Drug & Alcohol Usage

By Dr. Kelvin Adams. Updated 13th Oct 2014

Evidence shows that gay and bisexual men use drugs, alcohol and tobacco at higher rates than heterosexual men. One reason for this is that some men are using these substances to help overcome the stress of living with homophobia. Another reason is that drug usage at gay and bisexual social events and venues is very common and part of “gay culture”.

Drugs commonly used include alcohol, marijuana, amyl nitrate (poppers), ecstasy, speed, cocaine, ketamine, GBH, MDMA and crystal methamphetamine. In Australia, alcohol and crystal methamphetamine are the two most commonly abused drugs by gay and bisexual men.

The term “party and play” is widely used in the gay & bisexual community, which refers to taking drugs (party) whilst having sex (play). Men use drugs to help them relax, overcome erectile dysfunction, make them last longer whilst having sex, or increase sexual arousal. However, there is a known association between recreational drug usage, particularly crystal methamphetamine, and unprotected sex. Taking recreational drugs whilst having sex decreases your inhibitions and makes it more likely that you will take risks that you might not normally take, such as unprotected sex. This can then put you at risk of HIV and other STIs.


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