Is the issue of Chemsex changing?
In this letter, which is meant as a response to the letter titled “Sex enhancers: challenges, threats and the need for targeted measures”, the Authors discuss the evolution of Chemsex phenomenon towards at least two directions: firstly, the use of psychoactive and non-psychoactive substances usually implicated in Chemsex, such as GHB/GBL, ketamine, mephedrone and other synthetic cathinones and erectile dysfunction medications, is currently accompanied by the use of illicit opioids, which have recently been indicated as a new serious health threat for consumers. In addition, as reported by the last European Drug report, the simultaneous use of illicit benzodiazepines with non-medical opioids misuse has also been observed.
Secondly, strictly linked to the rising use of non-medical opioids is the risk of transition towards heroine followed by the adoption of risky injection practices frequently accompanied by high-risk sexual behaviors.
In this sense, the current definition of the phenomenon as “the voluntary intake of certain psychoactive and non- psychoactive drugs in the context of sex parties and sexual intercourses with the intention of facilitating and/or enhancing the sexual encounter mostly among men who have sex with other men (MSM)” has been expanded to “heterosexual chemsex”