Table 1

Summary of the ‘party drugs’ commonly used at chemsex parties

DrugGammahydroxybutyrate (GHB) and gammabutyrolactone (GBL)MephedroneCrystal methamphetamine (‘crystal meth’)
DescriptionClosely related drugs with sedative and anaesthetic effects; GBL is metabolised to GHB after entering the bodyClosely related to amphetamines like speed/ecstasy, mephedrone is often sold over the Internet as plant food or bath salt and labelled ‘unfit for human consumption’ so that dealers can avoid arrestA purer version of the group of stimulants called methamphetamines
AppearanceOdourless, colourless, oily liquidFine white/yellowish powderTablets/powder/crystals
Street namesG, Gina, Grievous Bodily Harm, Liquid X, Bedtime ScoopMeow Meow, Meph, White Magic, M-catTina, Meth, Ice, Glass
AdministrationSwallowed as a liquid or added to drinksSnorted, wrapped in paper and swallowed (bombed), taken as capsules or pills, injected, administered rectally (‘booty bumping’)Smoked, snorted, administered rectally, mixed with water and injected
EffectsEuphoria, disinhibition, drowsiness, sexual stimulation, relaxant effects can make receptive anal intercourse easier or more pleasurableAlertness, confidence, euphoria, sexual stimulation, disinhibitionEuphoria, increased energy during sex, confidence, impulsivity, disinhibition
Negative effectsParticularly dangerous with alcohol, can cause unconsciousness (‘G sleep’), memory loss, coma and death; very easy to overdoseNausea, paranoia, anxiety, hallucinationsSleep disruption, palpitations, severe come down