To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Too painful to think about: chemsex and trauma

Stephen Morris (Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, London, UK)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Article publication date: 7 January 2019

Issue publication date: 21 February 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Whilst chemsex is a relatively new phenomenon, trauma is not. Freud borrowed the word from physical medicine, where it was used to describe tissue damage, and applied it, for the first time, as a metaphor to a psychological process by which the protective functioning of the mind can too be pierced and wounded by events. The chemsex environment hosts a myriad of potentially traumatising scenarios and experiences, though perhaps disguised as exhilaration or excitement. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a practitioner’s experience.

Findings

These experiences piled on top of childhood experiences of being “less than” for being gay, can be responsible for widespread undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among those who engage in chemsex. This paper explores this possibility and offers solutions.

Originality/value

Compounded trauma and PTSD symptoms amongst MSM who engage in chemsex has to date, not been researched.

Keywords

Citation

Morris, S. (2019), "Too painful to think about: chemsex and trauma", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 42-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/DAT-11-2018-0067

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited