees that certain drugs are causing more and more people to engage in unsafe sex. She also said that individuals are starting to inject these drugs too, which could lead to negative consequences.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
A new survey has revealed that a third of gay and bisexual men cannot be sure if they have HIV, with almost a quarter admitting to never having been checked for the virus. Experts have revealed that more people are being tested for HIV than ever before, but only seventy-seven per cent of gay men say they have been tested. The survey of 15,300 men was conducted by Sigma Research at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and it aims to give some insight into the sexual health of men who are gay and bisexual.
Terrence Higgins Trust’s head of health and promotion, Cary James, said, “We’re concerned that a third of gay men are not definite about their HIV status – particularly as we know that one in seven men who have sex with men are undiagnosed. Knowing your HIV status is key to tackling the HIV epidemic, as people who are on treatment are highly unlikely to pass on the virus, so it’s really important to get tested.”
The survey highlighted the fact that more gay and bisexual men need to be educated on the risks of unsafe sex. One in five men were still unsure if they could pass on HIV by kissing while around twenty-five per cent did not realise that the risk of passing on HIV was reduced with effective treatment for the virus.
Mr James said, “Myths about how HIV is transmitted create fear and stigma, which can discourage people from finding out their HIV status. These findings reaffirm the need to normalise HIV testing and bust the most common misconceptions.”
The survey also found that a third of gay men are not using condoms when having anal sex with a partner. Although only seven per cent of men admitted to taking chemsex drugs such as mephedrone, GBH, and methamphetamine in the previous four weeks, forty-two per cent of those with HIV believed that drugs and/or alcohol had played a role in them becoming infected with the virus.
The lead researcher on the study, Dr Ford Hickson, said, “Although chemsex remains a reality for a relatively small proportion of gay and bisexual men, the potential for harm from it is very high. It is important to provide specialist support for men on the chemsex scene. Combining sex and drugs can easily become compulsive and can increase sexual risk taking.”
A 2014 study of HIV-infected people found that more than half had used drugs in the previous three months and around a quarter had used more than three different drugs. Another study carried out in 2013 by the sexual health clinic where Mr Stuart works found that almost forty-three per cent of gay men who attended the clinic every month used chemsex drugs.
Mephedrone Meow Meow Addiction
Those who take mephedrone meow meow are at risk of developing an addiction to the drug. Because it produces feelings of alertness, euphoria and affection towards others, it is a popular chemsex drug. There is still much to learn about the drug as it is quite new, but one thing is certain – mephedrone meow meow addiction is a real illness.
Initial reports are suggesting that users of this drug can develop a powerful psychological dependence on it. And as they become tolerant to the effects, they will feel the need to take more and more of it, which could lead to disastrous consequences. While mephedrone can make people feel alert and euphoric, it can also result in episodes of anxiety and paranoia. The drug has also been known to overstimulate the heart and the nervous system, which can lead to hallucinations and fits.