This is a magnificent time of year – a time for our communities to come together and celebrate all that we have achieved. We have a lot to be proud of: we continually challenge cultural norms by our very existence and we lead the way when it comes to parties!

Alcohol and other drugs are often associated with partying. The way to have maximum fun with minimum harm is by planning how much to drink and how to slow down the urge to keep drinking once you get to that happy place. The trick is to make a plan before starting to drink because once you get drunk all good intentions go out the window!  Sound familiar?

The same can be said for any drug use. I have heard that there are more puff’n’play or chemsex parties involving methamphetamine and GHB*. If there was ever a time to pre-plan it is if you are considering using methamphetamine and GHB.

Here’s a quick checklist to consider before using any drug or drugs (including alcohol):

  • Do I really want to do this, or am I doing it because I want to connect with others?
  • Do I know the possible harms? Do your research – GHB, for example, is very easy to overdose on, especially if mixed with alcohol.
  • How can I ensure I stay hydrated? Staying hydrated is particularly important if using more potent drugs so, before drinking or using any drugs, drink a big glass of water and continue to drink water throughout the night.  Also, you could ask for your beer in a straight (haha) glass! Did you know that drinking beer out of a straight glass takes about 30% longer than drinking it out of a curved glass?
  • Eat before using.
  • Have a safe-sex plan and communicate this with any sexual partners. Remember HIV is not the only STI that is transmitted with unsafe sex and being HIV positive increases the possibility of contracting other STIs

*I was recently at an event organised by Body Positive on “Gay sex and drugs” and a question was asked of all the people attending “If someone asked you if they should try methamphetamine what would you say?” the answer from the audience was a resounding “DON’T DO IT!”

Although Rainbow people are more ‘at risk’ of alcohol and other drug harm and mental illness we know we can have heaps of fun without or with moderate use of alcohol or other drugs– in fact, we can have more fun and can enjoy our memories because we will remember what happened!

Let’s keep our dignity so we can hold our head up and be PROUD! See you at the CADS stall on the 11th February at the Big Gay Out.

Article | Diana Rands CADS Auckland