ChemSex - Apps, drugs and the right to pleasure
This ebook for Drugs and Alcohol Today, entitled "Chemsex – Apps, drugs and the right to pleasure", acknowledges an aspect of drug taking that is often ignored in the discourse on the "scourge" of drug abuse - that drugs enhance pleasure. Amidst the pleasure brought on by ‘chems', there has been pain. Drug overdoses and deaths fuelled by a prohibition that supports an illicit market of unlabelled, often adulterated drugs, and fear that calling an ambulance will implicate you in a crime. The guest editors of the edition, are activists who believe strongly in regulated drug markets, in an over-arching philosophy of harm reduction applied to healthcare, and, critically, the right to pleasure, particularly where that pleasure might be inhibited or obstructed by stigmas or social constructs. They were determined to recruit contributors whose expertise lay in their unique cultural connection to chemsex culture; and to the individuals and communities who are affected by chemsex or engage in it. This ebook is preceded by a wealth of excellent research and peer reviewed articles on chemsex, informing and supporting the public health responses to chemsex, particularly in regard to an HIV/STI epidemic response. The editors believe that what makes this ebook very special, quite unique, is that it publishes work from experts that help gay communities to mobilise their own responses. It takes the onus off public health policy to respond, and respectfully recognises the agency and resilience within gay communities, to formulate culturally and contextually competent community responses to chemsex.
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