Thursday, 24 July 2014

Drugs: The Problem With Pleasure

A third of gay or bisexual men took illegal drugs in the last year, according to official figures published today.

Drug use by gay or bisexual men was three times higher than for straight men and was higher in the majority of individual drugs consumed including cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines and cannabis.

Illegal drug use by gay or bisexual women was four times higher at almost 23 per cent than among heterosexual women, figures from the Crime Survey of England and Wales said.

“Gay or bisexual adults were more likely to have taken any illicit drug in the last year than heterosexual adults. In particular, gay or bisexual men were the group most likely to have taken any illicit drug in the last year, with higher levels of illicit drug use than gay or bisexual women and heterosexual men”, the crime survey said.

The 2013/14 figures estimate a third of gay men and almost 23 per cent of gay women took an illegal drug in the past year compared with 11.1 per cent of heterosexual men...

For reasons that should be obvious, if there are two pretty everyday behaviours that it's hard to get reliable data on it's people's drug use and sexuality.

What's interesting here is that similar figures keep being reported; gay men are three times as likely as the general population to use recreational drugs - figures of around 30% to 10% also regularly surface.  

What Fagburn finds fascinating is why this is so often problematicised; the 'logic' presumably being that drugs are bad, and people only take them if they're mad or sad.

Of course, they used to say the same thing about buggery...

But why not accentuate the positive and frame it as; 'Yay! Gay men are having three times as much fun'.

PS Here's a textbook 'My Gay Drugs Hell' article from EQ View today. In what way does this tell us anything about the vast majority of gay men's experiences of drugs? Why are no other accounts permissible? Here's a report from London Friend on the above survey's findings - apparently it's 'a dismal picture'. Why? The current issue of Attitude has a feature about 'slamming' - as ever the source for this supposed 'epidemic' is our old friend David Stuart. I could go on...


  1. I wish you would. :)

  2. That report is stupid in that it doesn't measure mephedrone, which anecdotally speaking, I'd say is the most used drug on the scene in London by gays under 24.

    The EQ View (who?) article was really just some kid's story though ...clearly its not going to tell you the vast majority of gay men's experiences bc its about one guy. That tends to be the pattern with people who regularly (1-3x a week) take mephedrone, albeit less seriously. Obv most of us druggies are doing fine, but everyone knows that so there's no articles about it?