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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to clarify the origins, use and meaning of the term “chemsex”. Design/methodology/approach: The approach used here is one born of personal experiences and reflection. Findings: The term chemsex has a definition and a purpose that promotes culturally competent care for a marginalized group of vulnerable people. Research limitations/implications: This is a qualitative, personal, point-of-view piece which may be of value in broadening understandings and responses amongst public health and academic activities. Practical implications: The findings can be used to develop a sense of community and support amongst men who have sex with men in a chemsex setting, and to provide some background and context for professionals working in this field. Originality/value: This paper is amongst the first, if not the first, of its nature to be published in an academic journal.

Original publication




Journal article


Drugs and Alcohol Today

Publication Date





3 - 10